[[caption-width-right:175:The green screen of life.]]

->'''[[{{Tagline}} Play it loud!]]'''

Until the late 1980s, handheld gaming was very limited, both in processing power and the capabilities of small monitors. Gaming until then was achieved by having an LCD screen that had all possible graphical elements built into the screen, and gameplay would be achieved by controlling which elements were visible to simulate graphics, basically a video game form of LimitedAnimation. This had been going on successfully for years with Tiger Electronics' handheld games and Nintendo's own [[GameAndWatch Game & Watch series]].

Then it became possible to fit an actual game system into a portable device. Atari tried to get into this with their [[AtariLynx Lynx]], and Nintendo went in with the Game Boy.

Gunpei Yokoi, who had designed the Game & Watch, realized the system would work best if it was small and light (to enhance portability), durable (since it would be carried around a lot), inexpensive (since portable electronic devices often went that way, save for laptops), and energy efficient.

He succeeded on all counts. Any handheld that didn't follow that design paradigm didn't make it very far. Although brand name and a KillerApp were also important, as the UsefulNotes/NeoGeoPocket and UsefulNotes/{{Wonderswan}} proved.

The system was often mocked for its four shade greyscale screen and [[BackThatLightUp lack of backlight]], but [[{{Sega}} those mocking it]] didn't realize those shortcomings were made up for by the aforementioned advantages. The system lasted over ten years thanks to those, one of many proofs that [[ConsoleWars the highest processing power is not vital to sell a system]].

Thanks to advances in technology, the system did have a major revision in the mid 1990s. The Game Boy Pocket was [[ProductFacelift about half the size of the original]], and used AAA batteries instead of AA. It helped boost sales for a few more years.

MemeticMutation holds that the original Game Boy design is [[MadeOfIndestructium the toughest object in existence]] after a working Game Boy was retrieved from a barracks that had been [[http://farm1.static.flickr.com/33/45214051_48ee39c14f.jpg bombed during]] the 1990-1991 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBeTXPaewMo Gulf War.]]



[[folder: Processors ]]

* One of the ways it saves power and cost is to integrate the data, graphics, and sound processing into the UsefulNotes/CentralProcessingUnit. It is a Sharp [=LR35902=] clocked at 4.19 [=MHz=], similar to the Z80 (a few instructions of the CPU were left out as they used more battery power than they added to processing power). The UsefulNotes/GameBoyColor adds a double speed CPU mode.


[[folder: Memory ]]

* 8 KB main RAM and 8 KB VideoRAM.
* Carts could be 32 KB to 4 MB.
** Nintendo integrated popular features from the "MMC" support chips on NES Game Paks (scanline counters, status bars and extra RAM) into the Game Boy chipset. Game Boy Game Paks used much simpler "MBC" support chips to do bank switching and possibly battery save. This apparently contributed to the low price of the games, which were about half of NES games.


[[folder: Sprites ]]

* Up to 40 sprites on screen at once. Size is the same as the NES (8x8 or 8x16 pixels), but it is far less likely to flicker if there are too many sprites on screen. Game Boy sprites can cover up to half a scanline (10 to a line), while NES sprites can cover only a quarter (8 to a line).
* Sprites can use three gray shades. Most of the time, these are set to white, light gray, and black.


[[folder: Display ]]

* Four shades of grey. Just that many. It could still have a lot of detail in the right hands.
** The selling point of the Super Game Boy, a peripheral for the SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem that allowed you to play Game Boy games on your television and in color, is to customize those four colors into a color palette of your choice or creation, saved via password. GB games created with Super Game Boy features have special palettes and borders that frequently change mid-game, and sometimes divide the screen into areas that get their own sets of four colors.
* There is also no [[BackThatLightUp light for the screen]] without a peripheral. One [[NoExportForYou Japan-exclusive]] version of the Game Boy Pocket, called the Game Boy Light, had a switchable Indiglo backlight, but otherwise, Nintendo decided that the battery cost was too risky.
* Resolution is 160×144.


[[folder: Batteries ]]

* The original model uses 4 [=AA=] batteries, for up to about 30 hours of gameplay.
* The Pocket uses 2 [=AAA=] batteries. Its battery life is only half as long as that of the original Game Boy, because of that. But with a single replacement, you still got about the same time as the original.

