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

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