Game Boy

The Game Boy[a] is an 8-bit handheld game console which was developed and manufactured by Nintendo and first released on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, created and published by Satoru Okada and Nintendo Research & Development 1.[8] This same team, led by Gunpei Yokoi at the time, is credited with designing the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.[9] Redesigned, but not entirely revamped, versions were released in 1996 and 1998 in the form of Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light (Japan only), respectively.

The Game Boy is Nintendo's second handheld game console, combining features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game & Watch (the first Nintendo handheld). [9] It was sold either as a standalone unit, or bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.

During its early lifetime, the Game Boy mainly competed with Sega's Game Gear, Atari's Lynx, and NEC's TurboExpress. It outsold its rivals and became a significant success.[10] The Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy Color,[7] have sold over 118 million units worldwide as of 2016.[4] Upon the Game Boy's release in the United States, its entire shipment of one million units was sold within a few weeks.[11] Production of the Game Boy and the Game Boy Color were discontinued in the early 2000s, being replaced by the Game Boy Advance, which was released in 2001.[12]

Game Boy
Gameboy logo
Game-Boy-FL
DeveloperNintendo R&D1
ManufacturerNintendo
Product familyGame Boy line
TypeHandheld game console
GenerationFourth generation
Release date
  • JP: April 21, 1989[2]
  • NA: July 31, 1989[1]
  • EU: September 28, 1990
Lifespan1989–2003
Introductory priceGame Boy:
¥12,500

US$89.95[3]

AU$??
DiscontinuedMarch 23, 2003[4]
Units soldWorldwide: 118.69 million[4] (including Game Boy (Play it Loud!), Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light and Color units)
MediaROM cartridge ("Game Pak")
CPUSharp LR35902 core @ 4.19 MHz
DisplayLCD 160x144 pixels, 47x43 mm[5]
Best-selling gameTetris, 30.26 million (pack-in/separately).[6]
PredecessorGame & Watch
SuccessorGame Boy Pocket (redesign)
Game Boy Light (redesign)
Game Boy Color (successor)[7]

History

Development

The original internal codename for the Game Boy was "Dot Matrix Game", and these initials came to be featured on the final product's model number, "DMG-01". The internal reception of the device was initially very poor; the DMG even earned from Nintendo employees the derogatory nickname "DameGame", dame being the Japanese for "hopeless" or "lame" in that context.[13]

Launch titles

Launch Title Japan North America Europe
Super Mario Land Yes Yes Yes
Alleyway Yes Yes Yes
Baseball Yes Yes Yes
Yakuman Yes No[14] No[14]
Tetris No Yes Yes
Tennis No Yes No

Hardware

Nintendo-Game-Boy-Cartridge
The standard gray cartridge for the original Game Boy games, although other colors and shapes exist.

The Game Boy has four operation buttons labeled "A", "B", "SELECT", and "START", as well as a directional pad.[15] There is a volume control dial on the right side of the device and a similar dial on the left side to adjust the contrast.[16] At the top of the Game Boy, a sliding on-off switch and the slot for the Game Boy cartridges are located.[17] The on-off switch includes a physical lockout to prevent users from either inserting or removing a cartridge while the unit is switched on. Nintendo recommends users leave a cartridge in the slot to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system.[18]

The Game Boy also contains optional input and/or output connectors. On the left side of the system is an external 3.5mm × 1.35mm DC power supply jack that allows users to use an external rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (sold separately) instead of four AA batteries.[19] The Game Boy requires 6 V DC of at least 150 mA.[20] A 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack is located on the bottom side of the unit which allows users to listen to the audio with the bundled headphones or external speakers.[21]

The right-side of the device offers a port which allows a user to connect to another Game Boy system via a link cable, provided both users are playing the same game.[22] The port can also be used to connect a Game Boy Printer. The link cable was originally designed for players to play head-to-head two-player games such as in Tetris. However, game developer Satoshi Tajiri would later use the link cable technology as a method of communication and networking in the popular Pokémon video game series.[23]

