Debuting in the United States next week, Nintendo's latest hand-held game machine is several dozen times more powerful than its predecessor, Game Boy Color. The device works with more than 450 Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges, plus plays its own library of more advanced games. Weighing less than 5 ounces, the 3.2-by-5.7-inch device features a screen that is 50% larger than Game Boy Color's and can display more than 500 times the number of colors.
With a resolution of 240 pixels by 160 pixels, the liquid-crystal screen can display more than 32,700 colors at once. It's a reflective active-matrix screen, which means it's brighter and crisper.
The system's internal audio equipment includes stereo and Dolby Surround capabilities. Users can listen to the sound effects through a headphone jack or the unit's built-in speaker.
Two AA batteries supply power for an average of 15 hours of play time.
Link cable port
Connects to other Nintendo systems for interactive play.
Central processing unit
The CPU contains two chips: a 32-bit processor specially designed for the Game Boy Advance as well as the 8-bit Z80 processor found in the Game Boy Color, which enables it to play older games. Memory in the chip allows the device to run routine programs, which speeds up execution.
In addition to its directional controls, the system includes two shoulder buttons in the upper right- and left-hand corners. Applications for such buttons vary by game.
Game Boy Specs
Game Boy Advance
Processor: 32-bit ARM with embedded memory
Screen resolution: 240 by 160 pixels
Screen size: 2.4 inches by 1.6 inches
Possible colors: 32,768
Simultaneous colors: 32,768 (in bitmap mode)
Size: 3.2 inches by 5.7 inches by 1 inch
Weight: 4.9 ounces
Battery life: 15 hours
Game Boy Color
CPU: 8-bit Z80
Screen resolution: 160 by 140 pixels
Screen size: 1.6 inches by 1.6 inches
Possible colors: 32,000
Simultaneous colors: 56
Size: 5.2 inches by 3 inches by 1.1 inches
Weight: 4.9 ounces
Battery life: 10 hours
Source materials by KATHLEEN BRADY / Los Angeles Times
Researched by CHRISTINE FREY/For The Times