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. Game Exchange carries a full line of retro gaming systems including the GBA and popular games.
Nintendo's competitors in the handheld market were the Neo Geo Pocket Color, SwanCrystal, GP32, Tapwave Zodiac, and the N-Gage. Despite the competitors' best efforts, Nintendo maintained its majority market share with the Game Boy Advance.
Backward compatibility for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games is provided by a 4/8 MHz Z80 coprocessor. 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 link cable. When playing Game Boy or Game Boy Color games on the Game Boy Advance, the L and R buttons can be used to toggle between a stretched widescreen format (240×144) and the original screen ratio of the Game Boy (160×144). Game Boy games can be played using the same selectable color palettes as on the Game Boy Color. Every Nintendo handheld system following the release of the Game Boy Advance SP has included a built-in light and rechargeable battery.
The Game Boy Advance became the modern flagship of sprite-based games. With hardware comparable to the Super NES it had proven that sprite-based technology could improve and live side by side with the 3D games of the day's consoles. The Game Boy Advance not only has typical platformers, but also a huge collection of SNES-style role-playing video games. It has also become a popular system for old-school gamers due to the increasing number of games ported from various 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the previous eras, including the popular Super Mario Advance series, as well as its compatibility with all earlier Game Boy titles