Technical specifications

  • CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902[24][25] at 4.19 MHz. This processor is similar to an Intel 8080 in that none of the registers introduced in the Z80 are present. However, some of the Z80's instruction set enhancements over the 8080, particularly bit manipulation, are present. Still other instructions are unique to this particular flavor of 8080/Z80 CPU. Parity flag, half of conditional and all input-output instructions were removed from 8080 instruction set also. The IC also contains integrated sound generation.
  • RAM: 8 kiB internal S-RAM (can be extended up to 32 kiB)
  • Video RAM: 8 kiB internal
  • ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap;[26] 32 kiB, 256 kiB, 512 kiB, 1 MiB, 2 MiB, 4 MiB and 8 MiB cartridges
  • Sound: 2 pulse wave generators, 1 PCM 4-bit wave sample (64 4-bit samples played in 1×64 bank or 2×32 bank) channel, 1 noise generator, and one audio input from the cartridge.[27] The unit only has one speaker, but the headphone port outputs stereo sound.
  • Display: Reflective STN LCD[28] 160 × 144 pixels
  • Frame rate: Approximately 59.7 frames per second
  • Vertical blank duration: Approx 1.1 ms[29]
  • Screen size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
  • Color palette: 2-bit (4 shades of "gray" {light to very dark olive green})
  • Communication: 2 Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports, up to 4 with a DMG-07 4-player adapter. And 16 in maximum.
  • Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide approximately 15 hours of gameplay)[28]
  • Dimensions: 90 mm (W) × 148 mm (H) × 32 mm (D) / 3.5″ × 5.8″ × 1.3″[28]
  • Weight: 220 g[30]

Revisions

Play It Loud!

Game Boy Play It Loud! Transparent American Edition
Play It Loud! Transparent Game Boy, North American Edition

On March 20, 1995, Nintendo released several Game Boy models with colored cases, advertising them in the "Play It Loud!" campaign[31] (Japanese name: Game Boy Bros. /ゲームボーイブロス Gēmu Bōi Burosu/ゲームボーイブラザース Gēmu Bōi Burazāsu). Specifications for this unit remain exactly the same as the original Game Boy, including the monochromatic screen. This new line of colored Game Boys would set a precedent for later Nintendo handhelds; every one of them since has been available in more than one color. Play It Loud! units were manufactured in red, green, black, yellow, white, blue, and clear (transparent) or sometimes called X-Ray in the UK. Most common are the yellow, red, clear and black, Green is fairly scarce but blue and white are the rarest. Blue was a Europe and Japan only release, White was a Japanese majority release with UK Toys R Us stores also getting it as an exclusive edition to them. The white remains the rarest of all the Play it Loud colors. A rare, limited edition Manchester United Game Boy is red, with the logos of the team emblazoned on it. It was released simultaneously with the Play it Loud! handhelds in the United Kingdom. The Play It Loud's screens also have a darker border than the normal Game Boy.

Game Boy Pocket

Game-Boy-Pocket-FL
The 1st release Game Boy Pocket

In July 21, 1996, Nintendo released the Game Boy Pocket: a smaller, lighter unit that required fewer batteries. It has space for two AAA batteries, which provide approximately 10 hours of gameplay.[32] The unit is also fitted with a 3 volt, 2.35mm x 0.75mm DC jack which can be used to power the system. The Pocket has a smaller link port, which requires an adapter to link with the older Game Boy. The port design is used on all subsequent Game Boy models, excluding the Game Boy Micro. The screen was changed to a true black-and-white display, rather than the "pea soup" monochromatic display of the original Game Boy.[33] Also, the Game Boy Pocket (GBP) has a larger screen than the Game Boy Color (GBC) that later superseded it. The GBP's screen has a 65 mm (2.56 in) diagonal, 48.5 mm (1.91 in) width, and 43.5 mm (1.71 in) height, compared to a 59 mm (2.32 in) diagonal for the GBC. Although like its predecessor, the Game Boy Pocket has no backlight to allow play in a darkened area, it did notably improve visibility and pixel response-time (mostly eliminating ghosting).[34] The first version did not have a power LED. This was soon added due to public demand, along with new Game Boy Pocket units of different colors (released on April 28, 1997), some of them new to the Game Boy line. There were several limited-edition Game Boy Pockets, including a gold-metal model exclusive to Japan.[35] The Game Boy Pocket was not a new software platform and played the same software as the original Game Boy model.[36]

Game-Boy-Light-FL
Game Boy Light

A clear 'skeleton' Famitsu edition appeared in 1997, which had only 5,000 units released, and a clear yellow edition.

Game Boy Light

The Game Boy Light was released on April 14, 1998, only available in Japan. Like the Game Boy Pocket, the system was also priced at ¥6,800. The Game Boy Light is only slightly bigger than the Game Boy Pocket and features an electroluminescent backlight for low-light conditions. It uses 2 AA batteries, which gave it approximately 20 hours with the light off and 12 with it on. It was available in two standard colors, gold and silver.[37] It also received numerous special editions, including an Astro Boy edition with a clear case and a picture of Astro Boy on it,[38] an Osamu Tezuka World edition with a clear red case and a picture of his characters,[39] and a solid yellow Pokémon Center Tokyo version.

