The Game Boy Advance is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo. It is the successor to the popular Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia on June 22, 2001, in Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People's Republic of China on June 8, 2004 (excluding Hong Kong).
In 1996, magazines including issues 53 and 54 of Total! and the July 1996 issue of Game Informer featured reports of a new Game Boy, codenamed Project Atlantis. Although the expected release date of "early 1997" would make this machine seem to be the Game Boy Color, it was described as having "a 32-bit RISC processor" and "allowing similar to SNES standard games-playing to be played in the palm of your hand"—a description that more closely matches the Game Boy Advance.
This was also the first in the Gameboy system line to have a widescreen picture.
As of September 30, 2007, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 80.48 million units worldwide, of which 42.82 million are Game Boy Advance SP units. On December 1, 2006, Nintendo of America released launch-to-date information indicating that the Game Boy Advance series had sold 33.63 million units in the United States.
The Game Boy Advance has become the modern flagship of sprite-based games. With hardware superior to the Super NES it has proven that sprite-based technology could improve and live side by side with the 3D games of today's consoles. The Game Boy Advance not only has one's typical platformers, but also a huge collection of SNES-style RPGs. It has also become a popular system for old-school gamers due to the increasing amount of games ported from various 8-bit and 16-bit systems of the previous era. Through the use of flash cartridges and emulators the Game Boy Advance can even play NES and TurboGrafx-16 games, as well as AGI-based Sierra On-Line PC adventure games.