News Article

Seriously Cool Game Boy Timeline

Posted by Damien McFerran

The Game Boy is 20!

Gadget site Gizmodo is celebrating the 20th birthday of Nintendo's Game Boy in style; the site has posted an illustrated timeline of the machine's history which goes all the way back to 1889.

Along the way the timeline picks out moments of success (and failure) as well as mentioning key historical events, too.

It's one of the coolest things we've seen in a while and is well worth a look - but make sure you click on the enlarged version on Gizmodo's site to get the full effect.

[via i.gizmodo.com]

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User Comments (34)

CorbsAdmin

#1

Corbs said:

I still remember standing outside Toys R Us the day the original Game Boy system was released. I was just about to start college and I ended up blowing most of my book money on the Game Boy and Super Mario Land. :D

DamoAdmin

#2

Damo said:

Happy days! :D

I recall not getting a GB until about a year after it launched in the UK. My best mate had one and I thought it was amazing that you could actually carry a console around with you - how times have changed.

DazzaAdmin

#3

Dazza said:

I remember getting one in '90 before I did my GCSEs, my best mate got one too. Sitting on the street curbs playing Tetris VS link-up, great times! Not a care in the world :-p

Tails

#5

Tails said:

i had my gameboy till i was 7 then someone stole it but i enjoyed me some mario land & many more.
ALSO: you have it saying 1889 it was 1989 ^^″

MickEiA

#6

MickEiA said:

@tails86 i thought it was a mistake but it does date back to 1889

i had a gameboy colour but never original gameboy

very intersting article about the handhelds my brother had the advance and colour when i got older i played em im 14 by the way

jorenmartijn

#7

jorenmartijn said:

Game Boy is as old as I am. :) I've got some good memories of it, especially the Game Boy Color. I loved the GSC Pokémon games!

maka

#8

maka said:

I'm much older than the GB (I'm more from the ZX Spectrum generation :) ). I remember when the GB was released, I hated it :D It wasn't until I saw the smaller GBC and Zelda Links awakening that I started loving the system :D

warioswoods

#9

warioswoods said:

I loved my old fat classic Game Boy.

Anyhow, notice what it says about Game Boy Color, because something almost exactly parallel is happening right now with the DSi:

"... with two times the processor speed and three times the memory."

The DSi has four times the memory of the DS and roughly twice the processor speed. Just as the GBColor was slowly phased in, first with some games that would run on both systems but look better on GBC, then eventually GBC exclusives, Nintendo has announced DSi-enhanced games which will surely be followed in time by DSi exclusives which will harness the full power.

Also note that three years passed before the GBC was followed by the next iteration of the system, the GBA. So, if they follow a similar timeline, you could expect the DSi to be the only DS successor until about 2012.

timp29

#11

timp29 said:

@ Damo: the site has posted an illustrated timeline of the machine's history which goes all the way back to 1889

Hahaha you're joking right? I can just picture Einstein smashing line out on tetris back in the day. I loved Tetris on my brick gameboy. I remember reading a great story about video game rage which featured someone trying to flush their old brick gameboy down a toilet. It was too big for the s-bend, so once they'd regained their composure they fished the brick out, sat it in the sun and apparently the thing still worked (albeit with a new fragrance).

And the moral of the story (because this is the retro section) they just don't make em like they used to.

maka

#14

maka said:

@warioswoods
Yep... but I wouldn't call it "waiting" because I didn't even learn about the game until I got the GBC... At that point my experience relating to console gaming was pretty much zero :) Until I got the GBC, all my gaming had been computer based (ZX Spectrum, Amiga 500, then PC and Mac). In fact, at that time I wasn't even interested at all in console gaming and only bought the GBC because of its portability and a bit later the N64 because of Zelda Ocarina of Time... Of course, after that I learned to appreciate the differences between computer and console gaming, which now only Nintendo seems to remember anymore....

Other_DaveStaff

#15

Other_Dave said:

Probably my favourite games machine with lots of great games released during its lifetime(s). I got the original xmas '91 then played (or owned) the various different upgrades as the years went by. I always keep my SP(brighter 101 model) nearby and have recentley been enjoying a combination of Mario Land, Cannon Fodder and Alpha 3 Upper.

warioswoods

#16

warioswoods said:

@maka

That's a good point; one of the reasons I'm so partial to Nintendo is that they think of console gaming as a completely distinct entity that has nothing to do with the kind of games you'd find on a PC, and likewise they understand that handheld games should obey completely different rules from their console counterparts (something the PSP doesn't seem to get).

I do occasionally play something like Half Life 2, Portal, or random older games on a PC (or actually a Mac running windows, but close enough), but I personally would never buy a system for my TV that focuses on that kind of gaming.

