The Game Boy is a handheld gaming console developed by Nintendo, and the first of the Game Boy line. It was released in 1989 for Japan and North America and 1990 for Europe.
Why It Rocks
- The Game Boy revolutionized handheld gaming with interchangeable cartridges similar to a regular console.
- At the time, the games for the system were heavily praised for being as complex as a regular Nintendo Entertainment System game, despite the system's low-end specs. James Rolfe in his AVGN persona described the Game Boy as a "portable NES" because of this.
- Over 1,000 games for the system.
- No region locking.
- Simple button layout similar to an NES.
- Several different models including Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light.
- Many great titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Tetris, Super Mario Land, and most notably Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue.
- Excellent battery life, lasting almost 10-12 hours, and that's a major factor over why the Game Boy outsold its competition.
- It was incredibly durable, as a Game Boy from the Gulf War still turned on after it was recovered from a bomb blast. Said Game Boy is on permanent display at Nintendo's flagship store in New York City.
- The system is ideal for gamers with small hands.
- The LCD screen is only black and white on a greenish background screen with no backlight.
- The LCD screen used a passive matrix display, which causes ghosting in certain fast-paced games.
- The console's screen is prone decaying over time when exposed to the sun (with effects such as screen fading, blurring, dead pixels, etc.). Fortunately, aftermarket replacement screens are available for the system, though the replacement process can be difficult to do yourself.
- Plenty of shovelware and bootleg games made it to the system.
- Some third party accessories were either inconvenient or useless.
Within the first two weeks being sold in Japan, the entire stock of 300,000 units was sold. 40,000 units were sold in its first day being sold in the U.S. In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Despite competing against handhelds with superior hardware and colored screens the Game Boy completely outsold them and is still considered superior to them, mainly because of the good battery life and library of games.
- A burned down melted Game Boy was recovered from a war zone and it was found to still be fully functional, showing the system is extremely durable.
- Astronauts took it into space, literally.
- The Game Boy had a large line of accessories, most of them being about how to enhance and fix the Game Boy's features, like its battery life, speaker volume and non-back lit screen.
- The Game Boy line lasted 14 years, starting with the Nintendo Entertainment System and finishing with the Nintendo GameCube, before being replaced by the Nintendo DS.