History of video games/Platforms/Game Boy



Nintendo had previously made dedicated handheld consoles such as the Game & Watch series consoles as well as the Nintendo Computer Mah-Jong Yakuman, however the Game Boy would be their first handheld to play interchangeable cartrdiges


The GameBoy was released in 1989 on April 21st in Japan and July 31st in the United States of America.[1]

Project AtlantisEdit

Project Atlantis was a canceled Game Boy successor that used a 32 bit ARM 7 CPU that was in development by 1995.[2] The system was canceled due to it's enormous size, high expense, and poor performance.[2][3]

GameBoy ColorEdit

The GameBoy Color was released on November 18th, 1998.[1]

A touch screen adapter for the GameBoy Color was developed, but never released.[3]

Third party support for the system was large, with even a sewing machine supporting control over Game Boy link cable.[4]

In 2001 the Mobile System GB released in Japan for 5800 yen.[5] Though it allowed a Game Boy to connect to cell phones to access the internet on the go, it had a number of fees associated with using it, and sold under 100,000 units.[5]


In 2003 the original GameBoy was discontinued,[6] having been succeeded by the Game Boy Advance line of consoles. The GameBoy and the GameBoy Color sold 118.69 million units collectively.[7][8]

GameBoy emulation has proven to be a fairly common topic in programming education.[9][10] In 2020 researchers made the Engage an unofficial ultra low power GameBoy hardware clone which required no battery power to operate, instead being powered by solar energy and energy captured from button presses.[11]

An advanced example of chiptune made with a Game Boy. Most commercial games did not approach this level of audio complexity.

The Game Boy became would later become a popular musical instrument for Chiptune music creation.[12][13]


In terms of technical capabilities, the Game Boy is often thought of as a portable Nintendo Entertainment System, though the internal architectures of these systems are radically different.

Original GameBoyEdit


The Game Boy CPU die.

The GameBoy uses a 8 bit Z80 CPU clocked at 4.194304 megahertz.[14][7][15]

The GameBoy has eight kilobytes of RAM and eight kilobytes of VRAM.[16]


The 1990 GameBoy version of Bubble Ghost, showing fairly typical graphics for the system.

The GameBoy has a 160 by 144 resolution LCD.[14] The dot matrix display could display four shades from green to grey, making it monochrome.[17]


The GameBoy has four channels of stereo sound.[7] The system only had a single built in speaker, restricting the system to monophonic audio by default and requiring headphones for full stereo audio output.[18]


The GameBoy has a link cable port.[14]


The original GameBoy uses four AA batteries and draws 70 to 80 mAh an hour, lasting about 30 hours.[14]

GameBoy ColorEdit

The GameBoy color possessed significantly increased specs compared to the original monochrome models.


An 8-bit Z80 based CPU clocked at 8.388 megahertz powers the GameBoy Color.[14][15]

The GameBoy color has 32 Kilobytes of RAM.[14]


The GameBoy color uses a color TFT LCD, with a resolution of 160 by 144 pixels, 32,000 colors displayable, and 56 simultaneous colors.[14]


A link cable port and inferred port are present.[14]


The GameBoy color takes two AA batteries, and draws 70 to 80 mAh an hour, lasting for about 10 hours of runtime.[14]


Some Suzuki and Aprillia motorcycles are designed to hook up to a Game Boy Color through a special cable and cartridge combination for diagnostics access.[19]

A work oriented accessory, the WorkBoy keyboard and cartridge combo was planned but not released.[20]

Notable GamesEdit


A GameBoy with Tetris.


The rights to Tetris proved to be a contentious issue between those who claimed rights and the Soviet government.[21]

Read more about Tetris on Wikipedia.






Pokemon Red and BlueEdit

The first Pokemon games were inspired by series creator Satoshi Tajiri's experience catching bugs as a youth in Machida, Japan.[22][23]

At the last minute an additional Pokemon was added by the development team to make the total number of monsters catchable 151.[24] This addition caused a number of urban legends and myths regarding an in game truck.[24]

The spooky ambiance of the in game location Lavender Town sparked a number of urban legends and myths.[25]




Mario GolfEdit

Mario Golf for the GBA mixed golf mechanics with a simple RPG, sparking a small genre of golf RPGs.[26]

Read more about Mario Golf on Wikipedia.

Pokémon Gold and SilverEdit

Then HAL Laboratory President Satoru Iwata was brought on to help with making compression tools for game graphics.[27]

Read more about Pokémon Gold and Silver on Wikipedia.


Metal Gear Solid Ghost BabelEdit

The track "Ascent" is a particularly impressive piece of chiptune. Read more about Metal Gear Solid Ghost Babel on Wikipedia.



