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Okada on GameBoy Advance

Satoru Okada, co-developer of the original Game Boy and now a chief designer in the development of the GameBoy Advance recently voiced his thoughts on the new Nintendo handheld to Nintendo Online Magazine, and IGN have fully translated it for us. Okada's banter centres around the beginnings of the GBA and how it came about. It turns out that it really started out in earnest back in the days when Okada and Gunpei Yokoi were working on the internal workings of the GameBoy Color, which the two regarded as a stop-gap in between the original cost-limited GameBoy and something bigger and better. Okada justifies this by pointing out that the GBA was always going to have backwards compatibility, something he later describes as "one of the duties of developers". Another interesting morsel is that the Nintendo-released specifications for the unit (and those still available at GameBoy.com, Nintendo's official site) are actually innaccurate due to post publicity decisions that Okada made about the design. In order to increase the memory capacity, the amount of possible colours decreases from the originally touted 65,535 back to 32,000, the same as the GBC. Those of you who saw the GameBoy Advance are ECTS or Spaceworld will be aware of two indentations on the top surface. According to Okada these are for securing peripherals, something he's wanted in place since the original GameBoy. Obviously this is very revealing information, but at the end of the day Okada is keen to point out that it will be the software that makes and sells the system. Ease of development is paramount. That said, judging by the software on display at ECTS, developers are getting the idea quickly.