Nintendo Game Boy Turns 20 Years Old

Posted Apr 21, 2009

When I was about 5 years old, the original Nintendo Game Boy console was introduced to the video game market.  Anyone that owned one back then must have been addicted to games such as Tetris, The Simpsons: Bart vs. The Juggernauts, and NBA All-Star Challenge.

The original Game Boy retailed for $94 at the launch.  During the Christmas season of the handheld console’s launch, about 1 million units were sold.  To date, about 118.7 million original Game Boys have been sold which does not include the Game Boy Advance.

The original Nintendo Game Boy revolutionized the handheld console market as a whole.  After the Game Boy was introduced many competitors launched shortly after.  Competitors included the Sega Game Gear, the TurboExpress, and the Atari Lynx.

The Game Boy was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo’s Research and Development 1.  The Game Boy was Nintendo’s second handheld console after they made the Game & Watch series of products.  Nintendo took the Game & Watch model, combined it with the NES console and came up with the idea for the Game Boy.

The specs of the original Game Boy are below:
-8 bit Sharp LR35902 core at 4.19 MHz
-8kB of internal S-RAM
-256-byte bootstrap ROM
-2 Square Waves of sound with 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM Wave, 1 White noise, and one audio input from the cartridge.  The Game Boy had one speaker, but headphones helped provide stereo sound
-160×144 pixel Reflective LCD
-4 shades of “gray” (with range from green to very green)
-2 Game Boy devices could be linked together using built-in serial ports
-4 AA batteries could provide up to 35 hours of life)
-Dimensions 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32mm (D)