This week marks the launch of not one but two hardware revisions to Nintendo's Game Boy line for North American retail: not only the trumpeted Game Boy Micro, which boasts the brightest screen in the Game Boy Line as well as a smaller form factor and switchable faceplates, but also a stealth improvement to the existing Game Boy SP.
The new Pearl Blue and Graphite colors of the SP, released this week, boast of "a brighter backlit screen" on the packaging, which turns out to be true. Comparisons made between the original SP, the Nintendo DS, the Game Boy Micro, and the new SPs reveal that the new SP and Micro feature about equal brightness and visibility, with the backlit Nintendo DS somewhat behind them, and the sidelit original SPs the murkiest of the four.
Nintendo made no mention of the SP improvements prior to the system's introduction to the marketplace, possibly so as not to defuse the impact of the Game Boy Micro, whose brighter screen was one of its major selling points. The system retails for $20 more than the improved SPs, which sell for $79.99.
Currently, only the new colors of the SP bear the improved backlit screen in North America, and Nintendo has made no announcement as to whether future shipments of the other Game Boy SP colors will also feature the brighter screens.