The Game Boy Color (Japanese: ゲームボーイカラーGame Boy Color) is Nintendo's 8-bit gaming handheld which succeeded the Game Boy; it was later succeeded by the Game Boy Advance. It is slightly taller and thicker than the Game Boy Pocket. The main feature of this model, as the name suggests, is the color screen. It is also the first Game Boy not to include a contrast knob. Its most popular games are Pokémon Gold and Silver, selling approximately 14.51 million copies in Japan and the US combined.
Like the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS, the Game Boy Color is not region-encoded. This means that a player can play a Game Boy Color game from any region in their own locally purchased console.
The logo for Game Boy Color spelled out the word COLOR in the five original colors in which the unit was manufactured. They were named:
Several other colors include:
Pikachu & PichuSp
Other colors were sold as limited editions or in specific countries.
Special Pokémon editions
Pokémon Yellow Game Boy Color: A yellow and blue GBC was decorated with Pikachu, Jigglypuff, and Togepi. It retailed for US$109.99.
Pikachu and Pichu Silver Game Boy Color: A silver GBC that is decorated with Pikachu and Pichu
Pokémon Gold and Silver Game Boy Color: A gold faded to silver GBC that was decorated with Pikachu and Pichu was released in 2001 to celebrate the release of Pokémon Gold and Silver. It retailed for US$99.99.
Pikachu and Pichu Game Boy Color: A yellow version of the special Gold and Silver Game Boy Color was released and sold separately.
Orange and Blue Game Boy Color: An orange (front) and blue (back) Game Boy Color featuring Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle released to celebrate Pokémon's third anniversary (Japan only)
These palettes each contain up to ten colors. In most games, the four shades displayed on the original Game Boy would translate to different subsets of this 10-color palette, such as by displaying movable sprites in one subset and backgrounds, etc. in another. The grayscale (Left + B) palette produces an appearance essentially identical to that experienced on the original Game Boy.
Some licensed Game Boy games have a special default palette. Pokémon Red and Blue use primarily red and blue palettes, respectively.
The processor, which is a Z80 work-alike with a few extra (bit manipulation) instructions, has a clock speed of approx. 8 MHz, twice as fast as that of the original Game Boy. The Game Boy Color also has four times as much memory as the original. The console boasted an impressive palette of 32,768 colors and was capable of simultaneously displaying 56 colors at once. It could also add basic four-color shading to games that had been released for the ordinary Game Boy. Additionally, a new palette-change feature was added for original Game Boy games; by holding the B button and any one of the directional arrows, the user could change the basic color palette for the game.