Are you Game, Boy?

The Nintendo Game Boy is without a doubt one of the most iconic gaming systems of all time, having shifted millions of units and turned countless individuals into Tetris addicts and prolific portable players.

However, the console itself was actually seen as something of a weakling, even by the standards of the late '80s. This was of course intentional - the machine adhered to the creator Gunpei Yokoi's "Lateral Thinking of Withered Technology", where cheap, existing tech was used in new and exciting ways. He'd already mastered this approach with the popular Game & Watch series at the start of the 1980s, and the Game Boy was the next logical step - yet it was vastly underpowered when compared to the likes of the Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear, both of which sported backlit, full colour screens.

Beating inside the Game Boy was a CPU which by 1989 had already enjoyed a pretty colourful past. The 8-bit Zilog Z80 launched in 1976 and was to be found in a wide range of computers and consoles - it's still in use today in advanced pocket calculators. While the Z80 variant inside the Game Boy was unquestionably a limiting factor when it came to gaming, it was cheap to produce - allowing Nintendo to undercut its rivals on cost and ensure that the console had impressive battery life.

If you're itching to learn more about the silicon which beats at the heart of Nintendo's prestigious portable, then you should watch this video, put together by the talented guys over at JackTech. Just make sure you have a hot drink handy and a spare 12 minutes.