Released: November 1989, 21 years ago
CPU Speed: Sharp Z80 2,2 MHz
Memory: 8 KB RAM / 8 KB VRAM
Video: 160x144 / 4 colors
Game Controller: Buttons
Price in 1989: $179
When it comes to hand held games that retro gamers can fondly recall from days gone by, one of the first one that is likely to pop into one's head is Nintendo's Game Boy. It was Nintendo's first handheld system in the storied Game Boy line, and was released in the late eighties. It was originally released with the madly popular and addictive puzzle game, Tetris, which only served to make the puzzle game more popular. Between the initial release of Tetris as part of the system's bundle and separate cartridge sales, Tetris for Game Boy sold over 33 million copies, making it the system's best-seller. The Pokemon series was also an amazing success.
The Game Boy was met with fierce, nearly cutthroat competition. With a monochrome color palette, the Game Boy suffered from a smear campaign, launched in favor of Sega's Game Gear. The Atari Lynx also stole some of the Game Boy thunder, but its battery requirements made it an expensive toy to use for long periods of time. It was also quite pricey.
The original Game Boy offered some super popular titles, everything from the Addams Family to Zelda. It featured a host of the Nintendo flagship games starring Mario and Luigi. Overall, as a virgin handheld system, the Nintendo Game Boy was a huge success, making gaming exciting and accessible from anywhere you felt comfortable.