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The Game Boy (ゲームボーイ Gēmu Bōi?) is Nintendo's second handheld video game system, following the Game & Watch series, both of which were created by Gunpei Yokoi. It was first released on April 21, 1989 (1989-04-21). It is an 8-Bit system said to be "All the power of the NES, Pocket-Size." This console had a color limitation, giving the screen a monochrome effect. Despite other, technologically superior handheld consoles introduced during its lifetime, the Game Boy was a tremendous success with classics such as Tetris, Super Mario Land, and the second game of the Metroid series - Metroid II: Return of Samus. It also boasted new revolutionary titles such as the Pokémon series. In 1996 a second generation of Game Boys were released, the Game Boy Pocket, which was a smaller version of the original Game Boy, that played the same games.

Controls[edit | edit source]

The Game Boy's main controls are located on the lower half of its front frame. Like the NES controller, the Game Boy has four face buttons labelled "A", "B", "SELECT", and "START". The functions of these face buttons vary from game to game, though generally, the START button is used as a "pause" function to temporarily stop gameplay. The Game Boy also features a directional pad, allowing up to eight directions of movement in its games.

Outside of buttons used in gameplay, there is a volume control knob on the right side of the console, and a similar knob to change the contrast on the left side. The ON/OFF switch is located at the top of the Game Boy.

Technical Specifications[edit | edit source]

PAL Game Boy Pocket bundle with Metroid II and Wave Race.

Metroid II: Return of Samus commercial

  • CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 core at 4.19 MHz.
  • RAM: 8 kB internal S-RAM
  • Video RAM: 8 kB internal
  • ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap; 256 kB, 512 kb, 1 Mb, 2 Mb, 4 Mb and 8 Mb cartridges
  • Sound: 2 square waves, 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM wave, 1 white noise, and one audio input from the cartridge[22].
  • Display: Reflective LCD 160 × 144 pixels
  • Screen size: 66 mm diagonal
  • Color Palette: 2-bit
  • Communication: Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports
  • Power: 6 V, 0.7 W
  • Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D)


Metroid games for the Game Boy[edit | edit source]

Metroid cameos for the Game Boy[edit | edit source]

  • F-1 Race
  • Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters
  • Wario Land II (a version for the Game Boy Color was later released to all territories)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ 05 Nintendo Annual Report - Nintendo Co., Ltd. pp. 9. Nintendo Co., Ltd. (2005-05-26). Retrieved on 2006-08-14.

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