Aside from cosmetic variations, then, are there any significant differences between the Micro and the SP? In a word, no. The Micro is just the SP in a smaller package; it's not intended to deliver anything new in terms of gameplay or features. Even battery life is basically even, about 10 hours between charges. It comes down to which Game Boy delivers a better user experience. And while the answer is more subjective than absolute, we came down on the side of the Micro. Despite its overall smaller size, the Micro is actually 19mm wider than the SP. The broader form factor combined with its lighter weight -- 88g (with cartridge) as opposed to the SP's 150g -- yielded better overall ergonomics. Gaming sessions on the Micro were more comfortable and less fatiguing on the hands and fingers.
At just 51mm (2 inches), the Micro's small screen appears to be a liability; it's fully 33 per cent smaller than the SP's 3-incher. View both units side by side, however, and your eyes will immediately gravitate to the Micro. The screen is so much brighter that few will miss the larger SP screen. Instead, you'll be wondering how you could've lived with that comparatively dull, washed-out image for so long. On the other hand, fans of text-heavy games -- RPGs, for instance -- may find the Micro's screen is just too small.
More sophisticated gamers may want to splash out the extra £20 to upgrade to the Nintendo DS -- it plays a growing list of popular titles (Nintendogs, Advance Wars Dual Strike, Castlevania), but its beefy size means you won't be slipping it into the pocket of your jeans. By contrast, the Nintendo Game Boy Micro is the perfect go-anywhere gaming machine. It's an easy recommendation for children, for whom it will no doubt provide hours of Pokemon- and Dragon Ball Z-fuelled delight. Adults with a favourite Zelda, Mario or Advance Wars title will find the Micro a worthwhile travel companion as well.
Edited by David Carnoy
Additional editing by Nick Hide