Hard to believe that it was 15 years ago this month that Nintendo was able to announce this milestone. In April of 2000, Nintendo sold their 100 millionth Game Boy hand held. This runs the gamut across the Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color, still quite an accomplishment for a hand held that was, honestly quite, underpowered compared to the “competition” that it saw. Atari, Sega and SNK are just a couple of the big names that had hand held devices that fell to the Game Boy Line.
Total, the Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Pocket have sold over 118 million units worldwide before they were discontinued by Nintendo. On the first day of sales in North America, July 31st 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy sold over 40,000 units. Again, quite an accomplishment. It helped that the pack-in title was one that EVERYONE wanted at the time- Tetris.
The original Game Boy was released with a blurry screen that hindered play for quite a few games (such as the early Batman title). Even with this glaring flaw in the design, fans flocked to the Game Boy and propelled it into the ranks of best sellers. Nintendo had a world class marketing campaign for the Game Boy over the years, pushing Tetris and other first party games such as Super Mario Land.
One title that helped propel the Game Boy line into the stratosphere was the Pokemon games. For many years, if you wanted to play Pokemon, you had to buy a Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket or a Game Boy Color. Those were your only options and it helped Nintendo sell even more units.
Over the years fans have worked on hacks and modifications for the Game Boy including HDMI Out. Homebrew developers have kept the hand held alive with new games and hackers have worked to bring English translations to many classics that we never got in North America. Essentially, the fans won’t let the Nintendo Game Boy die and for those fans, we present this article to celebrate the Game Boy.
What are some of your favorite Game Boy games/memories?