@Other Dave

I need to pick up an SP brighter-model sometime to fill in the void left by selling my Lite towards a DSi. All I have left that will run old GBA games is a first-series GBA, which of course requires that one be within 10 feet of the surface of the sun in order to see anything.

Ricardo91

#17

Ricardo91 said:

"The site has posted an illustrated timeline of the machine's history which goes all the way back to 1889."

Yeah, Lincoln sat in his office playing Tetris during his down time. :P

And the Game Boy is older than me, but only by 2 years. :)

NinjaTendo

#19

NinjaTendo said:

I just purchased an original beige GameBoy at a thrift store for my mini-collection of GameBoy products, but found out it had massive battery corrosion all on the contacts and circuit board. Since the outside was pretty much unscathed and had no yellowing, I decided it was worth it to try to restore it. After spending over an hour dissolving the corrosion off with white vinegar, I eventually got it back in perfect running operation. Long live GameBoy!

Muzer

#20

Muzer said:

Retro Gamer has a feature on the Game Boy, and guess which site they mention in it?

Yep, Nintendn^Holife

GamerZack87

#24

GamerZack87 said:

I wanna play Super Mario Land 2! NOW! Gimme Mario Land 2 Nintendo! WAAAAAAAAH!

Joking aside, I think that this would be the perfect year to introduce the DSi Virtual Console: I mean, it's the 20th birthday of the Game Boy (Really? It's been that long already?); Us DSi owners, retro enthusiasts, Nintendo purists, fanboys, fangirls etc. are eagerly awaiting the release of Mole Mania in the DSi Shop (or is that just me?)...seriously, what are they waiting for?

Oh, and my first game was the original Super Mario Land (strangely enough with a blue Game Boy pocket).

James

#25

James said:

@Muzer - not quite sure what you mean by that, though considering a certain somebody here has been known to freelance for Retro Gamer it's no surprise the site gets a few mentions!

I have never owned an original GameBoy, though I do have a GameBoy Colour lying around somewhere that I actually bought last year for my beloved, along with a boxed, mint condition Super Mario Land and Pokémon Blue too. I'm the best, me.

J_K

#26

J_K said:

Damn did I ever have a hell of a long love affair with that little handheld up to it's death with the Advance. Looking back it went along largely in directions I nor anyone could have ever suspected. You went from the basic look and sound of things like Tetris and Super Mario Land and then ended up nearly duplicating (in 4 colors) laserdisc based Dragon's Lair, Warlocked(warcraft clone), and Cannon Fodder. It's nuts really. And if you look back check out how many franchises broke off there or even got a start (Seiken Densetsu ie: Secret of Mana), or substories to franchises that did (Gargoyle's Quest.)

I miss the little thing but I parted with it and the Advance(backwards compatable you know) at the same time. I just have not enough time in my life to play, store, and lug around more than one or two handhelds. I hope and pray that NCL does the right thing and makes a handheld virtual console as I'd so pay up a good 500pts for an old GB/C title I loved to have another go again with them. Hell I still think that Super Mario Land 2 was one of the hugest 1st party accomplishments because a year after Super Mario World they went from the ugly look of SML1 and duped nearly the SuperNES experience on the go.

StarDust4Ever

#28

StarDust4Ever said:

My first Game Boy was the Game Boy Color, that translucent purple launch edition. I was a senior in high school then, but my real nintendo obsession did not start until the discovery of a still-in-box nintendo whilst cleaning out the garage four years later in 2002 ;)

GamerZack87

#29

GamerZack87 said:

I remember when my first Game Boy went missing along with my entire library of games...I was devastated...

At least my Dad replaced it with a Game Boy Color (Dandelion) and a whole swag of new games! I never would've had the chance to play Kirby's Block Ball if my old Game Boy never went missing. I also got SML2 as well!

By the way, has anybody ever had a Game Boy game stolen because a teacher made you keep it on a chair at the far end of the room (or similar, equally-unusual circumstance)? Just wondering...

deadly_by_design

#30

deadly_by_design said:

I loved my Gameboy, but it's still younger than I am by a handful of years. Ended up getting one when the TV my NES was hooked up to died.

Mega_man_xK

#31

Mega_man_xK said:

It is older than me!!!! OMM!
Oh
My
Mario

yeah but my Dad use to let my play the original but it mysteriosly broke
So they bought me a Gameboy color (purpel) and i played my DADs super mario land 2

Turbo_Genesis_64

#32

Turbo_Genesis_64 said:

1989-1990, where the most exciting years of home video games in my life. You had the GB, TG16, Genesis, Lynx, Konix Multisystem, FM Towns, Neo Geo, Super Famicom, Game Gear, and Super Grafx all making their big splashes in the issues of EGM and GamePro!

super-nintendo

#33

super-nintendo said:

Happy B-day Game Boy. My original Game Boy is still working and awesome looking in a Game Boy pouch in my closet. I'll keep it forever!! :)

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