Game Boy: Wikis


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Game Boy
Gameboy logo.svg
Manufacturer Nintendo
Product family Game Boy line
Type Handheld game console
Generation Fourth generation era
Retail availability JP April 21, 1989
NA July 31, 1989[1]
EU September 28, 1990
Units sold Worldwide: 118.69 million, including Game Boy Color units
Media Game Boy cartridges.
Best-selling game Tetris, 30.26 million (pack-in/separately).
Pokémon Red, Blue, and Green, 31.37 million combined.
Predecessor Game & Watch
Successor Game Boy Play-It-Loud!/Game Boy Pocket/Game Boy Light/Game Boy Color

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 (1989-04-21), in North America on July 31, 1989 (1989-07-31), and in Europe on September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28). In Southern Asia, it is known as the "Tata Game Boy"[2][3] It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, and was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo's Research and Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.[4]

The Game Boy is Nintendo's second handheld system following the Game & Watch series introduced in 1980, and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch.[4] It was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.

Despite many other, technologically superior handheld consoles introduced during its lifetime, the Game Boy was a tremendous success. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide. Upon its release in the United States, it sold its entire shipment of one million units within weeks.[5]



The right side of the Game Boy, showing the volume control and the extension connector, with detached protector.

The Game Boy has four operation buttons labeled "A", "B", "SELECT", and "START", as well as a directional pad.[6] There is a volume control dial on the right side of the console and a similar knob on the left side to adjust the contrast.[7] A sliding on-off switch and the slot for the Game Boy cartridges are located at the top of the Game Boy.[8] Users should leave the cartridge in the slot as recommended by Nintendo to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system.[9]

A red Game Boy with the Game Genie inserted with the Tetris cartridge.

The Game Boy also contains optional input and/or output connectors. On the left side of the system is an external power supply jack that allows users to use an external rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (sold separately) instead of four AA batteries.[10] The Game Boy requires 6V DC of at least 250mA.[11] A 3.5mm stereo headphone jack is located on the bottom side of the console which allows users to listen to the audio with headphones or speakers.[12]

On the right side is a port that allows a user to connect to another Game Boy system via a link cable, provided both users are playing the same game.[13] The port can also be used to connect a Game Boy Printer. The link cable was originally designed for players to play head-to-head two-player games such as in Tetris. However, game developer Satoshi Tajiri would later use the link cable technology as a method of communication and networking in the popular Pokémon video game series.[14]

A transparent model of the Game Boy.


The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.[15][16]

At the time of its release in 1989, the Atari Lynx was also just being introduced to the market. This system featured color graphics, a backlit screen, and networking capabilities.[17] However, its release price of $189.95 and substantial requirement of 6 AA batteries that would provide roughly only four or five hours of gameplay (compared to 10–12 hours on 4 AA batteries and a release price of $89.99 for the Game Boy) doomed it to a second-rate status.[18] Nintendo also experienced heavy competition from Sega's Game Gear. To promote its new color console, Sega aired a number of negative but unsuccessful[citation needed] ad campaigns in the United States that criticized the Game Boy's monochrome color palette. Like the Lynx, it too required six AA batteries that only lasted about 4–6 hours and was much more expensive than the Game Boy.[19] The Game Gear had the advantage of being fully compatible (with an adapter) with all Sega Master System games and, while not as successful as the Game Boy, it sold from 1991 until early 1997.[20]

Official Nintendo Magazine has praised the Game Boy and its models that follow it as it "got people who enjoyed gaming while sprawled on the couch in their undies to game wherever they liked."

In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.[21]

Technical specifications

  • CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902[22] core at 4.19 MHz which is similar to an Intel 8080 in that all of the registers introduced in the Z80 are not 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
  • 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 waves, 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM wave, 1 white noise, and one audio input from the cartridge.[23] The unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound (for further information, see Game Boy music)
  • Display: Reflective LCD 160 × 144 pixels
  • Screen size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
  • Color Palette: 2-bit (4 shades of "grey" (green to (very) dark 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. More than 4 players is possible by chaining adapters.
  • Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~14-35 hours)
  • Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D) / 3.5" x 5.8" 1.3" (in)

