The Game Boy was Nintendo's second handheld system following the Game and Watch series and was responsible for the Game Boy line, with the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance succeeding it. 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. James Rolfe in his AVGN persona described the Game Boy as a "portable NES" because of this.
- Over 1,000 games for the system.
- 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, Pokémon Red & Blue, and Super Mario Land.
- You can use a Super Game Boy to play Game Boy games in color on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
- In the Game Boy's final years before the Game Boy Color was released, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue were released which, along with the anime, would start the Pokémon craze of the late 90's.
- Excellent battery life, a major factor over why the Game Boy outsold its competition.
- 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.
- The screen is only black and white on a greenish background screen with no backlight.
- The game cartridges' save batteries dry out over time causing save data to be lost and you being unable to save your game. You can replace the batteries though.
- As the console's screen is ink-based, exposure to the sun will cause it to decay over time (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.
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.