Game Boy
Developer(s) Nintendo
Release Date(s) Japan
April 21, 1989
North America
August 1989
September 28, 1990
Colors Black
Units Shipped Worldwide
118.69 million[1]
North America
Best-selling game Tetris, 30.26 million

The Game Boy (ゲームボーイ Gēmu Bōi) is the first handheld video game console developed by Nintendo. The console was released in 1989, and released in Europe in 1990.

History Edit

The Game Boy was deigned by a similar team to that who developed the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch series of games.[2]

The Game Boy was developed with only four buttons — "A," "B," "SELECT," and "START" — along with a directional pad. The system also had a volume dial as well as a supply jack for a rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter to plug into the system that are featured on the right side of the system. The left side of the Game Boy sports a Power switch. There is also a small knob on the system that is used for adjusting the screen's contrast.

The Game Boy was a huge success throughout its years. With little prominent competition, the Game Boy became one of Nintendo's best-selling consoles, selling over 118.69 million units worldwide.

Technical specifications Edit

  • CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 core at 4.19 MHz which is similar to an Intel 8080 in that none of the registers introduced in the Z80 are present. However, some of the Z80's instruction set enhancements over the stock 8080, particularly bit manipulation, are present. Still other instructions are unique to this particular flavor of Z80 CPU. The core also contains integrated sound generation.
  • RAM: 8 kB internal S-RAM (can be extended up to 32 kB)
  • Video RAM: 8 kB internal
  • ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap; 256 kb, 512 kb, 1 Mb, 2 Mb, 4 Mb and 8 Mb cartridges
  • Sound: 2 square wave generators, 1 PCM 4-bit wave sample (64 4-bit samples played in 1x64 bank or 2x32 bank) channel, 1 noise generator, and one audio input from the cartridge. The unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound (for further information, see Game Boy music)
  • Display: Reflective STN LCD 160 × 144 pixels

Frame Rate: Approx. 59.7 frames per second on a regular Game Boy, 61.1 on a Super Game Boy

  • Vertical Blank Rate: Approx 1.1ms
  • Screen size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
  • Color Palette: 2-bit (4 shades of "gray" {light to very dark olive green})
  • Communication: Up to 2 Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports, up to 4 with a DMG-07 4-player adapter.
  • Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~15 hours)
  • Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D) / 3.5" x 5.8" 1.3"

Other models Edit

Play It Loud! Edit

In early 1995, Nintendo released new models of the Game Boy with new colored cases. Nintendo's "Play It Loud!" campaign began a tradition of new color options for their future handheld systems.[3] The colors featured in the original Play It Loud! series were: red, green, black, yellow, blue, white, and clear (transparent).

Game Boy Pocket Edit

The Game Boy Pocket is an updated version of the original Game Boy that was released in Japan on July 21, 1996 and in North America on September 3, 1996. It was redesigned initially to reduce blurring on the screen. The system was also lighter and smaller. Unlike the original Game Boy which required four AA batteries, the batteries needed for the Game Boy Pocket are only 2 AAA batteries.

Game Boy Light Edit

The Game Boy Light is a Japan-exclusive Game Boy that was released on April 14, 1998. The Game Boy Light is larger that that of the Game Boy Pocket, but rather than using AAA batteries, it uses 2 AA batteries. The Game Boy Light's colors come in silver, gold, translucent red, translucent yellow, and clear.

References Edit