First released in Japan in April 1989 (it landed in the States the following August), Nintendo’s GameBoy was an immediate success. A portable, 8-bit version of the popular console helped pave the way for mobile gaming devices as we know them today, including smartphones. While it wasn’t the first mobile gaming device, it was certainly the most popular and had the longest-lasting effect.
It had some tough competition at first, most notably with the Sega Game Gear, but with the reputation of the Nintendo name the handheld was able to take off and become the leader in mobile gaming devices. The GameBoy advanced from a green and black screen to color, reducing overall size and weight as technology allowed. Updating the design of the device as well as adding color pushed sales in the United States to 118 million units, It was also one of the fist gaming devices that allowed you to connect to another GameBoy where you could play the outrageous new game, Tetris.
Take some time to reminisce on the hours of fun that was had playing Mario. The swap meets you and your friends had to trade games. The anxious, panicked moments when your batteries were about to die and you couldn’t find replacements. Ah, good times. Thanks for making us feel old, Nintendo. Now it may be time to go through some of those boxes at my parents’ house and see if I can locate my GameBoy.
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