The Game Boy was Nintendo's first entry into the hand-held gaming market. Released initially in Japan and America in 1989, the unit played 8-bit video games on cartridges similar to the way the Nintendo Entertainment System home console did. Since that initial model, the Game Boy has had a long and rich history, evolving into a variety of models with many different features and benefits.
The Original Game Boy
The first Game Boy played 8-bit, cartridge-based video games on a black-and-white screen. It was similar in appearance to the controller for the NES and featured a nearly identical control interface. The original Game Boy featured an external speaker, allowing you to hear the games you were playing.
Game Boy Pocket
The Game Boy Pocket was the first major redesign of the original Game Boy, released originally in 1996. The case was physically lighter and smaller than the original Game Boy and was compatible with all the same games. The Game Boy Pocket was the first entry in the series to be released in a variety of different colors.
Game Boy Color
The Game Boy Color, released in 1998, was the first in the Game Boy series to support color games. The system itself could also add a rudimentary color scheme to older games designed for the original Game Boy that were originally programmed in black and white. The Game Boy Color was just as small and light as the Game Boy Pocket, but it included an infrared port at the top of the console for multiplayer gaming purposes.
Game Boy Advance/Game Boy Advance SP
The last official entry in the Game Boy line of electronics, before being succeeded by the Nintendo DS, was the Game Boy Advance. The original Game Boy Advance was similar in appearance to older Game Boys, with the notable difference being that the unit's controls were on the side of the screen as opposed to below them. The Game Boy Advance SP featured a flip-open screen. Both versions of the console supported 32-bit games.
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