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About Game Boy

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The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was first released in Japan in April 1989. The console first debuted in North America in July 1989 and in Europe in September 1990. The Game Boy was the first dedicated 8-bit portable Nintendo system that used interchangeable cartridges to play a variety of games. It features a 2.6-inch 4-shade LCD, stereo sound through headphones, and interchangeable cartridges. The button layout was based on that of the Nintendo Entertainment System controller. The Game Boy used 4 AA batteries, but could also be used with an AC Adapter to power the system from a wall socket. Of the many handheld systems to use ROM cartridges, the Game Boy was the most popular of its time.


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Based on a Z80 processor, the Game Boy has a black and green reflective LCD screen, an eight-way directional pad, two action buttons (A and B), plus Start and Select buttons with the controls being identical to the NES controller. It plays games from ROM-based media contained in cartridges (sometimes called carts or Game Paks). Game Boy graphics are 8-bit, which is similar to the NES.

Although the Game Boy was actually the least technologically impressive compared to competitors like the Sega Game Gear and the Atari Lynx, smart marketing by a trusted brand led it to becoming the most successful handheld console of its era. Specifically, Tetris was the game that pushed the Game Boy into the upper reaches of success, due to the far-reaching popularity of the game combined with the console's handheld format which allowed it to be played anywhere. Tetris also came packaged with the Game Boy which broadened its reach, as adults and children alike wanted to buy Game Boys in order to play Tetris. As a result. releasing Tetris on the Game Boy was selected as #4 on GameSpy's "25 Smartest Moments in Gaming".

The original Game Boy was one of the first cartridge-based systems that supported more than four players at one time (via the link port). In fact, it has been shown that the system could support 16 simultaneous players. However, this feature was only supported in Faceball 2000. In 1995, the "Play it Loud" version of the original Game Boy was released in five different colors: red, yellow, green, black and clear.