Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Year 3: July Update

I seem to be writing these updates later and later each month, and this is as late as I can go. I'd been busy the past few weeks with the videos and didn't realize how fast July flew by until two days ago. As I keep saying, I've not done a great job posting anything outside of ads and YouTube, and unfortunately July was no different. Now I need to start on a Dreamcast project or I won't be ready for its North American 20th anniversary which is the second week of September. I'll definitely have a video for that but I'm not sure if I'll do any kind of unboxing. My plan right now is to scan articles and ads for it, and make at least one video about some of the press materials I have.

Nintendo unveiled the Switch Lite earlier this month. It's a handheld-only version of the Switch so it has no TV output and therefore does not include a dock. It doesn't come with Joy-cons either but I think they are compatible with the Lite for local multiplayer. However, the screen is a little smaller on the Lite so despite the lower price, I'm not sure it is worth it unless you only ever want to use it as a handheld. At $199.99 you save $100 which is what a dock and Joy-con set would cost. The standard Switch isn't getting a new design but there is one with some updates and new packaging coming in August. There was also an update on the TurboGrafx-16 mini since I mentioned it last month, including the full list of 50 built-in games. That will be out early next year exclusively at in the U.S. and while the price for the U.S. is unknown, it will be around $100 in Japan.

I've been playing more M-rated games, no surprise there. I finished Sega's Judgment (it's good!) and am early in Wolfenstein: Youngblood. The Wolfenstein spin-off isn't bad for the $29.99 price and co-op option, though the design choices will definitely turn off some fans of the series. Not sure how much time I'm going to have to play all the upcoming releases the rest of the year though I hope to play Control since Remedy is one of my favorite developers. My plan was to replay the first two Shenmue games before Shenmue III but I still haven't gotten around to those. The Outer Worlds and Jedi Fallen Order are two others I'll try to play through this year if I can. Kart racers are showing up quite often these days as the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 generation winds down. Yesterday a new Garfield kart racer was announced if you can believe that. Sure, the old comic strip and cartoon were amusing but it just doesn't seem like something that would appeal to today's kids. It's a low budget one at $29.99 and will be published by Microids.

The San Diego comic-con took place recently too which I didn't really keep up with but let me see if I can pick out a few highlights. Marvel outlined the next phase in its movie universe... and I've still not seen Captain Marvel or Endgame. Many, many movie and show trailers were shown, like Star Trek Picard which doesn't look anything like The Next Generation, though there really wasn't any reason to think it would. For toys, Hasbro has a crowdfunding effort going for a rather large Transformers Unicron action figure. Mattel is launching a Masters of the Universe Origins line next year that looks similar to the original toys with more articulation. There are certainly more highlights but no time to list them all!

Thanks for visiting,

Sunday, July 28, 2019

[YouTube] Nintendo Game Boy

On April 21, 1989 Nintendo released its hugely popular handheld gaming system Game Boy in Japan and just a few months later it released in North America on July 31, 1989 (not until 1990 in Europe). To mark its 30th anniversary I've put together an unboxing video of my original Game Boy as well as some of the accessories. Many news outlets wrote about the anniversary back in April and I'm going to reference an article at Polygon for sales figures (it's worth a read for the Game Boy's early history and Pokémon as I'm going to keep this rather brief). It was sold at a price of $89.95 and was an immediate success, selling out quickly after launch and in the U.S. alone passed 9 million sold in three years. Worldwide sales were more than 64 million at the time its successor Game Boy Color released in 1998.

Game Boy may not look like much with its monochrome screen but it held off all challengers, such as Sega's Game Gear, Atari's Lynx, and NEC's TurboExpress, thanks to its impressive game library, the pack-in title Tetris (for North America; no pack-in for Japan), and battery life that the color screen handhelds had no chance of matching. Including all regions the number of games released for Game Boy surpasses 1,000. As mentioned above, the primary follow-up was called Game Boy Color, though before that there were other models, like Game Boy Pocket and the Japan-only Game Boy Light. Nintendo has always dominated the handheld market since the Game Boy; after Game Boy Color was Game Boy Advance, then Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS. The Switch console that can also act as a handheld looks to permanently supplant the 3DS with the upcoming handheld-only Switch Lite. It's very possible that the 3DS is the last traditional handheld system Nintendo releases.

I believe I got my Game Boy just a few days after launch as a birthday gift and it held up for a while but eventually I started getting vertical lines on the screen which is a common problem. During my attempt to fix it I managed to lose about a third of the screen which you will see in some photos below and in the video. Unfortunately, a couple vertical lines reappeared as well. The accessories I'm showing are Nintendo's Rechargeable Battery Pack/AC Adapter, Nuby's hard case, and Vic Tokai's Light Boy. When I reach Vic Tokai's ads post you'll see the Light Boy was heavily advertised as I scanned nine different ads for it. There are a variety of light accessories available for Game Boy since it does not have a back-lit screen. I also scanned nearly everything that was included with the items so you'll see magazine adverts and the complete instruction manuals.

Game Boy

Rechargeable Battery Pack/AC Adapter

Nuby Case

Light Boy