There’s good news for anyone who drooled over the upgrades in the extra-thick Game Boy Advance SP we shared last month but lacked the skills needed to build their own. Macho Nacho Productions, the team who created it, has revealed plans to produce and sell an upgrade kit so (almost) anyone can mod their own GBA SP.
The upgrade swaps out the GBA SP’s backshell with a considerably larger alternative that adds space for hardware upgrades including a larger battery, a wireless charging coil, a standard headphone jack (because Nintendo forced gamers to use an adaptor cable to use headphones), and Bluetooth audio capabilities so wireless headphones can also be used. The upgrade also added a bit of extra bulk to the GBA SP which reduced portability, but actually made the handheld easier to hold onto for those cursed with larger hands.
Last week, through their YouTube channel, Macho Nacho Productions, revealed an updated version of the mod which not only included an even larger battery, but a streamlined design that takes advantage of a custom-designed flexible ribbon cable that makes the upgrade even easier to perform. As a result, its creators feel they’ve got a product that can be released to the Game Boy modding community, and have decided to officially sell what is now known as the Thicc Boi SP.
Once the current prototype is refined and perfected, Macho Nacho Productions plans to go the crowdfunding route — through a site like Kickstarter — to raise the funds needed to pay for the pricey plastic injection molds that will be used to produce the replacement backshells from ABS plastic, instead of 3D printing them so they look more professional. That’s still a few months out, but the Thicc Boi SP will also now include a monstrous 4,500 mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery (roughly 7.5X as large as the one Nintendo originally included) that’s good for close to 20 hours of battery life, even on a GBA SP modded with a modern LCD display.
However, while the refined version of the Thicc Boi SP promises to be an easier upgrade, it will still require some basic soldering know-how in order to attach the custom ribbon cable to specific points on the GBA SP’s original motherboard. It’s unfortunately not just a plug-and-play upgrade, but once the Thicc Boi SP is available, you can probably expect other modders to sell completed GBA SP upgrades if you don’t trust yourself to do the work yourself.