May 18, 2024

Nintendo Game Boy is a video game console released in 1989 and discontinued in 2003, after selling 118.69 million units. The system, designed to use cartridges to allow switching between games, was first released in Japan on April 21, 1989, and in a few months in July in North America and in September in Europe. 300,000 units were available in Japan in the first two weeks, despite expectations of popularity not to be high. Game Boy has already sold 64.42 billion minutes worldwide.

It sold almost 120m units, turned Tetris into a phenomenon and re-invented the concept of handheld gaming.

Nintendo Game Boy was not the first hand held gaming device that utilized cartridges for changing games.

The Game Boy was not actually the first handheld games machine with interchangeable cartridges – that was the Microvision, released in 1979 and described as a “programmable electronic game system” by its manufacturer, toy giant Milton Bradley.

Microvision released a version in 1979 that played a clone of Atari’s Breakout.

The Game Boy has an eight-way D-pad controller (originally designed by Yokoi for the Game & Watch series), and four buttons: A, B, Start and Select.

Nintendo released Alleyway for Game Boy in 1989, which was a clone of Breakout as well.

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 (it didn’t arrive in the UK until September, 1990).

The team that developed Nintendo’s Game Boy was led by Gunpei Yokoi, an engineer.

By the time of the US launch in July 1989, games industry entraprenuer Henk Rogers and Nintendo of America chief Minoru Arakawa had secured the handheld rights to cult “falling object” puzzler Tetris.

The Game Boy was designed with four buttons and an eight-way D-pad controller. The four buttons included Start, Select, and A, and B.

Tetris was also one of the key titles to use the Game Link cable which allowed two Game Boys to be connected together for multiplayer fun.

The controller for the Game Boy was set up the same as Nintendo’s Entertainment System which made it popular with gamers.

The Game Boy version of early first-person shooter Faceball 2000 allowed 16 players to take part simultenously via a tangle of cables and adaptors.

When Nintendo Game Boy was released its most popular game was Super Mario Land.

Pokemon Red and Green (re-branded Red and Blue in the West), released on Game Boy in 1996, the titles allowed players to link up their consoles and trade pokemon with each other

Tetris, the puzzle game of falling pieces, was bundled with Game Boy and became hugely successful, after having only moderate success on the PC.

The Game Boy was the first portable system to show that handheld games could be more than just snack-sized diversions. The machine boasted dozens of epic fantasy role-playing titles familiar from home consoles – including Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Final Fantasy Adventure.

Pokemon became a main game on Game Boy that ultimately went on to be so widely popular it took on a life of its own.

Mammoth platformers Metroid, Castlevania and Mega Man were also highlights among the 700-odd Game Boy software library.

Game Boy became a popular option for playing fantasy role-playing games such as Legend of Zelda.

Game Boy was also one one of the first games machines to successfully target female players.

The Game Boy became so extensive that it included approximately 700 different titles.

In 1995, Nintendo claimed that 46 percent of Game Boy users were female, a major leap from 29 percent on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Game Boy was originally designed to be of major interest to female video game players. By 1995 it had a female audience of 46%.

In 1993, cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov took his Game Boy along on the Soyuz TM-17 space mission to the Mir station.

Game Boy went to space with Aleksandr A. Serebrov in 1993 aboard the Soyuz TM-17 mission to Mir. It later sold at auction for $1220, after having orbited the earth 3,000 times.

The console orbited the Earth 3000 times before safely returning with its owner.

The Game Genie cheat cartridge allowed players of the Game Boy to have infinite lives.

The Game Boy makes several appearances in The Simpsons, mostly in the hands of avid gamer, Bart.

The selfie was basically invented through the Game Boy. A Game Boy digital camera with a thermal printer was released in 1998, making it possible for players to take pictures of themselves and print them.

The Game Boy also provided the inspiration for the multifacted BMO gadget in Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time series.

Game Boy was released over the years with multiple colors and a variety of custom designs. These included the world famous yellow Pokemon Game Boy, and the Official Manchester United version.

Along with other Nintendo consoles, the Game Boy was reverse engineered by British games publisher Codemasters in the early nineties, allowing it to produce the successful Game Genie cheat cartridge, which gave players infinite lives and other perks.

There is a Game Boy in display in New York Nintendo World Store that survived a Gulf War bombing. It still has a perfect picture despite being mangled in the bombing.

In 1998, Bandai launched the Game Boy Pocket Sonar, a fish-finding gadget that attached to the console, allowing frustrated anglers to locate their prey.

The Game Boy was not the first hand held system that Nintendo released. The company also released Game and Watch in 1980.

In 1998, Nintendo launched the Game Boy digital camera and a compatible thermal printer, allowing users to take low resolution photos of themselves before printing them out onto tiny pieces of paper.

Later systems released by Nintendo included Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Advance.

The Game Boy is a favourite instrument of “chiptune” artists who use vintage games hardware to create electronic music.

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