See also


  1. ^ White, Dave (July 1989). "Gameboy Club". Electronic Gaming Monthly (3): 68. 
  2. ^ Ken Polsson (2007-08-13). "Chronology of Video Game Systems". Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  3. ^ Douglas C. McGill (1989-06-05). "Home Video Game Players Can Take Show on the Road". New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b Beuscher, Dave. "allgame ((( Game Boy > Overview )))". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-09-11. "A team headed by Gumpei Yokoi designed the Game Boy. Yokoi had previously designed hand held games for Nintendo with the cartridge based Game & Watch system, introduced in 1980. His staff, called Research and Development (R and D) team #1, had designed the successful NES games Metroid and Kid Icarus. What Yokoi's team did was create a hybrid of the NES and the Game & Watch systems." 
  5. ^ Kent 2001, p. 416. "According to an article in Time magazine, the one million Game Boys sent to the United States in 1989 met only half the demand for the product. That allotment sold out in a matter of weeks."
  6. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 5. "(12) Operation buttons — The controls for playing games. (See game manuals for button functions.)"
  7. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 4–5. "(5) Volume dial (VOL) — Adjusts the sound volume…(7)Contrast adjustment (CONTRAST) — Adjusts the contrast of the display."
  8. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 3–4. "(3) Game Pak slot — Insert the Nintendo GAME BOY Game Pak here. (See page 7 for instructions on inserting Game Pak)"
  9. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 10. "To avoid dust and dirt getting in the Game Boy unit, always leave a Game Pak inserted when not in use."
  10. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 4. "(2) External power supply jack — You can connect a Rechargeable Battery Pack (sold separately) for longer play."
  11. ^ "Nintendo Game Boy (DMG-001)". 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2006-08-22. 
  12. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 5. "(10) Headphone jack (PHONES) — Connect the stereo headphones that come with the GAME BOY to enjoy the impressive sounds of games without disturbing others around you...."
  13. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 4, 8. "(4) Extension connector (EXT CONNECTOR) — Connects to other GAME BOY…Do not insert different games in the interconnected Game Boys."
  14. ^ Masuyama, Meguro (2002). "Pokémon as Japanese Culture?". in Lucien King. Game On. New York, NY: Universe Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 0-7893-0778-2. "Pokémon allowed more than metaphorical communication; it made use of a system that created actual communication — a network game." 
  15. ^ "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  16. ^ "A Brief History of Game Console Warfare: Game Boy". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Retrieved 2008-07-30. "Game Boy and Game Boy Color's combined lifetime sales reached 118.7 million worldwide, according to Nintendo's latest annual report." 
  17. ^ "The Atari Lynx". 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-08-29. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  18. ^ Beuscher, Dave. "allgame ((( Atari Lynx > Overview )))". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-09-21. "One drawback to the Lynx system is its power consumption. It requires 6 AA batteries, which allow four to five hours of game play. The Nintendo Game Boy provides close to 35 hours use before new batteries are necessary." 
  19. ^ Bauscher, Dave. "allgame ((( Sega Game Gear > Overview )))". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-09-21. "While this feature is not included on the Game Boy it does provide a disadvantage—the Game Gear requires 6 AA batteries that only last up to six hours. The Nintendo Game Boy only requires 4 AA batteries and is capable of providing up to 35 hours of play." 
  20. ^ Bauscher, Dave. "allgame ((( Sega Game Gear > Overview )))". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-09-21. "Eventually, a peripheral called the Master System Converter was released enabling Sega Master System cartridges to be played on Game Gear… The Game Gear sold well for Sega but it did not become a phenomenon like Game Boy. In 1991 Sega sold over 500,000 units. In 1992 Sega sold 900,000 Game Gear consoles." 
  21. ^ Ball, Game Boy, Big Wheel enter toy hall of fame, retrieved 5 Nov 2009
  22. ^ nintendods (2004-09-29). "季節報 Nintendo DS ブログ : 解体新書。初代GBをバラしてみる。 (Game Boy hardware dissection)" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  23. ^ "Game Boy - 8bc Chiptune Wiki". 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2009-03-26. 

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Game Boy article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

This system category is a stub. Help us expand it with system details as well as a {{system}} infobox. Reliable information can be researched on Wikipedia or you can just search for "Game Boy" on Google. Do this and you get a cookie.

Game Boy
The console image for Game Boy.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 19891998
Total Games 229 (104 present)
← (none) Game Boy Color →

The Game Boy has undergone two redesigns in the form of the Game Boy Pocket and the Game Boy Light (Japan only). All three systems play the same games.