Reception

Gameboylight accessory-addon
The original Game Boy lacked a backlight. Many third-party addons were created to improve the experience in low light conditions.

Though it was less technically advanced than the Lynx and other competitors, the Game Boy's excellent battery life and rugged hardware and the popularity of the bundled Tetris and other games made it much more successful.[40] In its first two weeks in Japan, from its release on April 21, 1989, the entire stock consisting of 300,000 units was sold; a few months later, the Game Boy's release in the United States on July 31, 1989, saw 40,000 units sold on its first day.[41] The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.[4] By Japanese fiscal year 1997, before Game Boy Color's release in late-1998, the Game Boy alone had sold 64.42 million units worldwide.[4][42] At a March 14, 1994 press conference in San Francisco, Nintendo vice president of marketing Peter Main answered queries about when Nintendo was coming out with a color handheld system by stating that sales of the Game Boy were strong enough that it had decided to hold off on developing a successor handheld for the near future.[43]

In 1995, Nintendo of America announced that 46% of Game Boy players were female, which was higher than the percentage of female players for both the Nintendo Entertainment System (29%) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (14%).[44] In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.[45] As of June 6, 2011, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are available on the Virtual Console service on the Nintendo 3DS's Nintendo eShop.[46]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ ゲームボーイ (Japanese: Gēmubōi)

