Retro Game Consoles – Nintendo Game Boy


Nintendo Game Boy
1989-Current

Game Boy game device

Above: Original Game Boy hand held game device

The Nintendo Game Boy is an 8-bit hand held game device that was launched in 1989. The first model was black and white, which came with many gameboys on launch. Some players bought the unit for this game alone, selling as many as 30 million units. Including all Game Boy models. Nintendo has sold 118 million units to date.

The Game Boy was not the best of all hand held game device available. Far from it, the graphics and speed of the unit were pretty poor. However, the Game Boy had an extensive game library and had a very low entry selling price.

Technical Specifications

Game Boy Motherboard

Above: Game Boy motherboard, a look inside the original Game Boy

It used the Sharp LR35902 processor running at 4.19MHz and came with 8KB or memory. Video Ram was an additional 8KB. It used two sound generators, 1PCM 4-bit wave sample, a noise generator and one audio input for use with the cartridge. It supported 4 shades of grey, with future versions offering colour.

Game Boy Light

Game Boy Light

Above: Game Boy Light

The Game Boy light is the rarest of the game boys. It was released in 1998 in Japan only and sold for 6800 Yen, which is about $59, based on the exchange rate of 114 yen to the dollar. The Game Boy Light is slightly bigger than the Game Boy pocket. As far as what differentiates it from the original game boy, the Game Boy light has back light allowing night play and low light conditions. Despite the appeal of a backlight, Nintendo did not provide this feature again until 2004 with the release of the Nintendo DS.

Game Boy Light

The Nintendo Game Boy color offered color, a screen display of 160 x 144, including a color pallet of 32,768 colorsand more memory for RAM and VRAM.

Game Boy Light

Above: Game Boy Light

Game Boy Advance

Game Boy Advance

Above: Game Boy Advance

The Nintendo Game Boy advance was a significant improvement over the previous version. The screen resolution was increased to 240 x 160, a 32-bit processor running at 16.8 MHz and improved sound. With two AA batteries, the Game Boy Advance could stay on for 15 hours.

Game Boy Pocket

Released in 1996, the Game Boy Pocket was a lighter version of the original model an consumed less power requiring only two AA batteries.