Game Boy

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Game Boy
ゲームボーイ Game Boy
Game Boy.png
The original Game Boy
Release dates
Japan: April 21, 1989
North America: July 31, 1989
Europe: September 28, 1990
Australia: 1997 (Game Boy Pocket)
South Korea: November 1990[1]
China: N/A
Hong Kong: N/A
Taiwan: N/A
Technical specs
Related information
Console generation: Fourth generation
Pokémon generations: I, II
Console type: Handheld
External links

The Game Boy (Japanese: ゲームボーイ Game Boy), Nintendo's flagship handheld console, was first released in 1989, and is the second best selling handheld console of all time, behind its successor, the Nintendo DS. Gunpei Yokoi is credited with playing a key role in its development and release. Like all systems in the Game Boy family, it is not region encoded.


Game Boy

The first Game Boy was released in 1989. It was large and gray, with a monochrome dot matrix screen and monaural sound from its built-in speaker, and supported stereo sound using headphones connected to its 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. It was playable for an average of 35 hours with four AA batteries. Many peripherals were released for it through its time, the more popular ones being the Game Boy Printer and Game Boy Camera. The Game Boy was also later released with five different colors.

Game Boy Pocket

Main article: Game Boy Pocket

The Game Boy Pocket was released in 1996 as a replacement for the original Game Boy. The Game Boy Pocket had a smaller frame, a larger screen, and a higher resolution display. Despite its screen improvements, the Game Boy Pocket display was still in monochrome and the sound remained the same as it was in the original Game Boy. Another somewhat minor improvement was that the system took two AAA batteries instead of four AA, effectively helping to lighten its weight.

The Game Boy Pocket's Game Link Cable port is smaller than the original Game Boy's, requiring either an adapter or a special two-headed Game Link Cable to communicate. The Game Boy Pocket's Game Link Cable port would be later used on the Game Boy Light and Game Boy Color, and the Game Link Cable port on the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advanced SP is backward compatible with it when playing a Game Boy or Game Boy Color game.

Game Boy Light

Main article: Game Boy Light

The Game Boy Light was a system released exclusively in Japan in 1997. It was similar to the Game Boy Pocket, but with the addition of an Indiglo (Electroluminescent) back-lit screen. The Game Boy Light uses two AA batteries, which provide approximately 20 hours of gameplay with the light off and 12 hours with the light on. It was the only back-lit Nintendo handheld console until the release of the Nintendo DS in 2004 (the Game Boy Advance SP utilizes a frontlight in its original model, not a backlight). The Game Boy Light was available in two standard colors: gold and silver. A yellow Pokémon Center Tokyo special edition was also released.

Game Boy Color

Main article: Game Boy Color

Similar to the Game Boy Pocket but with a color screen, and is backwards-compatible with the original Game Boy. It is slightly larger than the Game Boy Pocket in size, and does not have a contrast knob due to being in color.

Game Boy Advance

Main article: Game Boy Advance

This Game Boy features a trapezoidal design, and higher resolution, 32-bit graphics. The Game Boy Advance is backwards-compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Also features GameCube connectivity.

Game Boy Advance SP

Main article: Game Boy Advance SP

It features a clamshell design and boasts the ability to be played in the dark without an external light source using its frontlight. It also has a lithium rechargeable battery as opposed to previous models' AA battery requirement.

Game Boy micro

Main article: Game Boy micro

A second redesign of the Game Boy Advance which was smaller and had changeable faceplates. Unlike other systems in the Game Boy Advance family, it cannot play Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. It was released after the Nintendo DS.

Pokémon games

The Pokémon game franchise is widely considered to be one of the driving forces behind Game Boy sales, especially in the late 1990s and early 21st century.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Red and Green Core series RPG 1996
Pokémon Blue Core series RPG 1996
Pokémon Red and Blue Core series RPG 1998
Pokémon Yellow Core series RPG 1998

Game Boy Color Pokémon games

Although designed for the Game Boy Color, these Pokémon games can also be played on the Game Boy.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Trading Card Game Card game 1998
Pokémon Pinball Pinball 1999
Pokémon Gold and Silver Core series RPG 1999


The Game Boy damaged in the Gulf War running Tetris
  • At the Nintendo World store, there is a Game Boy on display that survived an explosion in the Gulf War. While the screen had to be replaced, the internal circuitry was still operational without any modification. It has a Tetris game pak inserted in it, and it displays the title screen of the game.[2]
  • The Game Boy has the fewest Pokémon games of all Nintendo handhelds, with 6.

See also

External links


Game systems with Pokémon games
Nintendo handheld consoles
GB (Pocket · GBL · SGB · SGB2) • GBCminiGBA (SP · GBm · GBP)
DS (Lite · DSi · DSi XL) • 3DS (XL · 2DS · New 3DS · New 3DS XL · New 2DS XL)
Switch (Lite · OLED)
Nintendo home consoles
SNES (BS-X · SGB · NP · SGB2) • N64 (DD) • GCN (GBP)
Wii (Family Edition · mini) • Wii U
Switch (OLED)
Sega consoles