References

  1. ^ White, Dave (July 1989). "Gameboy Club". Electronic Gaming Monthly (3): 68.
  2. ^ "retrodiary: 1 April – 28 April". Retro Gamer. Bournemouth: Imagine Publishing (88): 17. April 2011. ISSN 1742-3155. OCLC 489477015.
  3. ^ "Happy 20th b-day, Game Boy: here are 6 reasons why you're #1". Ars Technica. September 7, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. April 26, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  5. ^ "Technical data". Nintendo of Europe GmbH.
  6. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Umezu; Sugino. "Nintendo 3DS (Volume 3 – Nintendo 3DS Hardware Concept)". Iwata Asks (Interview: Transcript). Interviewed by Satoru Iwata. Nintendo. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
  8. ^ "Satoru Okada talks Game & Watch, Game Boy and Nintendo DS development". Issue 163. Retro Gamer Magazine. 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Beuscher, Dave. "Game Boy - Overview". Allgame. Archived from the original on December 12, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2008. A team headed by Gumpei Yokoi [sic] designed the Game Boy. Yokoi had previously designed hand held games for Nintendo with the cartridge based Game & Watch system, introduced in 1980. His staff, called Research and Development (R and D) team #1, had designed the successful NES games Metroid and Kid Icarus. What Yokoi's team did was create a hybrid of the NES and the Game & Watch systems.
  10. ^ "AtariAge - Lynx History". AtariAge. Retrieved November 22, 2016. Eventually the Lynx was squeezed out of the picture and the handheld market was dominated by the Nintendo GameBoy with the Sega Game Gear a distant second.
  11. ^ Kent 2001, p. 416. "According to an article in Time magazine, the one million Game Boys sent to the United States in 1989 met only half the demand for the product. That allotment sold out in a matter of weeks and its black and white (except for Konami/Factor 5 games and SeaQuest DSV), was shown in color like the Game Gear version."
  12. ^ Stuart, Keith. "Nintendo Game Boy – 25 facts for its 25th anniversary". The Guardian. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Audureau, William (2015-03-18). "NX, Ultra 64, Revolution… Petite histoire de Nintendo à travers ses noms de code". Le Monde.fr (in French). ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  14. ^ a b "Yakuman for Game Boy (1989) - MobyGames". Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  15. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 5. "(12) Operation buttons — The controls for playing games. (See game manuals for button functions.)"
  16. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 4–5. "(5) Volume dial (VOL) — Adjusts the sound volume…(7)Contrast adjustment (CONTRAST) — Adjusts the contrast of the display."
  17. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 3–4. "(3) Game Pak slot — Insert the Nintendo GAME BOY Game Pak here. (See page 7 for instructions on inserting Game Pak)"
  18. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 10. "To avoid dust and dirt getting in the Game Boy unit, always leave a Game Pak inserted when not in use."
  19. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 4. "(2) External power supply jack — You can connect a Rechargeable Battery Pack (sold separately) for longer play."
  20. ^ "Nintendo Game Boy (DMG-001)". Vidgame.net. 2006. Archived from the original on February 11, 2008. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  21. ^ Owner's Manual, p. 5. "(10) Headphone jack (PHONES) — Connect the stereo headphones that come with the GAME BOY to enjoy the impressive sounds of games without disturbing others around you...."
  22. ^ Owner's Manual, pp. 4, 8. "(4) Extension connector (EXT CONNECTOR) — Connects to other GAME BOY…Do not insert different games in the interconnected Game Boys."
  23. ^ Masuyama, Meguro (2002). "Pokémon as Japanese Culture?". In Lucien King. Game On. New York, NY: Universe Publishing. p. 39. ISBN 0-7893-0778-2. Pokémon allowed more than metaphorical communication; it made use of a system that created actual communication — a network game.
  24. ^ https://nintendods.exblog.jp/381307/
  25. ^ https://gbhwdb.gekkio.fi/static/dmg/G01036814_03_mainboard_front.jpg
  26. ^ GameBoy Development Wiki (November 12, 2009). "Gameboy Bootstrap ROM". Retrieved October 24, 2010.
  27. ^ "Game Boy - 8bc Chiptune Wiki". November 5, 2008. Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved March 26, 2009.
  28. ^ a b c Amos, Evan (1989). "GameBoy : User Manual, Page 12". Nintendo of America. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  29. ^ Fruttenboel Gameboy Section (August 22, 2009). "GameBoy : Using the GameBoy skeleton for serious business (Interrupt Descriptions)". Retrieved March 25, 2010.
  30. ^ "Technical data". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
  31. ^ "Color it loud with hot new Game Boys; Game Boy reflects players own style with five exciting new colors". Retrieved November 3, 2009.
  32. ^ "The Incredible Shrinking Game Boy Pocket". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 84. Ziff Davis. July 1996. p. 16.
  33. ^ "Game Boy Relaunched". Next Generation. No. 20. Imagine Media. August 1996. p. 26.
  34. ^ "Pocket Cool". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. p. 204.
  35. ^ "Tidbits...". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 94. Ziff Davis. May 1997. p. 19.
  36. ^ "Show Notes". GamePro. No. 95. IDG. August 1996. p. 16.
  37. ^ ゲームボーイライト (in Japanese). Nintendo. Archived from the original on May 30, 1998. Retrieved November 3, 2009.
  38. ^ "Clear case Astro Boy edition of Game Boy Light".
  39. ^ McFerran, Damien (December 27, 2012). "Hardware Classics: Tezuka Osamu World Shop Game Boy Light". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on August 1, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  40. ^ Maher, Jimmy (2016-12-22). "A Time of Endings, Part 2: Epyx". The Digital Antiquarian.
  41. ^ Fahs, Travis. "IGN Presents the History of Game Boy". IGN. IGN Entertainment, Inc. p. 2. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  42. ^ "A Brief History of Game Console Warfare: Game Boy". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Archived from the original on May 9, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2008. Game Boy and Game Boy Color's combined lifetime sales reached 118.7 million worldwide, according to Nintendo's latest annual report.
  43. ^ "Cart Queries". GamePro (61). IDG. August 1994. p. 14.
  44. ^ "Makers Of Games Focus On Girls". The Gainesville Sun. Jan 15, 1995. p. 15. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  45. ^ "''Ball, Game Boy, Big Wheel enter toy hall of fame'', retrieved 5 Nov 2009". Rbj.net. Retrieved August 3, 2010.
  46. ^ Reilly, Jim. "GDC: TurboGrafx 16, Game Gear Hit 3DS". IGN/com. Retrieved July 18, 2011.

External links

Chiptune

Chiptune, also known as chip music or 8-bit music, is a style of synthesized electronic music made using the programmable sound generator (PSG) sound chips in vintage arcade machines, computers and video game consoles. The term is commonly used to refer to tracker format music which intentionally sounds similar to older PSG-created music (this is the original meaning of the term), as well as music that combines PSG sounds with modern musical styles.By the early 1980s, personal computers had become less expensive and more accessible than they had been previously. This led to a proliferation of outdated personal computers and game consoles that had been abandoned by consumers as they upgraded to newer machines. They were in low demand by consumers as a whole, and thus were not difficult to find, making them a highly accessible and affordable method of creating sound or art. While it has been a mostly underground genre, chiptune has had periods of moderate popularity in the 1980s and 21st century, and has influenced the development of electronic dance music.

