The Nintendo Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console that was developed and manufactured by Nintendo and first released on the 100th anniversary of Nintendo in Japan on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. Take a look below for 27 more fun and fascinating facts about the Nintendo Game Boy.
1. The Nintendo Game Boy was the first handheld console in the Game Boy line and was created and published by Satoru Okada and Nintendo Research and Development 1.
2. The same team that developed the Game Boy, led by Gunpei Yokoi at the time, is credited with designing the Game and Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
3. Redesigned version were released in 1996 and 1998 in the form of Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light.
4. The Game Boy is Nintendo’s first handheld game console and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game and Watch.
5. The Game Boy was sold either as a standalone unit or bundled with the popular puzzle game Tetris.
6. During its early lifetime, the Game Boy mainly competed with Sega’s Game Gear, Atari’s Lynx, and NEC’s TurboExpress.
7. The Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy color, have sold over 118 million units worldwide.
8. When the Game Boy was released in the United States, its entire shipment of 1 million units was sold within a few weeks.
9. Production of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color were discontinued in the early 2000s, and were replaced by the subsequent Game Boy Advance, which was released in 2001.
10. The inventor of the Game Boy was originally Nintendo’s janitor. The President of the company happened to walk by and was impressed by a toy he created out of boredom, leading to an illustrious career as a game designer.
11. The Game Boy was known as the Mini Comboy in North Korea, and was licensed under Samsung in order to sell more units.
12. One of its best selling games was Tetris at 35 million copies sold.
13. The Game Boy featured the smallest digital camera at the time.
14. It was one of the first gender equal systems, where girls accounted for about half of all Game Boy players.
15. Game Boys still sell for a fairly decent amount online, with mint copies selling for as much as $1,000.
16. The Nintendo Game Boy was the first video game console to be played in outer space.
17. In the New York Nintendo World Store, a Game Boy sits proudly on show because it survived a Gulf War barracks bombing. The mangled handheld still displays a picture clearly.
18. The first Game Boy could run for 30 hours on 2 AA batteries. This was because the screen only had 4 shades of grey and it had no backlight.
19. The Game Boy allowed for multiplayer via link cables, usually having 4 people play at once. The handheld’s first person shooter Facebook 2000, released in 1991, changed this with an interlope of cables and adapters that had 16 players link up and play together.
20. Satoshi Tajiri, inspired by the concept of monsters running through the Game Boy’s link cables, created the original trio of the Game Boy’s renowned Pokemon series, Red, Green and Blue.
21. The original Game Boy was over twice as fast as the NES with both having an 8-bit CPU and with the NES’ 2kb and the Game Boy’s 8kb, it had four times as much RAM.
22. Game Boy Color’s Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble game had a built in accelerometer in the cartridge which recognized when a player moved the hand held itself. This was then used to direct Kirby in the game.
23. The handy boy was an accessory for the Game Boy which included a magnifier, stereo speakers and a light.
24. The original internal codename for the Game Boy was “Dot Matrix Game,” which its initials came to be featured on the final products model number, “DMG-01.”
25. The internal reception for the device was initially poor. The DMG was even given a nickname from Nintendo employees of “DameGame,” with “dame” being Japanese for “hopeless” or “lame.”
26. In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.
27. As of June 6, 2011, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are available on the Virtual Console service on the Nintendo 3DS’s Nintendo eShop.