!!Series that debuted on the Game Boy include:

* ''Alleyway'' (a ''Breakout'' clone)
* ''VideoGame/ForTheFrogTheBellTolls''
* [[{{Kirby}} Kirby]]
** ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand''
** ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand2''
** ''VideoGame/KirbysPinballLand''
** ''Kirby's Block Ball''
** ''Kirby's Star Stacker''
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue''
*** ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition]]''
** ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver (even though these were marketed for the Main/GameBoyColor they worked on both systems, although Crystal didn't)''
* ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}''
** ''Tetris 2''
** ''Tetris Plus''
* ''[[VideoGame/WarioLand Wario]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/WarioLandSuperMarioLand3 Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3]]''
** ''VideoGame/WarioLandII'' (also compatible with [[GameBoyColor GBC]])

!!Other Games include:

* ''VideoGame/AdventureIsland''
** ''Adventure Island II''
* ''VideoGame/AdventuresOfLolo''
* ''VideoGame/AladdinVirginGames''
* ''VideoGame/{{Asteroids}}''
* ''VideoGame/BalloonKid''
* ''VideoGame/BatmanSunsoft''
** ''Batman: Return of the Joker''
* ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden''
* ''VideoGame/BattleCity''
* ''VideoGame/TheBattleOfOlympus''
* ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' (an original game)
** ''Battletoads in Ragnarok's World'' (a port of the original NES game)
** ''Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team''
* ''VideoGame/BionicCommando''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}''
** ''Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman!''
* ''VideoGame/BombJack''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bonk}}'s Adventure''
** ''Bonk's Revenge''
** ''GB Genjin Land''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Sokoban}} Boxxle]]''
* ''VideoGame/ABoyAndHisBlob in: The Rescue of Princess Blobette''
* ''VideoGame/BubbleBobble Jr.'' (port of the NES game ''Bubble Bobble II'')
* ''VideoGame/{{Bubsy}} 2''
* ''VideoGame/BurgerTime Deluxe''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Nebulus}} Castelian]]''
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaTheAdventure''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIIBelmontsRevenge''
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegends''
** ''VideoGame/KidDracula''
* ''VideoGame/{{Centipede}}''
* ''VideoGame/CrystalQuest''
* ''VideoGame/DesertStrike: Return to the Gulf''
** ''Urban Strike''
* ''VideoGame/DigDug''
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong94''
* ''VideoGame/{{Donkey Kong|Country}} Land''
* ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon''
** ''VideoGame/{{Double Dragon 1}}'' (remixed port loosely based on the NES version)
** ''VideoGame/DoubleDragonII'' (unrelated to the arcade and NES versions, it's actually a [[DolledUpInstallment graphically modified version]] of a ''[[VideoGame/KunioKun Kunio-kun]]'' game made for the export market)
** ''Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game'' ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin downscaled port of the arcade version]])
* ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer''
** ''Dragon Slayer Gaiden''
* ''VideoGame/DrMario''
* ''VideoGame/DuckTales''
** ''[=DuckTales=] 2''
* ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim''
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'' (aka the first ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfMana Seiken Densetsu]]'')
* ''[[VideoGame/MakaiToshiSaGa Final Fantasy Legend]]''
** ''Final Fantasy Legends II''
** ''Final Fantasy Legends III''
* ''FortifiedZone''
** ''Ikari no Yōsai II'' ([[NoExportForYou Japanese-only sequel]])
* ''VideoGame/GameboyCamera''
* ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Game Boy Wars]]''
** ''Game Boy Wars Turbo''
* ''VideoGame/GanbareGoemon: Sarawareta Ebisumaru!''
** ''Ganbare Goemon: Kurofune Tou no Nazo'' (AKA ''Mystical Ninja'')
* ''VideoGame/GargoylesQuest''
** ''Gargoyle's Quest II'' (ported from the NES)
* ''VideoGame/{{Gauntlet}} II''
* ''VideoGame/GloryOfHeracles: The Snap-Story''
* ''VideoGame/HammerinHarry: Ghost Building Company''
* ''Hyper VideoGame/LodeRunner''
* ''VideoGame/JoeAndMac''
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark''
** ''Film/JurassicPark''
** ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark''
* ''VideoGame/KidIcarus: Of Myths And Monsters''
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '95''
* ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct''