The terms "chip music" and "chiptune" refer to music made by the sound chips found within early gaming systems and microcomputers.A waveform generator is a fundamental module in a sound synthesis system. A waveform generator usually produces a basic geometrical waveform with a fixed or variable timbre and variable pitch. Common waveform generator configurations usually included two or three simple waveforms and often a single pseudo-random-noise generator (PRNG). Available waveforms often included pulse wave (whose timbre can be varied by modifying the duty cycle), square wave (a symmetrical pulse wave producing only odd overtones), triangle wave (which has a fixed timbre containing only odd harmonics, but is softer than a square wave), and sawtooth wave (which has a bright raspy timbre and contains odd and even harmonics). Two notable examples of systems employing this technology comprise the Nintendo Game Boy portable game console, and the Commodore 64 personal computer. The Game Boy uses two pulse channels (switchable between 12.5%, 25%, 50% and 75% wave duty cycle), a channel for 4-bit pulse-code modulation (PCM) playback, and a pseudo-random-noise generator. The Commodore 64, however, used the MOS Technology SID chip which offered 3 channels, each switchable between pulse, saw-tooth, triangle, and noise. Unlike the Game Boy, the pulse channels on the Commodore 64 allowed full control over wave duty cycles. The SID was a very technically advanced chip, offering many other features including ring modulation and adjustable resonance filters.Due to limited number of voices in those primitive chips, one of the main challenges is to produce rich polyphonic music with them. The usual method to emulate it is via quick arpeggios, which is one of the most relevant features of chiptune music (along, of course, with its electronic timbres).

Some older systems featured a simple beeper as their only sound output, as the original ZX Spectrum and IBM PC; despite this, many skilled programmers were able to produce unexpectedly rich music with this bare hardware, where the sound is fully generated by the system's CPU by direct control of the beeper.

GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable

The Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance cable (DOL-011) is a cable used to connect the Game Boy Advance (GBA) to the GameCube (GCN). The cable serves different functions with different games. These functions include, but are not limited to: unlocking additional content, turning the GBA into a second screen, turning the GBA into a separate controller, or transferring in-game items between related games. When used with the Game Boy Player accessory, the GBA can be used to control any Game Boy game played through the GameCube.

The cable has one end that plugs into a GameCube controller slot and another end that plugs into the GBA's extension port. The cable is compatible with the GameCube and the original Wii on the console side, and the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, Game Boy Player, and e-Reader on the portable side. Because the Game Boy Micro has a differently-shaped link port, the official cable does not work with it, but resourceful enthusiasts have been able to hack together home-made versions which do.Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was the first GameCube game to use this link cable.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a 32-bit handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo as the successor to the Game Boy Color. It was released in Japan on March 21, 2001, in North America on June 11, 2001, in Australia and Europe on June 22, 2001, and in mainland China on June 8, 2004 as iQue Game Boy Advance. Nintendo's competitors in the handheld market at the time were the Neo Geo Pocket Color, WonderSwan, GP32, Tapwave Zodiac, and the N-Gage. Despite the competitors' best efforts, Nintendo maintained a majority market share with the Game Boy Advance.

As of June 30, 2010, the Game Boy Advance series has sold 81.51 million units worldwide. Its successor, the Nintendo DS, was released in November 2004 and is also compatible with Game Boy Advance software.

Game Boy Advance SP

The Game Boy Advance SP, released in February 2003, is an upgraded version of Nintendo's Game Boy Advance. The "SP" in the name stands for "Special". The SP is accompanied by the Nintendo DS (released in November 2004) and the Game Boy Micro (released in September 2005).

Game Boy Color

The Game Boy Color (GBC) is a handheld game console manufactured by Nintendo, which was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and was released in November of the same year in international markets. It is the successor of the Game Boy.

The Game Boy Color features a color screen. It is slightly thicker and taller and features a slightly smaller screen than the Game Boy Pocket, its predecessor. As with the original Game Boy, it has a custom 8-bit processor made by Sharp that is considered a hybrid between the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80. The spelling of the system's name, Game Boy Color, remains consistent throughout the world with its American English spelling of color.

The Game Boy Color's primary competitors in Japan were the grayscale 16-bit handhelds Neo Geo Pocket and the WonderSwan, though the Game Boy Color outsold these by a wide margin. SNK and Bandai countered with the Neo Geo Pocket Color and the Wonderswan Color respectively but this did little to change Nintendo's sales dominance. With Sega discontinuing the Game Gear in 1997, the Game Boy Color's only competitor in the United States was its predecessor, the Game Boy, until the short-lived Neo Geo Pocket Color was released in August 1999. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide making it the 3rd best selling system of all time. including Game Boy units It was discontinued in 2003, shortly after the release of the Game Boy Advance SP. Its best-selling game was Pokémon Gold and Silver, shipping approximately 14.51 million combined in Japan and the USA.

Game Boy Micro

The Game Boy Micro (stylized as GAME BOY micro) is a handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was first released in September 2005 as a compact redesign of the Game Boy Advance. The system is the last console in the Game Boy line. Unlike its predecessor, the Game Boy Micro lacks backward compatibility for Game Boy or Game Boy Color games.

