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Game Boy
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Game Boy

The Game Boy (Japanese:ゲームボーイ) is a series of battery powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. It is the best selling game system to date.

Table of contents
1 Versions
2 Accessories
3 Game cartridges
4 Popularity
5 See also
6 External links

Versions

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 was released in 1989. Based around a Z80 processor, it had a tiny black and green reflective LCD screen, an eight-way directional pad, and two action buttons. It played games from ROM-based media called cartridges (sometimes abbreviated as carts). The game that really pushed it into the upper reaches of success was Tetris.

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.

Game Boy Light

Only available in Japan, the Game Boy Light was the same size as the Pocket, but has a backlit screen for improved visibility. Its backlit screen obviously impacts its battery life, but it is unclear by how much.

Game Boy Color

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.

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, Super Mario Kart and F-Zero alongside new titles such as Kuru Kuru Kururin. Often referred to as GBA.

See also Game Boy Advance

Accessories

Game Boy Camera and 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 gameboy 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 greys. The Super Game Boy was favoured by software developers and testers since they could use a larger television screen while working, instead of the small Game Boy screen.

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 cartridges

Each portable video game console is a cartridge that contains information that is displayed on the screen. If the game is pulled out while the power is on the screen will not function correctly and the information that has been being displayed will abruptly stop. This will freeze the game and may cause weird things to happen to it, such as rows of zeros appearing on the screen and the sound at the same pitch that it was the second the game got pulled out. A Gameboy game should never be pulled out of the Gameboy while the power is on, as it may delete saved data and do other damage. This also goes for any game in any console.

Popularity

Most game consoles become obsolete as newer systems become available. The Game Boy is unique in its stamina. 2004 brings 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 playing cartridges created for the 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.

See also

External links