Bloody Thieving Bastards

This week dear play chums I am lamenting the loss of my dearly beloved Game Boy Advance. The GiN columnists aren't having much luck with gaming machinery lately. Although my loss can hardly compare to the General's casualties of war, it is never the less a loss.

At this point I must admit that the lost GBA is partly my own fault. The event occurred after a genial evening of post work drinking in a most hospitable pub. After much merriment, I went home. It wasn't until the morning, when I went to grab my bag for work that I thought, "Where's my bag?" Then it dawned on me, that I'd left said item in the pub.

The upshot of this story is, I called the pub and they had my bag – hoorah! Alas, this tale has a cruel twist. Everything was in the bag as I'd left it, apart from my GBA – boo, hiss! My only consolation was that the thieving gypsies had stolen the GBA and left the awesome case. It is the best GBA case in the entire civilized world, so my solace was not at all misguided.

Putting on my deer-stalker and assuming full on Sherlock Holmes mode, I proceeded to create a criminal profile. The person in question was certainly not a gamer. I know this because anyone planning to use the machine would have taken the case to prevent scratches. Sadly, I fear my GBA has been used for mere profit. They probably got about £30 for it. And they got a free copy of Castlevania thrown in, with all my saves on. Oh, why cruel fate dust thou takest my gaming achievements away from me so!!

Just to add insult to injury, rub salt in the wound, twist the knife, kick me when I'm down"er, you get my drift. Anyway, just to do all of those things those GBA pilferers have probably sold my GBA to my local Computer Exchange shop aka if you've got any shady goods you want us to take off your hands in exchange for cash shop. Have you just nicked a mobile phone or found a digital camera that miraculously fell off the back of a lorry? Don't worry, Computer Exchange will give you money for it, no questions asked by our dummer-than-dum staff. Oh well, at least the shop doesn't smell like a teenage boy's bedroom on a really hot summer day, otherwise that could be kind of disheartening and make me mutter and curse under my breath {sigh}.

Now the search is on for a new GBA. Having been out of the market for a while, I was surprised to find that they still average a price of around £65. On further investigation I discovered the orange Japanese imports -oooh, orange. Really cool color, but I can't really justify £80 purely cos it's a nicer colour"can I!?

No wonder retailers aren't shifting GBAs when they are still so darned pricey. Nobody's supporting the little bundle of chips and processors and you can't really blame them when all the effort in the world produces the minimum of profit or even worse, a loss. The latest figures reveal that the market has seen a 56% drop in mobile gaming platforms compared to 2001. This doesn't bode well for Nintendo, who is flagging in the race for second place in the console war. To compound their troubles, Nintendo announced a 45% drop in profits this Thursday – ouch, that's gotta hurt.

Looks to me like good old Ninty are going to be hoping for a successful Christmas, otherwise they'll be joining Sega in their post hardware manufacturing malaise.

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