As if the regular Game Boy wasn’t small enough, Nintendo released a super-compact version of it in 2005. Called the Game Boy Micro, it’s a shrunk-down version of GBA with no backward compatibility. It has a smaller display than a regular GBA, but this screen has an integrated backlight so images look brighter and more colorful.
Is the Gameboy Micro worth it? These days it’s nothing more than a collectible item, with minimal practical value when compared to other handhelds of its era. If you purchase a Game Boy Advance SP, you can play all the games supported by a Game Boy Micro in addition to original GB and GBC games.
Because the Micro has no backward compatibility, its potential as a retro gaming handheld is quite limited. Plus, its tiny display means that you can’t enjoy JRPG games that have lots of text-based dialogue. Not for more than an hour without straining your eyes to the point where they begin to hurt.
Gameboy Micro Worth
For collectors who wish to own every Game Boy variant ever released, it’s certainly worth the money. If nothing else, the Micro is a novelty item- something that acts as a nice conversation starter with your gamer friends. It’s tiny, especially when compared to the original Game Boy from 1989.
Unlike the regular Game Boy Advance upon which its internal hardware is based, the Micro has a backlit display. Even the AGS-001 GBA SP model doesn’t have an integrated backlight. The AGS-101 GBA SP and GB Micro are the only two Gameboys with proper backlights integrated into the display assembly.
As a result, colors pop out much better on the tiny screen of this Game Boy. It has more contrast, and you can even play it outdoors under mild sunlight. Something the original GBA SP can’t do (model AGS-001) because it uses a front-mounted light to illuminate the LCD.
However, Game Boy Micro also has a bunch of disadvantages when compared to a regular GBA. For starters, its display is tiny at just 28.32mm x 42.48mm. The resolution of 240 x 160 is the same as other GBA models, resulting in a higher pixel density.
Yet you’ll struggle while playing RPGs that have lots of text on this tiny screen. After a while, your eyes will start to feel sore. Hence, you can’t play the Micro for more than a few minutes at a time.
It’s not half bad for action games, platformers, shooters, etc. But I would recommend a regular GBA/ GBA SP over this console. Especially if you’re buying a retro console that will be used daily, one that you’ll carry with you while traveling.
With a regular GBA or GBA SP, you can also play original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. You can’t do that on the Micro since it lacks backward compatibility. So, you’re missing out on a huge library of excellent games released between 1989 and 2001.
How Many Game Boy Micros Were Sold?
Nintendo sold 2.42 million units between September 2005 and March 2007. It’s unlikely that many were sold after 2007 since we were well into the 7th console generation and 3D graphics had become the standard. Compared to other Game Boy variants, the Micro had a very short lifespan owing to its late release.
Are Game Boy Micros Rare?
More so than Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP. Nintendo released the Micro in late 2005, nearly one year after the PSP. By that time, gamers had already received a taste of what the future looked like and they weren’t interested in old 8-bit consoles anymore.
As a result, only 2.42 million Micros were sold between 2005 and 2007. It is the last Game Boy variant ever made and is also one of the most unique handheld consoles of all time. Because of their rarity, Game Boy Micros command a high price on the used market.
Is Game Boy Micro Comfortable?
It’s certainly not the most comfortable handheld for long gaming sessions owing to its cramped controls and tiny form factor. The entire console is smaller than the display on a PlayStation Portable. And the display is even smaller, so your eyes begin to hurt after just 30 to 40 minutes of gaming.
How Long Does A Game Boy Micro Last?
Like all previous Game Boy versions, Nintendo built the Micro to be tough. It can take some rough handling, and the plastic shell is tougher than you think. What will die on this console is the battery because those have limited lifespans.
Once the battery starts to have issues, you’ll drop from 7 to 13 hours of playtime down to just 1 or 2. And eventually, your Game Boy Micro will shut down right after you turn it on. It has a red status LED that lets you know when the battery is depleted, and this light will blink a lot if you have a faulty battery.
Fortunately, a battery replacement on one of these consoles is quite easy and you don’t need any tools other than a screwdriver. First, you need to grab a new battery. OEM units are quite hard to find these days so you’ll have to settle for third-party stuff.
You only need to remove one screw that holds in the battery cover. Once this is removed, you can access the battery. Remove the old one and replace it with a new one.
How Much Is The Game Boy Micro Worth Now?
Compared to Game Boy Advance/ SP, these consoles have held their value quite well despite being over 18 years old at this point. Part of it is due to the rarity, more GBAs were made than GBMs. Another reason is the collector aspect, several Game Boy Micro owners only used their console sparingly.
As a result, there are several of these in good condition with minimal wear and tear. You have to remember that the Micro was released during a transitional period. The Nintendo DS and Sony PSP were already out by 2005, so people just weren’t playing their Game Boy Micro all that much.
While the average GBA costs between 50 to 150 dollars, you’ll find that Game Boy Micros frequently exceed the 200-dollar mark. Of course, prices can vary based on whether the product is well-maintained, a limited edition model, etc. Sometimes you’ll get a bunch of game cartridges with the console.
Generally speaking, a used Game Boy Micro costs more than a used Game Boy Advance. Even though both shared the same launch price of $100 back in the early 2000s.
I hope this article helped you understand more about the Game Boy Micro and its advantages/ disadvantages when compared to a regular GBA. Whether it’s worth it or not for you will depend on the types of retro games that you play. If you’re only interested in action platformers and shooters from the GBA era, the Micro will serve you well.
However, if you want to play lots of JRPGs with text-based dialogue the Game Boy Advance is what I’d recommend due to its larger display. A GBA is also better for long game sessions since it has a more comfortable control layout. Plus, it lets you play original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, something you can’t do on a Game Boy Micro.
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