15 Interesting Facts About the Nintendo Game Boy

The Game Boy Light, which was only released in Japan, had a built-in backlit screen that allowed users to play in low-light conditions.

Ah, the Game Boy. As a child, so many adventures were had with the seemingly never-ending selection of heavy-hitters on the Game Boy, including Pokémon and Zelda.

Even today, given the choice between playing a PlayStation 4 or Pokémon Blue, the latter would always win.

There is something about the simplicity and ease of controls that made the Game Boy one of the highest-grossing and most popular handheld consoles in the world.

Here, we will explore 15 peculiar facts about this gaming icon.

In 1993, Soviet cosmonaut Aleksandr A. Serebrov took his Game Boy on his TM-17 space mission. Later, it was sold at auction for $1,220 and is said to have orbited the Earth 3,000 times.

A Game Boy that survived a Gulf War barracks bombing is proudly displayed at the Nintendo World Store in New York. The damaged console still displays a picture clearly.

Tetris, although released on the PC, was a huge hit on the Game Boy. With its more casual gamer demographic, it sold 35 million copies.

The first Game Boy could run for 30 hours on two AA batteries. This was because the screen had only four shades of gray and no backlight.

The Game Boy allowed for multiplayer gaming via link cables, usually with up to four people. The handheld’s first-person shooter, Faceball 2000, released in 1991 changed this, with an intricate web of cables and adapters allowing up to 16 players to link up and play together.

In 1995, Nintendo announced that 46% of Game Boy gamers were female, the first time a console was so popular with women. A 2014 study found that 52% of gamers are now female.

The Game Boy and Game Boy Color sold more units (118.69 million) than the Atari Lynx and Sega Genesis combined before being discontinued in 2000.

Satoshi Tajirri, inspired by the concept of monsters running through the Game Boy’s link cables, created the original trio of the Game Boy’s renowned Pokémon series; Red, Green, and Blue. Green, due to poor image quality, was not released outside Japan.

The Game Boy Light, a Japanese-only release, had a built-in backlit screen allowing people to play in low-light conditions, a revolutionary concept for those used to the original model, which required an add-on clip light when it got even slightly dark.

Game Boy sold an external camera and printer for their handheld console. The camera took low-resolution images of the user and may actually be responsible for the world of the selfie.

The original Game Boy was over twice as fast as the NES, with both consoles having 8-bit CPUs. With the NES’ 2kb and the Game Boy’s 8kb, the latter had four times the RAM.

The Game Boy is the “chiptune” artist’s instrument of choice. These are musicians who use vintage game hardware to make electronic music. With special sequencer cartridges, artists can get the device to produce a range of strange sounds.

Game Boy Color’s Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble game had a built-in accelerometer in the cartridge, which recognized when a player moved the console itself, and used this motion to direct Kirby in-game.

Neil Young utilized the Game Boy camera, previously mentioned, to create the artwork for his album Silver and Gold, which was photographed by his daughter Amber. The Handy Boy, an accessory for the Game Boy, was peculiar as it had a magnifier, stereo speakers, and light, and when assembled, it resembled a spaceship more than a gaming device. The Game Boy’s sales figures demonstrated its popularity, and regardless of personal opinions, its games’ simplicity and addictive nature were undeniable. The Game Boy introduced numerous cult classics, such as Pokémon, which are still relevant today. The Game Boy’s influence extended beyond gaming, as it became a popular culture icon and an instrument, as well as the chosen method for album art of one of the most famous singer-songwriters. Like all retro consoles, the Game Boy has a devoted following, and its durability, having survived bombings, commands a certain level of respect.


1. What year was the Nintendo Game Boy released?

The Nintendo Game Boy was released in 1989 in Japan and North America, and in 1990 in Europe. It was designed by Gunpei Yokoi and was a huge success, selling over 118 million units worldwide.

2. How long did the batteries last in the original Game Boy?

The original Game Boy required four AA batteries to run, which would last for approximately 10 hours of gameplay. This was a major selling point for the console, as it allowed for portable gaming on the go without the need for an electrical outlet.

3. What was the first game ever released for the Game Boy?

The first game ever released for the Game Boy was Tetris, which was a puzzle game designed by Alexey Pajitnov. It was included with the console and became one of the most popular games of all time.

4. How many different versions of the Game Boy were released?

There were several different versions of the Game Boy released over the years, including the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Light, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. Each version had its own unique features and improvements over the previous model.

5. What was the best-selling game for the Game Boy?

The best-selling game for the Game Boy was actually Pokemon Red/Green/Blue, which sold over 31 million copies worldwide. This game was a massive success and helped to popularize the Pokemon franchise.

6. What was the resolution of the Game Boy screen?

The Game Boy screen had a resolution of 160×144 pixels, which was very low compared to modern displays. However, this was sufficient for the simple graphics of the time and allowed for longer battery life.

7. What was the first accessory ever released for the Game Boy?

The first accessory ever released for the Game Boy was the Game Boy Camera, which was a digital camera that attached to the top of the console. It allowed users to take low-resolution photos and even print them out using a special accessory called the Game Boy Printer.

8. What was the last game ever released for the Game Boy?

The last game ever released for the Game Boy was actually a Japanese-only game called Doraemon no Study Boy: Kanji Yomikaki Master, which was released in 2002. However, the final game released in North America was actually Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which came out in 2002 as well.

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