Game Boy Pocket
The console image for Game Boy Pocket.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 19971998
Game Boy Light
The console image for Game Boy Light.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 19971998

The Game Boy Light was only released in Japan. Its light was able to turn off, and it used 2 AA batteries which lasted roughly 20 hours of gameplay with the light off and 12 with the light on. It is about the size of the Game Boy Pocket and only played Game Boy games (not Game Boy Color games).


This category has only the following subcategory.


Pages in category "Game Boy"

The following 103 pages are in this category, out of 103 total.








G cont.










P cont.









Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Nintendo Game Boy article)

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Game Boy (Japanese: ゲームボーイ, Gēmu Bōi?) is a series of battery powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. It is the best selling game system to date. The Game Boy was the second portable system created by Nintendo (the first being the Game & Watch series starting in 1980).

The Nintendo Game Boy is arguably the king of the portable gaming consoles. Released in 1989, and created by Gunpei Yokoi, the Game Boy is nearly indestructible physically as well as legacy wide.



The Game Boy console went through several design iterations, without significant changes to its computing power, since its release in 1989.

Game Boy

The original Game Boy (now lovingly referred to as The Brick) was released on April 21, 1989 in Japan and in August, 1989 in the United States. Based around a Z80 processor, it had a tiny black and green reflective LCD screen capable of displaying 4 shades from green to black, an eight-way directional pad, and two action buttons. It played games from ROM-based media contained in small plastic detachable units called cartridges (sometimes abbreviated as carts). The game that really pushed it into the upper reaches of success was Tetris. The various generations of Game Boy

   * CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp Z80 at 4.194304 MHz
(has a slightly different instruction set than a standard Z80, and integrated sound generation) * RAM: 8 kByte internal S-RAM * ROM: 256 kbit, 512 kbit, 1 Mbit, 2 Mbit and 4 Mbit and 8 Mbit cartridges * Video RAM: 8 kByte internal * Sound: 4 channel stereo sound. The unit only has one speaker,
but headphones provide stereo sound * Display: Reflective LCD 160 x 144 pixels * Screen Size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal * Color Palette: 4 shades of "gray" (green to black) * Communication: Up to 4 Game Boys can be linked together via serial ports * Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~35 hours)

Game Boy Play It Loud!

In 1995 Nintendo released the Game Boy Play It Loud, a unit featuring a more powerful internal speaker and several external case colors. It was not commercially successful compared to the Game Boy Pocket.

Game Boy Pocket

In 1996 Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket, a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It had space for 2 AAA batteries, which would provide roughly 10 hours of game play. The Game Boy Pocket has a smaller link port, requiring an adapter for linkage with the older Game Boy. The port's design was carried on to all later GB models. The screen was changed to a true black-and-white display, rather than the "pea soup" monochromatic display of the original Game Boy.

Game Boy Light

The Game Boy Light emits a green glow when the light is turned on

Only available in Japan, the Game Boy Light was about the same size as the Pocket and has a backlit screen for improved visibility. It uses 2 AA batteries which give it approximately 20 hours with the light off and 12 with it on.

The Game Boy Light is the rarest variant. Due to its rarity, it often sells for hundreds of dollars to collectors.

Game Boy Color

Released in November of 1998, the Game Boy Color (also referred to as GBC) added a color screen to a form factor slightly larger than the Game Boy Pocket. It also has double the processor speed, twice as much memory, and an infrared communications port. A major draw of the Game Boy Color was its backward compatibility (that is, a Game Boy Color is able to read older Game Boy cartridges). 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.

Game Boy Advance

In 2001, Nintendo finally released a significant upgrade to the Game Boy line. The Game Boy Advance features a 32 bit 16.8 MHz ARM processor, along with a Z80 processor to support original Game Boy games. Technically likened to the Super Nintendo and backed up with superior ports of classics such as Super Mario Bros. 2, alongside new titles such as Mario Kart Super Circuit, F-Zero Maximum Velocity, and Kuru Kuru Kururin. Often referred to as GBA.

Game Boy Advance SP

The SP version (launched in early 2003) featured a new smaller clamshell design with a flip-up screen, an internal frontlight (not a backlight), and rechargeable battery, but was otherwise unchanged. The SP stands for Special [1]

Game Boy micro

A second Game Boy Advance redesign(third design), the Game Boy Micro is four inches wide, two inches tall and less than an inch deep and weighs 2.8 ounces. It is due to come out fall of 2005.


Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer

The Game Boy Camera was a rudimentary digital camera. The Game Boy Printer was a rudimentary printer.

The Game Boy Camera & Printer are accessories for the Game Boy handheld gaming console, released in 1998. They marked the beginning of a thus far mostly unsuccessful attempt by Nintendo to expand the Game Boy from merely a gaming device into a rudimentary PDA.

Super Game Boy

The Super Game Boy was a plugin cartridge for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, allowing Game Boy games to be played on a television screen. The black-and-white games could be colorized by mapping colors to each of the four grays.

Game Boy Player

Similar to the Super Game Boy, the Game Boy Player allows Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games to be played on the Nintendo GameCube. It uses the same color palette as built into the cart instead of colorizing the games.

Game Boy ExChanger (GBX)

The (unofficial and unlicensed) GBX, produced by Bung Enterprises Ltd was the best-known backup unit for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. The device plugged into the parallel port of the PC and allowed dumping the cartridge ROM data to PC as well as rewriting flashcarts to play copies of Game Boy games.


Game Boy cartridges

Each video game is contained in a small plastic cartridge (or "cart"). Game Boy and GBC cartridges measure 5.8 cm by 6.5 cm. The software contained within provides the data, logic, and rules of the game, accepts input from the console controls or buttons, and outputs the results to the screen display and speaker. Game data can be saved so that the game can be continued at a later time.

The game cart is inserted into the console cart slot. If the game cart is pulled out while the power is on, the Game Boy will exhibit undefined behavior. This will freeze the game and may cause weird occurrences, such as rows of zeros appearing on the screen and the sound remaining at the same pitch as was emitted the instant the game was pulled out. Pulling a cart out of the Game Boy while the power is on may cause saved data or hardware to be damaged. This applies to all video game consoles, especially those using cartridges.

The original Game Boy power switch was designed in such a way that it prevented the cart from being removed while powered on. Cartridges intended only for Game Boy Color (and not for the original Game Boy) use the space intended for the locking mechanism to prevent insertion into the original Game Boy.


Most game consoles become obsolete as newer systems become available. The Game Boy is unique in its stamina. 2004 brought about its 15th anniversary and in this time it has seen off many (often technically superior) rivals; most notably the Sega Game Gear and the Atari Lynx. The current incarnation, the Game Boy Advance, is backward-compatible; still able to play cartridges created for the original Game Boy in 1989.

Thousands of games are available for the Game Boy, which can be attributed in part to its sales in the amounts of millions, a well-documented design, and a typically short development cycle.

The new Nintendo handheld, the Nintendo DS, is able to play Game Boy Advance games. However, it cannot play multiplayer Game Boy Advance games or link to the Nintendo GameCube, and it is not backward-compatible at all with the original Game Boy or the Game Boy Color due to the lack of a Z80 processor. Nintendo has stated the Nintendo DS is not a "new Game Boy" but rather a new type of handheld, and thus a "third pillar" for the company, with the TV consoles and the Game Boys as the other two pillars.

Hardware specs

CPU: 8-bit Z-80 running at 4.194304MHz
ROM:  256kBit, 512kBit, 1MBit, 2MBit and 4MBit
VRAM: 8kB internal
Sound: 4 channels each of which can be mapped either to the left or to the right or to both speakers.
Display: Reflective LCD 160x144 dots
Colors:  4 shades of gray
Sprites: 40 sprites of either 8x8 or 8x16 [switchable]
Serial Port: Can link up to 16 Gameboys
Batteries: 4 AA - approx. 30 hours of runtime

See also

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Simple English

[[File:|thumb|The original Game Boy]] Game Boy was Nintendo's first game console in the Game Boy range. It was Nintendo's first portable console to use game cartridges, so it could play more than one game, and you could take it anywhere. Since 1989 the range has grown to include not only the original, but also many other consoles such as Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Micro. All of these but the Game Boy Micro can play games made for the Game Boy.

The Game Boy had a green screen that could show four shades of grey or dark green. Like the NES, it had four buttons and a cross-shaped directional control. The console had a single speaker, but could be used with stereo headphones. As many as four Game Boys could be connected together with special wires for games with more than one player.

The idea for the Game Boy came from Gumpei Yokoi, who also made Metroid and the Virtual Boy.

Nintendo made Game & Watch games before the Game Boy and the Game Boy Advance and later the Nintendo DS after the Game Boy.


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