The Game Boy Advance (often shortened to GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia on June 22, 2001, in Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China on June 8, 2004 (excluding Hong Kong).
The technical specifications of the original Game Boy Advance are, as provided by Nintendo:
- Size: Approximately 3.2 inches (81 mm) x 5.69 inches (145 mm) x 0.97 inches (25 mm).
- Weight: Approximately 140 grams (5 ounces).
- Screen: 2.9 inches reflective thin-film transistor (TFT) color LCD.
- Power: 2 AA batteries.
- Battery life: The average battery life is approximately 15 hours while playing Game Boy Advance games (also dependent on the Game Pak being played and the volume setting).
- CPU: 16.8 MHz 32-bit ARM7TDMI with embedded memory.
- Memory: 32 kilobyte + 96 kilobyte VRAM (internal to the CPU), 256 kilobyte WRAM (external to the CPU).
- Resolution: 240 x 160 pixels.
- Color support: 15-bit RGB (16-bit color space using 5 bits depth per channel), capable of displaying 512 simultaneous colors in "character mode" and 32,768 (2^15) simultaneous colors in "bitmap mode".
Backward compatibility for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games is provided by an 8.4 MHz Z80 co-processor, while a link port at the top of the unit allows it to be connected to other devices via use of a Nintendo Game Link cable or GameCube cable.
On December 1, 2006, Nintendo of America released launch-to-date information indicating that the Game Boy Advance series had sold 33.63 million units in the United States. In a Kotaku article published on January 18, 2008, Nintendo revealed that the Game Boy Advance series has sold 36.24 million units in the United States, as of January 1, 2008. As of March 31, 2008, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 81.06 million units worldwide, of which 43.23 million are Game Boy Advance SP units.