News Article

The Game Boy is 25 Years Old in North America

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Happy Birthday, Old Boy

The Game Boy recently celebrated the 25th anniversary for its release in Japan, a reminder of the enduring legacy of one of Nintendo's greatest creations. Its role in transforming the games industry and popularising portable systems can't be overlooked, not to mention the various franchises and classic games that define it.

The original may have had a monochrome screen and a 'brick' form, yet some still feel that the original hardware can't be beaten for sheer portable gaming joy. Overwhelmed by nostalgia or not, there's certainly an inherent charm in the Old Boy, as we can perhaps call it in the most affectionate way.

We're not shy of celebrating the system here on Nintendo Life, and if you want to bask in its retro glow you should certainly check out our 25th Anniversary feature from earlier this year, while we also gave it the hardware classics treatment in early 2013.

If celebrating through music is your thing, you should check out the free album, Legacy: Game Boy 25th Anniversary, which has been published by OverClocked ReMix. It features 15 cool tracks re-arranged by a total of 16 artists; there's a trailer below, and you can download it from the album's official website.

Happy Birthday, Game Boy. Share your memories and thoughts on the iconic system in the comments below.

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User Comments (35)

Ryno

#3

Ryno said:

Christmas 1989, oh how I will never forget you and getting my Game Boy, Tetris, and Super Mario Land!

Shiryu

#5

Shiryu said:

My first Nintendo console! Working on a music tribute to it, should be out sometime after my Summer vacation.

WaveyChristmas

#6

WaveyChristmas said:

Super Mario Land, Tetris and TMNT: Fall of the Footclan were the 3 vintage pixel stars at my house. I'll admit though, i could never really adjust to the puke monochrome green motion smearing visuals. :P i didn't give it that much attention Vs my NES. I can appreciate it, but the DS(Lite) shall forever be my favorite hand held, for now tee hee.

Anyways, enjoy these awesome nostalgiac 'n radical GB commercials. I can't count how many times i used to see Super Mario Land's grace my good ol' wood panel Tube TV.

sketchturner

#8

sketchturner said:

I played NES at friends' houses a lot, but GameBoy was MY first system. It's what made me a life-long gamer and Nintendo fan in particular. So much nostalgia.

3DSfan134

#9

3DSfan134 said:

Pokemon is another reason the GameBoy is the best. Even Kirby's Dream Land! :) Happy 25th anniversary of the best handheld hence DS or 3DS. Can we hope for a classic GameBoy stage for Super Smash Bros.?

And let's have these kids think of the GameBoy....

Dinosaurs

#12

Dinosaurs said:

Got a gamboy when I was 5. Of all the consumerism I've contributed to in this darn world, that was easily the best thing ever and the most influential.

BinaryFragger

#13

BinaryFragger said:

I feel old now.
I had the original model and I still regret giving it away in the mid 2000s to my then-girlfriend's little brother. On the bright side, at least someone else had some fun with it.

Krambo42

#14

Krambo42 said:

@3DSfan134 I don't think their reactions are that bad, honestly. I mean, as great as the Gameboy is, it does seem kinda silly when you can have something smaller with a color screen and countless games to play without cartridges. I mean, I prefer the Gameboy, but I get why a kid wouldn't. I was actually surprised they liked it as much as they did (some more than others, of course). Plus, were they even aware that it plays more than just Tetris?

Pokefanmum82

#15

Pokefanmum82 said:

I loved playing Tetris on my stepdad's. I had the game boy colour. Man how I miss it. It was that clear purple one and my dad bought me Pokemon red for it. Definitely my favorite system. Man I wish I still had my GameBoy Colour.

xj0462

#17

xj0462 said:

happy birthday game boy!!! i still have my blue game boy pocket that my dad APPARENTLY found lying on a parking lot,it has some dents and cosmetic damage but still works like a champ!!

thehoppypoppy

#19

thehoppypoppy said:

My 9th birthday, I got my first gameboy (it was green). My special game memories: Harvest Moon & Kirby's Dreamland!

ecco6t9

#20

ecco6t9 said:

25 years and with a little TLC most Game Boy systems will last another 25.

mjharper

#21

mjharper said:

I never got a Game Boy, but I remember always finding the display at Wal-mart or Toys R Us and playing Tetris until my parents told me it was time to go. I've owned at least three different versions of Tetris since then, but Game Boy Advance was my first (and only) portable.

KingCreezy

#22

KingCreezy said:

I got mine in 1989 as well. My mom and dad had put them on layaway at a Fred Meyers in Anchorage Alaska. We were rolling cross country to move down here to Florida. I'll never forget going with them to pick it up. Tetris and Super Mario Land were my starters as well. Those were the days.....

HandheldGuru97

#23

HandheldGuru97 said:

I for one came onto the Game Boy scene far, far later than most. I am only 16 so naturally I was born right around the end of the Original's lifespan and just before the Pokémon cult of the late 1990's began :P My first handheld seven years later in 2004 was the Gameboy Advance SP. I got into collecting handhelds little over four years ago with...the Gameboy Micro. I got the Color and Original within a month of each other in fall of 2011(october and November respectfully, yes the Color came first) and the rest they say is, well, history. Today I own north of 18+ handhelds and my Gameboy Original/Color game collection is by far the largest retro handheld game collection I have (in close-ish 2nd in the Advance and a distant 3rd is my Neo Geo Pocket Color or Atari Lynx...) So many brilliant and fun games, I will admit I seldom play on the Original, but since getting a Pocket...black and white has been in baby! The Color is still my favorite of all the 'Boys, but the Original definitely has its place :) Happy birthday Game Boy! Here is to another 25 years of pea green handheld gaming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NintendoFan64

#24

NintendoFan64 said:

Admittedly I prefer the Gameboy Advance, but let's face it, the original was, and still is awesome. it had a lot of fun games for it, and it started Nintendo's series of handheld systems, which is also good. Happy birthday, Gameboy!

MarioFanDude26

#27

MarioFanDude26 said:

I always remember my first Game Boy when I got it for X-Mas back in 1990s when I was a kid. Good old times. sighs happily

SakuraHaruka

#29

SakuraHaruka said:

I recently bought 2 titles for Game Boy (Game & Watch Gallery 1 & 2) in the Virtual Console 3DS and I got as Gift Mario Land 2 for Gold member in Club Nintendo; and all those games, I have them in their original Game Boy Game Pack, only I played them in Game Boy Advance, but I never got bored for playing those games; it's a shame that some I don't play completely (batteries are dry...), but I can play them anyway.
Waiting for the other 2 G & W Gallery and saving money for other titles (Mario Land, well, I think that will be soon, XD)

sdelfin

#32

sdelfin said:

I think I got the original GB within a year of its launch. A friend of mine got one early and I got to experience how cool it was and I wanted one for a while. My particular unit's screen started giving up a bit early after only several years of service, but it remained playable for a while before it got worse.

Andremario

#33

Andremario said:

Happy birthday old boy and thanks for revolutionizing portable gaming! Happy gaming everyone!

Stucazzo

#34

Stucazzo said:

Every kid to teenager back in the early 90's were using the gameboy headphones with their walkman's.

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