Gamebox Systems just released their very own consolizing kit for the Game Boy Advance (GBA), the GBHD Advance. Essentially, this kit turns a standard Game Boy Advance AGB-001 (the original GBA) into a “home” console allowing you play you favorite GBA titles on the big screen!
Like Woozle’s Consolizer kit (another fantastic consolizing option of the GBA), Gamebox utilizes FPGA technology to make everything work. This tech allows the kit to provide high quality, perfectly scaled images onto your home television.
— gamebox.systems (@GameboxSystems) June 1, 2022
Here is a full list of the kits features this kit provides:
- Triple Resolution Support
- 1080i (1920×1080 interlaced)
- 720p (1280×720 progressive, Default Mode)
- 480p (720×480 progressive)
- Scaling Modes
- 6x Linear (1080i mode)
- 4x Linear (720p Mode)
- 3x Linear (480p Mode)
- Full Screen non-Linear
- TV Mode (Slight Crop Full Screen)
- Gamma Correction
- Pixel Smoothing (2x, 3x, 4x bilinear filtering)
- SNES Controller Input
- 4 Scanline Modes
- 64 Border Color Options
- Button Remap Option
- AB Remapped to YB
- Physical power button
- USB-C powered
In order to access these features, Gamebox integrated an On Screen Menu System which is accessed by pressing and holding the Start and Select button at the same time.
Additionally, the kit integrates a SNES controller port giving you the choice of using a standard wired SNES controller or, as I prefer to use, an 8bitdo SN30 wireless controller (or any 3rd party equivalent).
As of the writing of this article, the kit is competitively priced at $159.99 USD. This requires you to provide your own donor GBA and to install it yourself. Gamebox also offers pre-built units for $299.99 USD. Included in that cost is the donor GBA as well as the labor to put it all together which is a pretty compelling deal given some of the alternatives that are currently available.
You can purchase the kit of the pre-built units HERE
Now one of the biggest hurdles to installing the kit yourself is soldering the custom flex ribbon cable directly to the GBA’s CPU. This requires one to be confident in using a soldering iron and is definitely not meant for beginners. To get a sense of the installation process, be sure to check out my installation tutorial linked at the top of this article.
And, one thing to be aware of with the GBHD Advance kit is audio compatibility issues. I was unable to get usable audio when connecting the GBHD Advance to my Elgato Cam Link Pro capture card. Additionally, when I connected the unit to my Yamaha HDMI Receiver in my home theater setup, I too wasn’t getting any audio. However, when connected directly to my Samsung HD television, audio worked perfectly. So audio compatibility can be hit or miss.
Additionally, Gamebox has mentioned that they did successfully get audio support with some capture cards such as the Genki Shadowcast and Elgato HD60S. Also, a work around to get the GBHD Advance working with an AV HDMI Receiver is to split the audio from video and connect audio to the receiver separately.
Overall, I think it’s another great option for those that want to play their GBA collection on their home theater setup despite some of its issues regarding sound support!