Let's mod a Gameboy Advance

I have an IPS-V2 display installed in my Gameboy Advance

Did you play games on a Gameboy Advance as a child?

As a child i loved to play with this console. I can’t forget the several hundred hours I sank into Golden Sun and Golden Sun: The Lost Age, one of my favourite fantasy role-playing game series these days. Unfortunately, this handheld had its weaknesses. One of the biggest was that you had to have direct sunlight to be able to play it because there was no backlight. In addition, the display is only a 240x160  screen, on which 32,768 colors can be displayed simultaneously in bitmap mode.

Nintendo has released the Game Boy Advance (GBA) in Year 2001. It is a 32-bit, handheld, cartridge-based game console. Did you know that this handheld has been sold 81.51 million times worldwide?

After all these years, I thought it was time to dig up the old classics again. Sadly, I found that I was no longer used to playing with an unlit display - it wasn't the same feeling. Perhaps this is due to heavy use of smartphones and other backlit devices. So, i was searching for a LED-backlit LCD which i could use for the GBA.

To my amazement, there are many replacement parts and mods available. I thought I'll give it a try. 😃 I had to buy 1x IPS V2 LCD, 1x Ribbon Cable (V2), 1x Acrylic fixing strip, 3 x Wires for brightness adjustment.

Here you can see my frist try

to install the new display:

GBA IPS-V2 Mod
GBA IPS-V2 Mod

Comparing displays

The differences between a IPS-V2 display and the standard displays from Nintendo are gigantic. You get a whole new gaming experience.

comparing AGS-001 with IPS-V2

The result

I like the new backlit IPS-V2 display. It contains a 10-level brightness control. The display is slightly larger than the original, so I had to buy a special lens, which is fine for 3 euros. After my first try, I realized that it would be a lot cheaper to buy a whole replacement kit.

Modding a GBA is really fun so I decided to do this again. I also started changing the color of the case. I think this will be really cool! I'll be updating this blog article soon - so be sure to check back again :)