The SP comes equipped with a lithium ion rechargeable battery cell, similar to those found in mobile phones. As rechargeable battery technology advanced, Nintendo were able to combine the kind of lithium cell found in many portable handheld devices with an integrated screen light to give the SP a full 10 hours of continuous gameplay with the screen light on, something that had not previously been possible.
Other design changes for the SP include an altered d-pad, which has been made shallower to allow space for the powerful inner workings of the console, and new compact shoulder buttons. The console has been finished in a high-grade silver coating, unlike any previously seen on a games console. As well as resembling the type of flip top design of mobile phones, the SP's flip top serves the double purpose of protecting the screen when closed.
The labours of the team headed up by Satoru Okada, General Manager, Research and Engineering, and including Kenichi Sugino, Product Designer, have resulted in the creation of a piece of premium hand held technology, which plays any of the vast catalogue of excellent Game Boy Advance titles, and which above all, looks fantastic. Nintendo produced the console with the aim of it reaching a new market as well as the existing committed base of Nintendo & Game Boy Advance users. Never has a console been so desirable for those who may not have previously owned a handheld console, or to older gamers, and that is exactly whose hands it will end up in.
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The Game Boy Advance SP launches on the 28th March 2003 at the estimated retail price of between 129 – 139 Euros