One of the most popular portable video game systems of all time celebrates its 25th birthday, the Nintendo Game Boy.
The Game Boy launched in Japan on 21 April, 1989, at the price of 12,500 yen and immediately sold out of its initial run of 300,000 units.
Nintendo Game Boy was powered by an 8-bit processor made by Sharp that clocked in at 4.19MHz, and 8KB of S-RAM. Although these are modest internals by today’s standards, it was streets ahead of other portable gaming devices at the time.
Its 66mm screen was backed up by a 2-bit color pallet capable of displaying just four shades, ranging from light to very dark olive green.
When the Game Boy launched in North America, the company bundled it with Tetris. Other highlights of the system’s launch lineup included block smasher Alleyway, a Tennis title umpired by Mario, and flagship release Super Mario Land.
Tetris may have been the best selling game, but gamers had no shortage of other titles to choose from. In total 716 games were released for the Game Boy across Japan, North America and the PAL regions of the world.
Nintendo refined Game Boy with the skinnier Game Boy Pocket (1996) and Game Boy Light (1998, Japan only). Nintendo also introduced the Game Boy Color which brought color the Game Boy games, an area in which Sega’s Game Gear had before Nintendo. Later versions of the console revealed the Game Boy Advance and the Game Boy Advance SP, before Nintendo officially discontinued it in 2003.
The Game Boy sold more than 118.69 million units of the Game Boy including those later versions.
What was your first Game Boy system? Over the years, which game did you spend the most time playing?