Nintendo's newest addition to the Game Boy family, the Game Boy Micro, certainly lives up to its name. Break this device out of its box and you'll be amazed at just how petite it actually is. No bigger than a small mobile phone, the Micro measures in at 10cm wide, 5cm tall and 1.75cm deep, and weighs only 79 grams.
Despite its small stature, the Micro still packs in all of the controls of a larger Game Boy SP, including the traditional four-way navigation pad and two control buttons. There are also left and right shoulder buttons at the top of the unit, with the start and select buttons fitted on a slanting surface underneath the screen. Volume controls have been placed on the right hand side, while Nintendo has obviously listened to gamers' pleas by including a normal 3.5mm headphone jack with the Micro (as opposed to the proprietary connection the Game Boy SP sported). Game cartridges slip in at the bottom of the unit, while the top sports a proprietary connector which is used for recharging the Micro's internal batteries.
Perhaps the greatest concession the Micro's had to make is with its screen size. At roughly 5cm wide, the screen isn't exactly a huge piece of real estate, although it more than makes up for it by producing bright and vivid images.
The Game Boy Micro is essentially just a new form factor for the Game Boy Advance, and as such brings no new games technology to the table. Game Boy fans should take note that the Micro can only play the smaller Game Boy Advance cartridges, and not the larger, older Game Boy cartridges. If you've got a massive collection of older Game Boy games, this may prove to be annoying. Other than that, the Micro brings all of the benefits of the larger Game Boy SP into a smaller package, including its impressive 10-hour battery life.
The Game Boy Micro comes in five different colours, although the most common will be silver (the other four will be sold through specific outlets in Australia). Gamers can change the faceplate on the Micro to suit their moods. The unit comes packaged with a spare faceplate, as well as a cloth carry case to prevent any scratches.
The Game Boy Micro is as rock solid a portable gaming device as any of its predecessors. Of particular note is the bright LCD screen, which allows you to play the Micro even in the brightest of rooms. Its size also makes it a breeze to carry around town, although for something that's obviously meant to be thrown into a pocket, the lack of a button lock feature (to prevent the unit form accidentally turning on) is a mystery.
Nintendo has created another Game Boy winner, but perhaps its biggest flaw lies not in its hardware, but with its price. At AU$150, the Micro is only AU$30 cheaper than the Nintendo DS, which boasts more advanced hardware and can also play Game Boy Advance cartridges. Sure the DS is more than double the size and weight of the mini-Micro, but it boasts impressive functionality for only a few more dollars. If size is paramount, however, then the Micro is hard to beat as a great portable gaming machine.
Keep up to date with the latest games news, reviews and features by signing up to CNET.com.au's free Games Spotlight weekly newsletter. Sign up now!