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Game Boy vs Game Boy Advance

Game Boy vs Game Boy Advance: What’s the Difference?

The old retro gamers know their way around the market, but it can be tricky for someone new to this field. What are the things that differentiate or make one console better than the other? Does it only depend on which one came recently? That might not be completely accurate.

In this guide, we will put the Game Boy vs Game Boy Advance and see:

  • A little about their History
  • Technological and Hardware Comparison
  • Game Library and Backward Compatibility 
  • and then finally, we’ll answer some FAQs

Let’s get into it.

A Little About their History

The Nintendo Game Boy family is a line of handheld video game consoles designed to allow players to play their favorite games using the cartridge system. It consisted of three subfamilies: Game Boy Color, Game Boy Classic, and Game Boy Advance.

Nintendo received a tremendous amount of love and loyalty from the public. Because it had provided thousands of gamers with their first handheld console, it provided them with some of the best and most popular games of that decade. Besides this, since its release, Nintendo has been working on redeveloping its consoles to make them more appealing to the public eye.

Game Boy

The Game Boy was the first-ever handheld console developed and manufactured by Nintendo for the Game Boy family. It was first released on April 21, 1989, in Japan, later released in North America during the same year, and finally in Europe in 1990.

After the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Game Boy was introduced. It combined the features of the NES  Home System & Game and Watch hardware. It featured the dot-matrix screen and five buttons to control games, adjustable contrast dial, and two buttons for “Start” and “Select.”

Besides this, the console also came equipped with a  single speaker and adjustable dial for volume control. Even though the Game Boy lacked technology compared to other fourth-gen competitors, the console was still praised for its battery life and durability. It performed far better than its competition and outsold them within a few weeks.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance or GBA is a 32-bit handheld gaming console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in 2001 as the successor of the Game Boy Color. Unlike the previous portrait form factor of the classic Game Boy, the Game Boy Advance came with the landscape perspective of gaming.

It came with a built-in coprocessor that gave it backward compatibility letting it play all the games from the Game Boy and the Game Boy color. It made it one of the most selling handheld consoles in the market. In just ten years after the release date, the Game Boy Advance had already sold more than 81.51 million units worldwide. It also provided 2D graphics hardware that allowed scaling and rotation for traditional games.

Technological and Hardware Comparison

The Game Boy Advance came equipped with modern-day technology. It brought all the necessary upgrades and changes that made it one of the best-selling handheld consoles of its time. 

These features allowed it to outperform the Classic Game Boy by miles. Let’s compare these consoles and put some more light on the Game Boy vs. Game Boy Advance debate.


The Game Boy won the technical competition fair and square because it made one of the significant upgrades that included:

  • An improved ARM 7 TDMI Processor with 16.0 MHz CPU clock speed instead of the Sharp LR35902 that had 4.19 MHz CPU clock speed.


The Display on the Game Boy Advance also made upgrades, and these included:

  • A bigger screen of 2.9 inches instead of the old 2.6 Inches display of the Game Boy.
  • An improved screen resolution of 240 x 160 px instead of the old 160 x 150 px 


The Game Boy Advance saw a significant decrease in dimensions making it more portable. It came with the following dimensions:

  • Height – 3.23 In
  • Width –  5.69 In
  • Depth – 0.96 In
  • Weight – 4.94 Oz


Unlike the Game Boy that had just white color, the new Nintendo Game Boy Advance came in more than one color, which included:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Silver
  • White


The Game Boy Advance also came with Backward compatibility that allowed it to play all the classic games from the old Game boy consoles.


Even though there were a lot of differences between the two consoles, there were still moments where they were pretty similar to each other these included:


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance came with a built-in speaker so that players can enjoy game music.

Multiplayer Support

The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance both allowed Multiplayer games so that players could interact and play games together.

Touch Screen

The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance did not have any touch-responsive display.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance did not include any camera capabilities.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance lacked any options for wireless connectivity, such as Wi-Fi.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance had no integration of USB ports.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance did not provide any GPRS support for their users.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance could not share anything using Bluetooth.


The Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance did not allow any storage units in terms of a memory card or a built-in hard drive. Both consoles required the media cassette to play any games on the go.

Game Library and Backward Compatibility

Let’s talk about the game libraries for both of these consoles.

Grand Library of the Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance followed the footsteps of its predecessors and provided some of the most extensive game libraries. It offered more than 1537 games for the players, and each of them holds a special meaning for the people that played that game. 

The Game Boy Advance also came with backward compatibility to play all the games from the previous handheld Nintendo consoles. Some of the most popular games from this console include:

Game Boy

The Classic Game Boy became a sensation as soon as it got released. It provided one of the most extensive and popular title ranges of its time. During its rule, the Game Boy released more than 512 titles, and some of the most famous ones include:

Now let’s answer some of the questions related to this topic.

FAQs Regarding the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance 

How old is the Gameboy Advance?

The Game Boy Advance is the successor of the previous Game Boy Color. It was manufactured and published by Nintendo. The Console was released on 21st March 2001 for the public and got famous in very little time.

What was the last Game Boy Advance game?

The Game Boy Advance provided numerous titles, but the final game published and released was the Samurai Deeper Kyo. It was released in a bundle and the DVD set on the 12th of February 2008.

Can Game Boy Advance play original Game Boy games?

Yes, the Game Boy Advance came with an extensive library along with backward compatibility, which allowed it to run all the games from the original classic Game Boy.

Do they still make Game Boys?

The Game Boy saw several redesigns during its lifetime, including the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light, and many more. But as of right now, Nintendo has stopped any production for the Game Boy console line since 2003.


After going through the complete review, you should understand that the Game Boy Advance beats the Classic Game Boy in every aspect.

It lets you enjoy all the new titles along with its backward compatibility that allows you to play all the other titles from the previous handheld consoles from the Nintendo family. Besides this, it made the gaming experience of all of these games much smoother experience because of the improved technology.

We have researched and brought forward all the Game Boy vs. Game Boy Advance facts. No matter which console you pick. At Retro v Games Store, we will always have your back, providing you with fun games for every retro console.

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