Yesterday’s headlines were all about the surprise reveal of the Nintendo Switch Lite. While not a wholesale upgrade over the original, the Switch Lite is the first new addition to the “Nintendo Switch family of systems.” As a dedicated handheld platform, the cost-effective alternative is the perfect system for younger audiences and those who prefer on-the-go gaming. Certainly, it’s a sleek new take on the original Switch with improved battery life, an actual D-pad (to the envy of Joy-Con users everywhere), and—most appealingly—a cheaper price. What’s not to like?

GBA, meet GBA Special

As history shows, Nintendo is no stranger to revising or upgrading existing hardware. Namely, it was all the rage with their handheld platforms dating back to the original Game Boy! In my case, with the original Game Boy Advance being my first gaming system as a child, I was blown away by the advantages the Game Boy Advance SP had to offer.

game boy advance

When I finally got my GBA, I would play my little handheld for whole days at a time. Admittedly, I was mildly interested at first, seeing as my first two games were Lucky Luke: Wanted and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Fun as they were, they didn’t really grab my attention. However, everything changed once I got my first Mario game in the form of Super Mario Advance. Following that was Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World, and so on.

With my newfound gaming fix and games worth sinking hours into, I spent so much time on my Game Boy Advance. Unfortunately, this also meant burning through a ton of AA batteries. Hell, I couldn’t play at night without a backlit screen, and the Worm Light hindered that more than it helped; I had to put up with glare reflecting on my dimly lit screen more often than not.

Who Are You?

That was the case until my folks traded in my GBA and surprised me with the Game Boy Advance SP.

Every gripe I had with the original GBA was instantly solved! Goodbye AA battery reliance, and hello rechargeable lithium! So long Worm Light, you surely won’t be missed, now that my screen actually lights up! And my goodness, how about the foldable design? It was a stroke of genius, and the way it slid seamlessly into my pocket compared to its predecessor cannot be understated!

Just like that, this new Game Boy Advance model was an upgrade in every sense of the word. Even with the Nintendo DS Lite later on, my GBA SP and I were inseparable. I’d be remiss not to shout out the Game Boy Player add-on for the GameCube, letting me play my favorites like The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap and the Sonic Advance trilogy on the big screen.

But enough of my rambling, I want to hear from you! What were some of your favorite system upgrades and why? Perhaps it was the DS Lite, or the New 3DS? What about some fan-made efforts like those of HD RGB, or certain peripherals from EON Gaming? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Jeffrey McDonell
Rare import from Canada, lover of all things video game music and remixes, desk jockey by day, and Nintendo Enthusiast by night. I grew up on Nintendo consoles since the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, with standouts like Sonic, Mario, and Zelda defining my childhood.

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