Gameboy turns 30

Glen Hanton, Junior Writer

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On Easter Sunday, the Nintendo Game Boy reached the ripe old age of thirty years old. The console’s birthday brings back a slew of memories from Nintendo’s rise and early profitability to the company we know today. The Game Boy was the company’s first console success; even today it maintains a steady stock on order forms.

The Game Boy was the first multiplayer console created by Nintendo, following up the singleplayer game “Game and Watch” which was originally released nine years prior. “Game and Watch” allowed for the early popularization of the Game Boy in 1989, as Nintendo had become a large gaming name because of it.

On April 21, 1989 the Nintendo Game Boy was released for the price of $89.99 (about $170 in today’s money). Games Specialized for the Game Boy included classics such as Tetris, Pokemon Red & Blue, Super Mario Land, and others near to or upon its release. Addictive games, multiplayer capability and Nintendo’s well-known company name made for a hot selling product.

The Game Boy rocketed through store shelves into buyers’ hands until 1998 when the Game Boy Color was introduced with its own collection of original games along with new games to compliment the release of the new system. Both were discontinued in 2001 with the release of the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP.

Where does this leave the harbinger of multiplayer Nintendo? According to a count by Wikipedia, the total number of Game Boys sold has reached 118.69 million units as of 2018. Even some twenty years after its discontinuation, collectors and past gamers alike still hold the console close at hand in large numbers.

The Game Boy was the first of Nintendo’s multiplayer consoles. As such, it provided the baseline schematic for later consoles including the Wii and later the Nintendo Switch.

At thirty, the Game Boy has proven its worth to the history of gaming and entertainment. It has altered the way Americans consider the word “entertainment” through its continued contributions to the industry and long-lasting legacy.