Released in 1989 in the US/Japan and in 1990 in Europe, the Game Boy is another hugely successful console from Nintendo.
The Game Boy was the first truly popular handheld gaming console. Its ability to allow users to take their favourite Nintendo franchises with them on the move proved extremely popular upon its release. As a concept, it set the standard for what handheld gaming should be. The monochrome screen, whilst basic and without a backlight, meant that the Game Boy was able to deliver extremely good battery life. This was to prove an absolutely critical sales point, especially when you look at later competitors such as the Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx.
The Game Boy benefitted from a library of over 1,000 games in its lifetime. It also saw itself relaunched several times as revisions. This includes multiple colour variants and the more compact Game Boy Pocket. This was released in 1996 and took only two AAA batteries but still delivered a healthy 10 hours of gameplay.
From a technical standpoint, many Game Boy games can be seen as real achievements. The system CPU is a custom-made Sharp LR35902 and has just 8k of RAM and Video RAM. A great example of the number of games that could be crammed into the game cartridge is looking at Donkey Kong Land. This is a conversion of the SNES game and is hugely impression running on the modest Game Boy hardware.
The system stayed in retailers until as late as 2003.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of Retro Gaming experience. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).