Special edition GameBoysEdit

  • Yellow Tommy Hilfiger Game Boy Color.[29]


Original GameBoyEdit

GameBoy PocketEdit

GameBoy LightEdit

GameBoy ColorEdit

GameBoy AccessoriesEdit

Game GenieEdit

GameBoy InternalsEdit

Color palettesEdit



External ResourcesEdit

Archived web materialsEdit


  1. a b "25 years of the Game Boy: A timeline of the systems, accessories, and games". VentureBeat. 21 April 2014. https://venturebeat.com/2014/04/21/25-years-of-the-game-boy-a-timeline-of-the-systems-accessories-and-games/. Retrieved 23 October 2020. 
  2. a b "GDC: Nintendo's Unreleased Portable Prototypes" (in en-us). Wired. https://www.wired.com/2009/03/gdc-nintendos-u/. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  3. a b "A look into Nintendo's unreleased Game Boy successor" (in en). Nintendo Everything. 17 April 2016. https://nintendoeverything.com/a-look-into-nintendos-unreleased-game-boy-successor/. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  4. "There Really Was A Sewing Machine Controlled By A Game Boy". Hackaday. 12 March 2020. https://hackaday.com/2020/03/11/there-really-was-a-sewing-machine-controlled-by-a-game-boy/. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  5. a b "That Time Nintendo Took the Game Boy (and Pokémon) Online" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/that-time-nintendo-took-the-game-boy-and-pokemon-onli-1836423946. Retrieved 26 October 2020. 
  6. Sun, Leo (30 April 2014). "Nintendo’s Game Boy Turns 25 -- A Look Back at the Business of 'Withered Technology'" (in en). https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/30/nintendos-game-boy-turns-25-a-look-back-at-the-bus.aspx. 
  7. a b c "Game Boy" (in en). https://www.si.edu/object/game-boy:nmah_1253117. Retrieved 24 October 2020. 
  8. "IR Information : Sales Data - Dedicated Video Game Sales Units" (in en). https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/finance/hard_soft/. Retrieved 14 November 2020. 
  9. "Why did I spend 1.5 months creating a Gameboy emulator? · tomek's blog". https://blog.rekawek.eu/2017/02/09/coffee-gb/. 
  10. "Introduction - DMG-01: How to Emulate a Game Boy". https://blog.ryanlevick.com/DMG-01/public/book/. 
  11. "The first battery-free Game Boy wants to power a gaming revolution" (in en). https://www.cnet.com/features/the-first-battery-free-game-boy-wants-to-power-a-gaming-revolution/. 
  12. "Chiptunes: Making Music with a Nintendo Game Boy The Library". https://library.berklee.edu/browse/event/chiptunes-making-music-nintendo-game-boy. 
  13. "Make Chiptunes with a Gameboy | Open Music Initiative". https://omi.yale.edu/make-chiptunes-gameboy. 
  14. a b c d e f g h i "Technical data". https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Support/Game-Boy-Pocket-Color/Product-information/Technical-data/Technical-data-619585.html. Retrieved 23 October 2020. 
  15. a b "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About GAMEBOY". https://www.devrs.com/gb/files/gbspec.txt. 
  16. "Game Boy Teardown" (in en). 21 April 2019. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Game+Boy+Teardown/122657. Retrieved 29 October 2020. 
  17. "Thirty Years Ago, Game Boy Changed the Way America Played Video Games" (in en). https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/thirty-years-ago-game-boy-changed-way-america-played-video-games-180972743/. Retrieved 23 October 2020. 
  18. "What is the meaning of the 'dot matrix with stereo sound' that is written on the Game Boy game console? - Quora". www.quora.com. https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-meaning-of-the-dot-matrix-with-stereo-sound-that-is-written-on-the-Game-Boy-game-console. 
  19. "The GameBoy Motorcycle Accessory - What?". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyrrdftNUCY. 
  20. "Lost Gameboy Peripheral WorkBoy Found After 28 Years" (in en). TechRaptor. https://techraptor.net/gaming/news/lost-gameboy-peripheral-workboy-found-after-28-years. 
  21. "Tetris: how we made the addictive computer game" (in en). the Guardian. 2 June 2014. https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/jun/02/how-we-made-tetris. 
  22. Lopez, German (13 July 2016). "Pokémon Go’s surprising roots: bug catching" (in en). Vox. https://www.vox.com/2016/7/13/12172826/pokemon-go-android-ios-bug-catching. 
  23. "The Origins Of Pokémon" (in en-us). https://kotaku.com/the-origins-of-pokemon-5806664. 
  24. a b "That Time Some Players Thought Mew Was Under A Truck In Pokémon" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/that-time-some-players-thought-mew-was-under-a-truck-in-1792716938. Retrieved 27 October 2020. 
  25. "Pokémon's Creepy Lavender Town Myth, Explained" (in en-us). https://kotaku.com/pokemons-creepy-lavender-town-myth-explained-1651851621. Retrieved 30 October 2020. 
  26. "Here's the launch trailer for Golf Story on Switch, the Game Boy Color Mario Golf follow-up we've wanted for 18 years". 28 September 2017. https://www.vg247.com/2017/09/28/heres-the-launch-trailer-for-golf-story-on-switch-the-game-boy-color-mario-golf-follow-up-weve-wanted-for-18-years/. Retrieved 30 October 2020. 
  27. "Iwata Asks". https://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/ds/pokemon/0/2. Retrieved 25 October 2020. 
  28. Famularo, Jessica. "Pokemon's Ties to the Real World" (in en). https://www.inverse.com/article/23138-pokemon-region-real-life-inspirations. 
  29. "Looking Back At Some Of The Weirder Limited Edition Consoles" (in en-us). Kotaku. https://kotaku.com/looking-back-at-some-of-the-weirdest-limited-edition-co-1818480546.