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Nintendo Game Boy

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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General | Latest Info

The screen was tiny, graphics limited to shades of gray on a dull green background, but Nintendo Game Boy was a revolution when it launched in Japan 25 years ago today. The original version may look hopelessly chunky now, but back then it was an unimaginably svelte, proper console that you play on anywhere - ingenious gaming equivalent of personal stereo. To celebrate its anniversary, here are 25 facts about the machine that brought Tetris to worldwide fame and spawned the Pocket gaming dynasty that lasts to this day. 1. Best, but not first, Game Boy was not actually the first handheld game machine with interchangeable cartridges - that was Microvision, Release in 1979 and described as a programmable electronic game system by its manufacturer, toy giant Milton Bradley. Interestingly, console itself was just a container with a small screen, Each game cart had its own central processor and memory chip. 2. Nintendo's Pocket Genius Console was designed by Nintendo's Research and Development 1 team, headed by legendary engineer Gunpei Yokoi, genius behind the company's Game & Watch Series of handheld LCD games. Yokoi came up with a pivotal design philosophy - lateral Thinking with Withered Technology - which meant using cheap, readily available components in interesting ways. 3. Portability over performance So, while rival handheld consoles like Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear boast expensive hardware and Battery - zapping colour displays, Game Boy was comparatively cheap thanks to its Date Z80 - base CPU. And while 2. The 5 - inch screen can barely handle four different greys, console promises up to 30 hours of play on four AA batteries - which makes it much more useful. As the hugely successful Wii Console later confirm, look aren't everything. 4. Perfect control Game Boy has an eight - way D - pad controller, and four buttons:, B, Start and Select. It's exactly the same set up as Nintendo Entertainment System controller, making it hugely familiar to gamers. This also meant that it was easy for developers to convert games from the hugely successful NES to the new handheld machine. 5. Boy arrived Game Boy launched in Japan on 21 April, 1989, at a price of 12 500 yen and immediately sold out of its initial run of 300 000 units. The Must - have game at the time was Super Mario Land, typically quirky and enjoyable platformer which replicates many features of the classic Super Mario Bros Series. It would go on to sell over 18 million copies. 6. That game about falling shapes by Time of US launched in July 1989, games industry entraprenuer Henk Rogers and Nintendo of America chief Minoru Arakawa had secured handheld rights to cult falling object puzzler Tetris. Design by Russian programmer Alexey Pajitnov, it was originally distributed on PC to moderate success, but when bundled with Game Boy, it became a smash hit, attracting a new audience of casual users with its simple yet addictive gameplay. The game also cops well with key limitations of the system - horrendous motion blur.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

History

Game Boy was a game - changer. When Nintendo's handheld unit exploded on US market on July 31 1989, it unleashed the power of video games in a transportive way. Now, players can take their games anywhere and play them to their heart contentor at least until they run out of AA batteries. * Because of its cultural importance and economic impact, Game Boy has a prominent place at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. The original 1989 console is featured next to early cell phones, PDAs and pagers on display at the American Enterprise exhibition. Game Boy was not the first handheld gaming system, but it was certainly the most popular, says Drew Robarge, Museum specialist at the American History Museum. There were others before it, but they were mostly one - function systems. Game Boy uses interchangeable cartridges, like home consoles, so you can play different games. The 8 - bit system looks dated by today's standards: small screen with dot - matrix graphics in black and whiteactually four shades of gray - green. However, it was durable and inexpensive to operate since it didnt burn through batteries like its competition. When first introduced in the United States 30 years ago, Nintendo's new concept took the gaming community by storm. Game Boy sold 1 million units in this country in a few short weeks. The handheld gaming system was invented by Nintendo's Gunpei Yokoi, who also created the Metroid video series. He got the idea for a portable gaming system after watching a bored businessman playing with an LCD calculator. He then worked with Satoru Okada and the Nintendo Research & Development team to refine the idea, which was patented in the United States on September 24 1985. Entitle Hand - Held Game Apparatus, US patent 4 542 903 was assigned to Nintendo Company, Ltd. Of Japan. The abstract reads in part: Hand - Held electronic game machine for use with attachable / detachable memory game pack wherein game machine includes a case size which may be held by hand. It also explains that the game was designed to be held in both hands and played using thumbs. The unique feature that made this possible was a cross - shaped button, also invented by Yokoi, that allows players to move characters around the screen with ease. There were electronic handheld games before Game Boy, but they were rudimentary in design and limited in choice. Many, like Mattel Auto Race in 1976 and Mattel Football in 1977, use lead lights to simulate movement and action. They were fun but had one basic drawback. They were usually one - offs, Robarge say. They do one function and do it well, but that was it. You could only play one game. Game Boy had the advantage of being first in the market before other major competitors. Nintendo introduced the system in Japan in April 1989, three months before selling it in the United States. Atari Lynx was released in September 1989, while Sega Game Gear and NECs TurboExpress came a year later.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Technical Specification

Cpu: Custom 8 - bit Sharp LR35902 RAM: 1 KB internal Video RAM: 1 KB internal ROM: on - CPU - Die 256 - byte bootstrap; 32 KB, 64 KB, 128 KB, 256 KB, 512 KB, 1 MB cartridges Sound: 2 square wave generators, 1 programmable 32 - sample 4 - bit PCM wave sample channel, 1 white noise generator, cartridge external audio Input. Unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound. External audio Input was never used in any commercial games. Display: Reflective STN LCD 160 144 pixels frame rate: Approximately 59. 7 per second Screen size: 66 mm diagonal Color Palette: 2 - bit 4 shades of gray Maximum sprite size: 8 x 8 pixels or 8 x 16 pixels Maximum sprites: 40 communication: Up to 4 Game Boys can be linked together via serial ports Power: 6 V, 0. 7 W dimensions: 90 mm 148 mm 32 mm weight: 200g

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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