Game Boy family

The Game Boy line is a line of handheld game consoles developed, manufactured, and marketed by Nintendo, consisting of the Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. The product line has sold 200 million units worldwide.The original Game Boy (ゲームボーイ, Gēmu Bōi) and Game Boy Color combined sold 118.69 million units worldwide. All versions of the Game Boy Advance combined have sold 81.51 million units. All Game Boy systems combined have sold 200.20 million units worldwide.

The Game Boy line was succeeded by the Nintendo DS line. A number of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games have been rereleased digitally through the Virtual Console service for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.

Game Gear

The Game Gear is an 8-bit fourth generation handheld game console released by Sega on October 6, 1990 in Japan, in April 1991 throughout North America and Europe, and during 1992 in Australia. The Game Gear primarily competed with Nintendo's Game Boy, the Atari Lynx, and NEC's TurboExpress. It shares much of its hardware with the Master System, and can play Master System games by the use of an adapter. Sega positioned the Game Gear, which had a full-color backlit screen with a landscape format, as a technologically superior handheld to the Game Boy.

Though the Game Gear was rushed to market, its unique game library and price point gave it an edge over the Atari Lynx and TurboExpress. However, due its short battery life, lack of original games, and weak support from Sega, the Game Gear was unable to surpass the Game Boy, selling 10.62 million units by March 1996. The Game Gear was succeeded by the Genesis Nomad in 1995 and discontinued in 1997. It was re-released as a budget system by Majesco Entertainment in 2000, under license from Sega.

Reception of the Game Gear was mixed, with praise for its full-color backlit screen and processing power for its time, criticisms over its large size and short battery life, and questions over the quality of its game library.

Handheld game console

A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console with a built-in screen, game controls, and speakers. Handheld game consoles are smaller than home video game consoles and contain the console, screen, speakers, and controls in one unit, allowing people to carry them and play them at any time or place.In 1976, Mattel introduced the first handheld electronic game with the release of Auto Race. Later, several companies—including Coleco and Milton Bradley—made their own single-game, lightweight table-top or handheld electronic game devices. The oldest true handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision in 1979.Nintendo is credited with popularizing the handheld console concept with the release of the Game Boy in 1989 and continues to dominate the handheld console market.

List of Bandai Namco video game franchises

Bandai Namco Holdings is a Japanese holdings company that specializes in video games, anime, toys, arcades and amusement parks, and is currently based in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. The company was formed following the merger of Bandai and Namco on September 29, 2005, with both companies' assets being merged into a single corporate entity. The video game branch of the company is Bandai Namco Entertainment, formerly called Namco Bandai Games, and continues to develop games for home consoles, arcades and mobile phones internationally. The company is best known for their video game franchises, with Pac-Man becoming their highest-grossing franchise with over US$12.8 billion as of 2016, as well as becoming the company's official mascot and flagship character, while Tekken is their best selling franchise, selling over 40 million copies across multiple platforms. As of 2017, the company is the third-largest video game company in Japan, the seventh-largest in the world, and the largest toy company by revenue.Bandai Namco owns former developer Banpresto, who operates as a toy company in Japan and was purchased in 2008, and acquired a 95% stake in D3 Publisher in 2009. Additionally, the company owns the video game rights to several anime licenses, including Dragon Ball, One Piece and Sailor Moon; in this instance, the first entry for these franchises will list the first game developed or published by Bandai Namco or a subsidiary company even if the series did not begin at that time period. Bandai Namco also owns the rights to the Baten Kaitos, Project X Zone and Xenosaga franchises, after developer Monolith Soft was sold to Nintendo in 2007. The company retains the rights to defunct developers BEC, who merged with Banpresto in 2011, and Sunrise Interactive, who closed in 2008.

Nintendo

Nintendo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. Nintendo is one of the world's largest video game companies by market capitalization, creating some of the best-known and top-selling video game franchises, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon.

Founded on 23 September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda playing cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels. Abandoning previous ventures in favor of toys in the 1960s, Nintendo developed into a video game company in the 1970s, ultimately becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan's third most-valuable company with a market value of over $85 billion in 2007.

Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS, or simply DS, is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device went on sale in North America on November 21, 2004. The DS, short for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: two LCD screens working in tandem (the bottom one featuring a touchscreen), a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity. Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Its main competitor was Sony's PlayStation Portable as part of the seventh generation era. It was likened to the Nintendo 64 from the 1990s, which led to several N64 ports such as Super Mario 64 DS and Diddy Kong Racing DS, among others.

