Game Boy History

Game Boy History

1989 75px-Nintendo_Game_Boy_Logo

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The Game Boy (ゲームボーイ) is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, and was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo Research & Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Launch price US$89.95


1996 115px-Nintendo_Game_Boy_Pocket_Logo

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In 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that requires fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provides approximately 10 hours of game play.

Launch price US$59.95


1998 115px-Nintendo_Game_Boy_Light_Logo

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Game Boy Light was released on April 14, 1998 for ¥6,800 and was only available in Japan. The Game Boy Light is only slightly bigger than the Game Boy Pocket and features an electroluminescent backlight for low-light conditions. It uses 2 AA batteries, which gave it approximately 20 hours with the light off and 12 with it on. It was available in two standard colors, gold and silver.

Launch price US$59.95


1998 70px-Game_Boy_Color_logo

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Released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and was released in November of the same year in international markets. It is the successor of the Game Boy.

The Game Boy Color, as suggested by the name, features a color screen. It is slightly thicker and taller than the Game Boy Light, which is a redesigned Game Boy released in 1998. As with the original Game Boy, it has an 8-bit processor and the custom Zilog Z80 central processing unit (CPU). The original name – with its American English spelling of “color” – remained unchanged even in markets where “colour” was the accepted English spelling, such as the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.

While mostly retaining the same hardware as the original Game Boy, the Game Boy Color’s primary competitors were the much more advanced Neo Geo Pocket by SNK and the WonderSwan by Bandai (released in Japan only), though the Game Boy Color outsold these by a huge margin. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide. It was discontinued in 2003, shortly after the release of the Game Boy Advance SP.

Launch price US$79.95


2001 140px-Gameboy_advance_logo.svg

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Game Boy Advance was released in Japan on March 21, 2001; in North America on June 11, 2001; in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001; and in the People’s Republic of China on June 8, 2004 (excluding Hong Kong).

Nintendo’s competitors in the handheld market were the Neo Geo Pocket Color, WonderSwan, GP32, Tapwave Zodiac, and the N-Gage. Despite the competitors’ best efforts, Nintendo maintained its majority market share with the Game Boy Advance.

As of June 30, 2010, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 81.51 million units worldwide. Its successor, the Nintendo DS, was released in November 2004.

Launch price US$ 149.99


2003 160px-Game_Boy_Advance_SP_logo

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Game Boy Advance SP released in February 2003, is an upgraded version of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance. The “SP” in the name stands for “Special”.The SP was marketed at US$99.99 at launch. In September 2004, Nintendo lowered the price to US$79.99. The SP is accompanied by the Nintendo DS (released in November 2004) and the Game Boy Micro (released in September 2005). In Japan, it was marketed at ¥12,500 on February 14, 2003. In Canada, it was marketed at CA$149.95 on March 22, 2003. In Australia, it was marketed at A$199.99 on March 28, 2003. In Europe, it was marketed at €129.99 on March 28, 2003.

Launch price US$99


2005 140px-Gameboy_micro_logo.svg

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Game Boy Micro released in September 2005. This console  was the last console for the original Game Boy line.  The game boy history ends with game boy micro.

(2006 Nintendo DS Lite, 2009 Dsi, 2010 Dsi XL, 2011 3DS, 2012 3DSXL, 2013 2DS, 2014 new 3DS, 2014 new 3DS XL)

It is essentially a much smaller Game Boy Advance, albeit without backwards-compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. The Game Boy Micro was officially unveiled by Nintendo of America’s vice president of sales and marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, at the company’s E3 press conference on May 17, 2005. The system was released in Japan on September 13, 2005 and in North America on September 19, 2005. It was released in Europe on November 4, 2005 and Australia on November 3, 2005. It was released in China as the iQue Game Boy Micro on October 1, 2005, and later released in South Korea on November 9, 2005.

Launch price US$99.99