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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
New Nintendo breaks sales records
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo's Game Boy Advance: Big UK sales
Nintendo's new Game Boy Advance (GBA) has broken UK sales records, becoming the fastest selling console ever.

About 81,000 Game Boy Advances were sold over the weekend, breaking the previous sales record of Sony's Playstation 2 by more than 20,000 units, according to Computer Trade Weekly and CHART-Track.

Mario
Super Mario Advance: Top GBA title
Super Mario Advance, a launch title for the Game Boy Advance, claimed the top spot in the all-formats leisure software Top 40.

One in four Game Boy Advance owners bought Super Mario Advance, with nine other GBA titles in the top 40.About 3m was generated from the sales of about 90,000 units of software.

The weekend sales of consoles and accessories combined resulted in more than 10m of revenue from hardware.

High hopes

Nintendo hopes to sell at least six million Game Boy Advances by the end of 2001.

Two million have already sold in Japan since its launch in March, and 500,000 units flew off the shelves in America after one week on release.

The new Game Boy Advance represents a significant leap over its predecessor with a larger screen that can display 32,768 colours, a four-player multiple link and a battery life of 15 hours.

The original Game Boy handheld console sold more than 110 million units since its launch in 1989, despite only having an 8-bit processor and a four colour LCD display.

One problem shared by both consoles is the lack of a backlight. Players still need to hold the screen in a good light in order to be able to see it. Nintendo believe that it is a worthwhile compromise in order to prolong battery life.

Flicker control

However, console gamers have discovered a small adjustment hole at the back of the console which, when tweaked, appears to be a contrast control.

Game Boy Advance
The GBA's screen can be adjusted, which damages the console
Nintendo state that the hole is actually a flicker control which adjusts the electrical charge to the LCD screen.

Increasing the charge to the screen will temporarily brighten it, but damage it in the long term. If gamers want better visibility, they have to buy a clip on light accessory.

With a strong lineage of recognisable video game characters, such as Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong and Pokemon, Nintendo has managed to sustain its near total domination of the handheld market, seeing off contenders such as Sega's Game Gear and Atari's Lynx.

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See also:

22 Jun 01 | Reviews
Game Boy Advance: Your views
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Nintendo fight back
24 May 01 | Business
Nintendo profits fall 42%
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18 May 01 | New Media
Nintendo steals march on X-Box
30 Mar 01 | New Media
Game Boy Advance impresses Japan
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Nintendo launches new GameBoy
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