Prior to its release, the Nintendo DS was marketed as an experimental, "third pillar" in Nintendo's console lineup, meant to complement the Game Boy Advance and GameCube. However, backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles and strong sales ultimately established it as the successor to the Game Boy series. On March 2, 2006, Nintendo launched the Nintendo DS Lite, a slimmer and lighter redesign of the original Nintendo DS with brighter screens. On November 1, 2008, Nintendo released the Nintendo DSi, another redesign with several hardware improvements and new features. All Nintendo DS models combined have sold 154.02 million units, making it the best selling handheld game console to date, and the second best selling video game console of all time behind Sony's PlayStation 2. The Nintendo DS line was succeeded by the Nintendo 3DS family in 2011, which maintains backward compatibility with nearly all Nintendo DS software.

Nintendo video game consoles

The Japanese multinational consumer electronics company Nintendo has developed seven home video game consoles and multiple portable consoles for use with external media, as well as dedicated consoles and other hardware for their consoles. As of September 30, 2015, Nintendo has sold over 722.22 million hardware units.Although the company had earlier released Color TV Game and Game & Watch, which were their first and second systems respectfully, they did not achieve worldwide success until the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1983. The NES restarted the video game industry after the video game crash of 1983, and was an international success. In 1989, Nintendo released the Game Boy, which became the first handheld console to sell in large numbers. In the early 1990s, Nintendo's market lead began to decrease; although the 1990 Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was a strong seller, the Mega Drive/Genesis was a very strong contender. Nintendo and Sega would both lose a significant portion of the console market towards the end of the 1990s, as Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation became the most popular console, beating the Nintendo 64, though Nintendo managed to sell more than Sega Saturn.

The Dreamcast, released in 1999, PlayStation 2, released in 2000, and Microsoft's Xbox, released in 2001, would eventually relegate Nintendo to third place in the international market, despite the release of the GameCube. However, they retained their lead in the handheld console market, with the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance models. Towards the middle of the 2000s, Nintendo introduced the first successful handheld device with a touch screen (DS) and the first successful console designed for motion controlled inputs (the Wii); they became some of the best-selling consoles of all time. In 2010, Nintendo became the first major company to release a handheld game console with stereoscopic 3D capabilities, with the 3DS, which had very strong sales from the beginning. The Wii U, released in 2012, was much less successful, and sales were significantly lower than predicted. The company's most recent console, Nintendo Switch, was released in March 2017 and has now surpassed the entire lifetime sales of the Wii U.

Pokémon (video game series)

Pokémon is a series of video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo as part of the Pokémon media franchise. First released in 1996 in Japan for the Game Boy, the main series of role-playing video games (RPGs), also referred as the "core series" by their developers, has continued on each generation of Nintendo's handhelds.

The games are commonly released in pairs, each with slight variations, with a remake of the games usually released a few years after the original versions for another console. While the main series consists of RPGs, a big number of spin-off games based on the series have been developed by various companies, encompassing other genres such as action role-playing, puzzle, fighting, and digital pet games.

Including spin-offs, as of November 24, 2017, more than 300 million Pokémon games have been sold worldwide on handheld and home consoles, across 76 titles. This makes Pokémon the second best-selling video game franchise, behind Nintendo's own Mario franchise. In addition, Pokémon Go has had over 800 million mobile game downloads worldwide.

Pokémon Red and Blue

Pokémon Red Version and Blue Version are role-playing video games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy. They are the first installments of the Pokémon series. They were first released in Japan in 1996 as Pokémon Red Version and Green Version, with the special edition Pokémon Blue Version being released in Japan later that same year. The games were later released as Pokémon Red and Blue in North America and Australia in 1998 and Europe in 1999.

Pokémon Yellow Version, a special edition version, was released in Japan in 1998 and in other markets in 1999 and 2000. Remakes of Pokémon Red and Green for the Game Boy Advance, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, were released in 2004. The games were re-released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console service as a commemoration of the franchise's 20th anniversary in 2016.

The player controls the protagonist from an overhead perspective and navigates him throughout the fictional region of Kanto in a quest to master Pokémon battling. The goal of the games is to become the champion of the Indigo League by defeating the eight Gym Leaders and then the top four Pokémon trainers in the land, the Elite Four. Another objective is to complete the Pokédex, an in-game encyclopedia, by obtaining the 150 available Pokémon. Red and Blue utilize the Game Link Cable, which connects two games together and allows Pokémon to be traded or battled between games. Both titles are independent of each other but feature the same plot, and while they can be played separately, it is necessary for players to trade among both games in order to obtain all of the first 150 Pokémon.

