On April 21, 1989 the original Nintendo was launched (in Japan). It may not have been the most powerful or the most technically advanced handheld of its time (it didn’t even get a colour screen until 1998) but the combination of great games, mainstream appeal and, unlike almost all of its competitors, a huge market share of female gamers ensured it has stood the test of time as the best loved. 25 years later and the Game Boy has sold more than 118 million units in all its different forms across the globe.
Now, you may have noticed that we are day late with the anniversary wishes (we were distracted by a UK bank holiday, chocolate eggs and, er, the Queen’s birthday) but we thought it was still worth a belated look back at its weird and wonderful past and celebrate just some of the many reasons why we love the Nintendo Game Boy…
IT HAD THE BEST GAMES
Look at all the games: Tetris, Pokemon, Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Zelda, Kirby, Mega Man and so on and so on. We love Monster Hunter as much as the next guy but Sony still needs to take note…
THEY LOOK EVEN COOLER WHEN CUSTOMISED
Check out more images of Kodykoala’s Zombie Game Boy here, OSKUNK’s custom console art here and Chiptune musician and serial Game Boy customiser Thretis’ designs here. The 18 carat gold and diamond encrusted Game Boy (thought to be the only one in existence) was made by watch maker Swiss Supply for the jewellers Aspreys of London and cost a cool $25k. Totally worth it.
IT HAD THE BEST ADVERTS
So many questions. Is a ferret down your trousers fun at all? How big is Godzilla’s Game Boy? Did anyone who owned a Game Bot ever get laid? Also, how ironic that the non-Nuby Kid is probably the cooler-looking one in 2014…
THE THIRD PARTY PERIPHERALS WERE SOMETHING TO BEHOLD
Say “screw you!” to ergonomics and turn your Game Boy into something that looks like it would be launched from Soundwave’s chest.
Curious about the sewing machine? That was a bizarre partnership between Nintendo and Singer, where the handheld would be used to program different sewing patterns. read more about it here. They probably all used fewer batteries than the Sega Game Gear, though. Burrrn…
IT CAN SURVIVE WARS
Did you know that Game Boys are bombproof? Turns out they are.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY GAME BOY! LET’S CELEBRATE!
Something something Jessica Nigri in a Game Boy-style dress. This is relevant, right?