* ''VideoGame/{{Klax}}''
* ''VideoGame/KungFuMaster''
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''
* ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheLionKing''
* ''VideoGame/TheLittleMermaid''
* ''VideoGame/MarbleMadness''
* ''VideoGame/MariosPicross''
** ''Mario's Picross 2''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Karateka}} Master Karateka]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Medabots}}''
* ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic''
** ''VideoGame/MegaManDrWilysRevenge''
** ''VideoGame/MegaManII''
** ''VideoGame/MegaManIII''
** ''VideoGame/MegaManIV''
** ''VideoGame/MegaManV''
* ''[[{{VideoGame/Last Bible}} Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible]]''
** ''Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible II''
* ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus''
* ''VideoGame/MilonsSecretCastle''
* ''VideoGame/{{Miner 2049er}}''
* ''VideoGame/MissileCommand''
* ''VideoGame/MoleMania''
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat1''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat2''
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3''
* ''VideoGame/MrDo''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Nemesis]]''
** ''Nemesis II'' (aka ''Gradius: The Interstellar Assault'')
* ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden Shadow''
* ''VideoGame/NobunagasAmbition''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Contra}} Operation C]]''
** ''Contra: The Alien Wars''
* ''VideoGame/PacMan''
** ''Ms. Pac-Man''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pang}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Paperboy}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Parodius}} Da!''
* ''VideoGame/PinballFantasies''
* ''[[PipeMania Pipe Dream]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Pit-Fighter}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Prehistorik}} Prehistorik Man]]''
* ''VideoGame/PrimalRage''
* ''VideoGame/{{Prince of Persia|1}}''
* ''VideoGame/PuyoPuyo''
* ''VideoGame/QBert''
* ''VideoGame/{{Qix}}''
* ''Quarth''
* ''Radar Mission''
* ''VideoGame/RevengeOfTheGator''
* ''VideoGame/RoadRash''
* ''VideoGame/RodLand''
* ''VideoGame/{{R-Type}}''
** ''R-Type II''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Darius}} Sagaia]]''
* ''VIdeoGame/SamuraiShodown''
* ''VideoGame/{{Shanghai}}''
* ''VideoGame/ShaqFu''
* ''VideoGame/ShiKongXingShou''
* ''[[VideoGame/TheSmurfs1994 The Smurfs]]''
* ''VideoGame/SnowBros Jr.''
* ''VideoGame/SolarStriker''
* ''[[VideoGame/SolomonsKey Solomon's Club]]''
* ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders''
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries Superman]]'' (Developed by TitusSoftware, who would release ''[[{{Superman64}} The New Superman Aventures]]'' two years later)
* ''VideoGame/SuperChinese Land'' (AKA ''Ninja Boy'')
** ''Super Chinese Land 2'' (AKA ''Ninja Boy 2'')
** ''Super Chinese Land 3''
** ''Super Chinese Fighter GB''
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand''
** ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioLand2SixGoldenCoins Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins]]''
* ''[[VideoGame/{{RC Pro-Am}} Super R.C. Pro-Am]]''
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars''
** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars1''
** ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars2 Super Robot Wars 2G]]''
* ''[[VideoGame/TheSwordOfHope The Sword of Hope]]''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheSwordOfHope The Sword of Hope II]]''
* ''VideoGame/TecmoBowl''
* ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fall of the Foot Clan''
** ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back From the Sewers''
** ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue''
* ''VideoGame/{{Telefang}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/PanelDePon Tetris Attack]]''
* ''VideoGame/TitusTheFox''
* ''VideoGame/TotalCarnage''
* ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga''
* ''VideoGame/ToyStory''
* ''VideoGame/TrackAndField''
* ''VideoGame/TumblePop''
* ''VideoGame/{{Turrican}}''
* ''VideoGame/TwinBee Da!''
* ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}: Runes of Virtue''
** ''Ultima: Runes of Virtue II''
* ''VideoGame/UndercoverCops Gaiden: Hakaishin Garumaa''
* ''VideoGame/WaveRace''
* ''VideoGame/WizardsAndWarriors X: The Fortress of Fear''
* ''VideoGame/WorldHeroes 2 Jet''
* ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}''
* ''VideoGame/Xenon2Megablast''
* ''Yoshi''
* ''Yoshi's Cookie''
* ''VideoGame/{{Zool}}''