Why Is The Gameboy Advance SP So Expensive?

Why Is The Gameboy Advance SP So Expensive?

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Have you recently gone to purchase the Gameboy Advance SP and found out it was way more expensive than what you thought it would be? While some people try to get good deals on older gaming equipment, sometimes it only goes up in price which is confusing to a lot of people.

So why is the Gameboy Advance SP so expensive? 

The Gameboy Advance SP came out in 2003, but there are still many people who want to play it today as well but there are not many available on the market. Because the demand for the Gameboy Advance SP far outnumbers the supply, the price stays relatively high.

This is a common thing with many different Nintendo consoles as well as all of them hold their value quite well especially as they age and people start to get a little nostalgic about the way that games used to be and how much simpler the consoles were then. Because of this and the popularity of many of Nintendo’s games the Gameboy Advance SP’s price is still quite high and will likely not go down anytime soon if ever.  

If you want to see the current prices for a variety of different SP models you can find them by clicking here.

If you want to know more about the Gameboy Advance SP and why they are expensive, you will want to keep reading. You can also watch this video below as well.

Reasons the Gameboy Advance SP is expensive

Backlit SPs are typically more expensive than front-lit ones. The 101 version of the SP is a rare model and needs no molding to work with the backlit screen.

Another reason for the SP being so expensive is the massive demand for this console. It’s very portable while also being functional and has a bigger screen size when compared to the DS.

The biggest reason for the high prices for this console is that people love their Nintendo consoles and keep them for a long long time. For example, I have 4 different Nintendo consoles in my house that I have had since I was a kid/young adult! Since many people keep their consoles there are less of them on the open market which keeps the prices for used models quite high.

In this article, we will let you know what is so special about the Gameboy Advance SP as well as the value of it vs other Gameboys.

In today’s era, where many people barely think about the Gameboy, it’s still a rare console and many people pick them up to resell or enjoy themselves.

The nostalgia is a big factor too since some people still love to explore the older consoles and games that bring back memories of a simpler time or of their childhood. The Gameboy Advance SP cost $100 when it was released in the United States and still today you would still have to pay $80-$100 for a used one on eBay and refurbished ones on places like Amazon can even be more expensive!

You can check out the current prices for this handheld console by clicking here.

What is special about the Gameboy Advance SP?

Not only was this handheld console special when it was released, it is still special even today. This console featured a distinctive black and green LCD screen and the players can easily insert game cartridges in the back of the device.

The biggest difference between the Gameboy Advance and the Gameboy Advance SP (Special) was the fact that this handheld console flipped open and closed and also had a backlit screen. Nowadays a backlit screen doesn’t seem like a big deal but if you ever tried to play on a Gameboy at night during a car trip and tried to keep playing while only being able to see at the screen by using the street lights then you know how big it was on release!

Since it was much smaller than the original Gameboy Advance it was also well received because of how different it was.

Most people today are smart though and actually  know and value these older games. Some people are even selling these consoles on eBay and earning a good amount of money. They will go to yard sales and thrift stores and purchase them from people who don’t know the value, and sell them on Ebay. Some people even make a living by doing this exact thing! 

Even though people still love and adore the second-hand Gameboy Advance SP, people are selling their sealed boxes that have never been played and earning vast amounts of money.

Value of a Gameboy Advance SP

If the gaming console is unopened, and still in the original packaging from the store, then your Gameboy Advance SP is currently worth $200 to $300  If it has never been opened and you have not used this game at all, then you will definitely want to keep it that way as used open ones are selling for around $100 or less.

This is true of most Nintendo consoles today as if they are unopened, they are normally worth 2-3x as much money when they are resold than the open ones. 

Gameboy Advance SP

The Gameboy Advance SP is an updated version of the Gameboy that was released back in 2002. It featured a frontlit screen and a foldable design, which were the primary reasons for this console’s popularity.

The Gameboy Advance SP was not similar to any other game consoles of the time as no other Nintendo consoles that were released around the world (besides the Gameboy Light) had a lit screen so you could easily play in the dark. This console was later released in September 2005 with a brighter backlit screen. This updated version of this console was the third Nintendo handheld to have a backlit display. The other two are the Nintendo DS in 2004 and the Gameboy Light in 1998.

Gameboy Advance SP Features

This game console had many new features when compared with the original Gameboy Advance. The Gameboy Advance SP was the most in demand game console of its time. Its notable features of the front-lit screen were very criticized by the other players who had the normal Gameboy Advance.

Its rechargeable battery, and the clamshell design was different from any other console made by Nintendo, but sadly, it was the last Gameboy to support Gameboy and Gameboy Color games.

There was a slider for the volume on the left side of the console, and on the right side of this console, there was a power switch, and the power and charging lights.

The 90’s era was enjoyable mainly because of Nintendo. They made the best handheld consoles ever and developed spectacular games to go on them as well. The Game Boy Advance SP was really quite revolutionary for the handheld gaming market.

Specs of the Gameboy Advance SP 

CPU: 32-Bit ARM with embedded memory

Memory: 32 KB with 96 KB VRAM (in CPU), 256 KB WRAM (external of CPU)

Screen: 2.9-inch reflective TFT color LCD

Display Size: 1.6 by 2.4 inches (40.8 by 61.2 mm)

Resolution: 240 x 160 pixels in a wide-screen aspect ratio

Colors: 511 simultaneous colors from a palette of 32,768

Software: Fully compatible with Gameboy and Gameboy Color game

Light Source: Front light integrated with LCD

Size (closed): 3.3 by 3.23 by .96 inch

Weight: Approximately 5 ounces

Power Supply: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Battery Life: 10 hours continuous play with light on; 18 hours with light off; 3 hours recharging

Is the special edition of Gameboy Light more valuable than the previous models?

The Gameboy Light was a backlit and updated version of the Gameboy Pocket (normally just known as a Gameboy). The Gameboy Light was specially released in Japan on April 14, 1998, because the number of gamers there was so high but it was never released anywhere else in the world

This console typically looks different than the other one because the Gameboy Pocket was taller than the Gameboy Light

The Gameboy Light uses two AA batteries but the Gameboy Pocket uses AAA batteries The Gameboy Light was the only official Nintendo console that was released with a backlit screen until the backlit version of the Gameboy Advance SP was released in 2005.

eBay has a massive market for the buyers of Gameboy but especially the more rare Gameboy Light. The sellers on eBay are selling the Gameboy Light consoles for more than $600.


Now that you know why the Gameboy Advance SP  and other Nintendo consoles are so expensive you can decide if you want to purchase one. If you are looking to purchase one, you can get one here either used or refurbished depending on which you prefer.

No matter what game you prefer to play on the Gameboy Advance SP, if you are playing on a Nintendo, you are bound to have fun!  

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

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