Nintendo releasedthe gameboy Twenty eight years in aprill , Nintendo’s Game Boy its first handheld video game console. Excited Japanese customers snatched up the innovative monochrome handheld by the thousands, which retailed for 12,500 yen (about $94 at 1989 rates) at launch.
A small price to pay for what seemed to be a portable NES in your pocket. Nintendo initially offered four games for the new Game Boy – Super Mario Land, Baseball, Alleyway, and Yakuman . but the Catalog of available titles quickly grew into the hundreds.
Later that year, the Game Boy hit the US at $89.99 with a secret weapon—Tetris as its pack-in game. Selling over a million units during the first Christmas season, the Game Boy proved equally successful in the US, and that success was by no means short-lived: to date, Nintendo has sold 118.69 million units of the original Game Boy line (not including Game Boy Advance) worldwide, making it the longest running dynasty in the video game business. So in honor of the Game Boy’s twentieth anniversary, we give you six reasons why the Game Boy dominated the handheld video game market during most of its astounding two-decade run.
The Game Boy Color
This was Nintendo’s Was a response to pressure from game developers for a more sophisticated handheld platform, as they felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation, the Game Boy Pocket, was insufficient.The resultant product was backward compatible, a first for a handheld system, and leveraged the large library of games and installed base of the predecessor system. This became a major feature of the Game Boy line, since it allowed each new launch to begin with a significantly larger library than any of its competitors.
At the moment, Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld gaming business continues with the Nintendo DS line of consoles. The Nintendo DS launched in 2004 with Game Boy Advance backwards compatibility as a major feature, making the DS a spiritual successor to the Game Boy line. Even with the DS firmly in the spotlight, Nintendo still sells the Game Boy Micro, a compact version of the Game Boy Advance. So even now, the “Game Boy” name remains alive, although it’s on life support. Unfortunately, Nintendo chose to remove Game Boy Advance compatibility from its latest handheld, the Nintendo DSi. As we look ahead, the future of the Game Boy brand remains uncertain at best, grim at worst, but it has been one hell of a ride. Happy 20th birthday, Game Boy. Next year, I’ll buy you a beer.
Whether you love Pikachu or hate his electrified furry behind, you cannot deny that Pokemon singlehandedly gifted the Game Boy a second wind. Starting out as a bug-catching concept to mimic Satoshi Tajiri’s past-time collecting insects, Pokémon eventually evolved into one of the most popular video game franchises of all time. Although many older gamers will unfairly brand this adventure as being no more than a kid friendly RPG, you’d be wrong to make this mistake and discard the depth behind its intricate battle system. With a vast offering of one hundred and fifty one monsters you could train and fight – each of which holding its own abilities, strengths and weaknesses – it was up to you to master and utilise a team of six unbeatable monsters. Even today the original two releases in the series are being enjoyed by gamers all around the world, all setting out with the task of becoming the best trainer around.