Red and Blue were well-received with critics praising the multiplayer options, especially the concept of trading. They received an aggregated score of 89% on GameRankings and are considered among the greatest games ever made, perennially ranked on top game lists including at least four years on IGN's Top 100 Games of All Time. The games' releases marked the beginning of what would become a multibillion-dollar franchise, jointly selling over 300 million copies worldwide. In 2009 they appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Best selling RPG on the Game Boy" and "Best selling RPG of all time".

Super Game Boy

The Super Game Boy (スーパーゲームボーイ, Sūpā Gēmu Bōi) is a peripheral that allows Game Boy cartridges to be played on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. Released in June 1994, it retailed for $59.99 in the United States and £49.99 in the United Kingdom.

Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land is a 1989 side-scrolling platform video game developed and published by Nintendo as a launch title for their Game Boy handheld game console. It is the first Mario platform game ever to be released for a handheld console. In gameplay similar to that of the 1985 Super Mario Bros., but resized for the smaller device's screen, the player advances Mario to the end of 12 levels by moving to the right and jumping across platforms to avoid enemies and pitfalls. Unlike other Mario games, Super Mario Land is set in Sarasaland, a new environment depicted in line art, and Mario pursues Princess Daisy (who makes her debut in this game). The game also includes two Gradius-style shooter levels.

At Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi's request, Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi's Nintendo R&D1 developed a Mario game to sell the new console. It was the first portable version of Mario and the first to be made without Mario creator and Yokoi protégé Shigeru Miyamoto. Accordingly, the development team shrunk Mario gameplay elements for the device and used some elements inconsistently from the series. Super Mario Land was expected to showcase the console until Nintendo of America bundled Tetris with new Game Boys. The game launched alongside the Game Boy first in Japan (April 1989) and later worldwide. Super Mario Land was later rereleased for the Nintendo 3DS via Virtual Console in 2011 again as a launch title, which featured some tweaks to the game's presentation.

The game was lauded by critics, who were satisfied with the franchise's transition to the Game Boy, but noted its short length. The handheld console became an immediate success and Super Mario Land ultimately sold over 18 million copies, more than that of Super Mario Bros. 3. Both contemporaneous and retrospective reviewers particularly praised the game's soundtrack. The game begot a series of sequels, including Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992) and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (1994), the latter of which would later be spun-off into its own sub-series. Considered among the console's best launch titles, the game has been included in several top Game Boy game lists and debuted Princess Daisy as a recurring Mario series character.

Video game console

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

The term "video game console" is primarily used to distinguish a console machine primarily designed for consumers to use for playing video games, in contrast to arcade machines or home computers. An arcade machine consists of a video game computer, display, game controller (joystick, buttons, etc.) and speakers housed in large chassis. A home computer is a personal computer designed for home use for a variety of purposes, such as bookkeeping, accessing the Internet and playing video games. While arcades and computers are generally expensive or highly “technical” devices, video game consoles were designed with affordability and accessibility to the general public in mind.

Unlike similar consumer electronics such as music players and movie players, which use industry-wide standard formats, video game consoles use proprietary formats which compete with each other for market share. There are various types of video game consoles, including home video game consoles, handheld game consoles, microconsoles and dedicated consoles. Although Ralph Baer had built working game consoles by 1966, it was nearly a decade before the Pong game made them commonplace in regular people's living rooms. Through evolution over the 1990s and 2000s, game consoles have expanded to offer additional functions such as CD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, web browsers, set-top boxes and more.

Virtual Console

Virtual Console (バーチャルコンソール, Bācharu Konsōru), also abbreviated as VC, is a line of downloadable video games (mostly unaltered) for Nintendo's Wii and Wii U home gaming consoles and the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console.

The Virtual Console lineup consists of titles originally released on past home and handheld consoles. These titles are run in their original forms through software emulation (excluding GBA titles on 3DS), and can be purchased from the Wii Shop Channel or Nintendo eShop for between 500 and 1200 Wii Points (Wii), US$2.99 and US$6.99 (3DS) and US$4.99 and US$9.99 (Wii U) depending on system, rarity, and/or demand. Virtual Console's library of past games currently consists of titles originating from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS, as well as Sega's Master System and Genesis/Mega Drive, NEC's TurboGrafx-16, and SNK's Neo Geo AES. The service for the Wii also included games for platforms that were known only in select regions, such as the Commodore 64 (Europe and North America) and MSX (Japan), as well as Virtual Console Arcade, which allowed players to download video arcade games. Virtual Console titles have been downloaded over ten million times. The sale of past games through the Virtual Console is one of Nintendo's reasons for opposing software piracy of old console games.

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