The video game industry changed forever with the Game Boy, the first console that brought the ability to play games on the go, anytime, anywhere.
Before the Game Boy, no one knew what it was like to play video games on the go, on a fully standalone handheld console. After all, all it needed was two pairs of batteries ready for hours of fun. O Game Boy turns 33 and changed the way we play forever.
Game Boy: 33 years of history
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Produced by Nintendo, still today the most reputable video game company in the world, the Game Boy was released in April 1989 in Japan. It only arrived in the US in July and only a year later it was received by European countries.
Although this was the second portable model released by Nintendo, it was undoubtedly the most successful. In fact, the first console of its kind was the Game & Watch, much smaller than the Game Boy, which was eventually discontinued in 2003.
The truth is that this iconic console, which later met different models, paved the way for a series of portable devices that we know today, along with other products that today are even seen as vintage?? So we’ve gathered some of the most important moments that, nowadays, wouldn’t exist without the Game Boy.
the portable consoles
Although this was not the first portable line launched by Nintendo, it was undoubtedly striking and decisive for all the releases that followed, whether from the Japanese giant or from other competing brands.
In fact, the Game Boy paved the way for game portability. Consoles became lighter, replacing batteries with batteries, adding new accessories, reducing the format in which games were made available, among many other factors.
The Game Boy gave way to thinner models of the same line (Play It Loud!, Pocket, Light), the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS and the lines that followed. The possibilities are immense and proof of that is the Nintendo Switch, capable of combining two completely opposite realities.
The console that paved the way for the Nintendo Switch
One of the most successful Nintendo products these days is the Nintendo Switch, a console that, in addition to being “fixed” to the TV at home, can also be taken anywhere, a true innovation in this field. such a creative industry.
This is precisely where the biggest advantage of the console lies, which can be used in two different ways, does not have the best graphics, especially when compared to devices like the PS4 or Xbox One. Also taking inspiration from “fixed” consoles, Nintendo has improved some of its best games and given them a more “portable” life.
And it’s in the flexibility it offers, based on features that aren’t high-end, that sets it apart from other consoles. The truth is that it was in the simple hardware of the Game Boy that Nintendo Switch was inspired to present a flexible, efficient equipment with unlimited gameplay.
Game Boy accessories
gadgets that seemed to have no end and that with each release introduced a new functionality to a game. It was these accessories that inspired the production of new and more advanced consoles. If you remember, between cameras, magnifiers and other adapters, there seemed to be no end to the amount of accessories that the Game Boy had.
Devices such as the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 2DS or Nintendo Labo took inspiration from the endless possibilities of the original Game Boy edition to introduce new features to their games, including front cameras, thinktwo screens and even the possibility of combining digital games with paper accessories in an admirable harmony.
(Long) Before technologies like infrared, Bluetooth or high-speed Wi-Fi were used, there were other ways to share data, introducing new features to Game Boy games. An example of this were the long exchanges made between Game Boys, through a cable that connected both devices.
If you remember Pokémon Red, you certainly remember trading Pokémon between friends to win the most complicated duels and thus increase the library of magical creatures that even allowed you to participate in challenging tournaments.
The possibility of emulation
It was thanks to the Game Boy that the meaning of “emulation” applied to games was known. This meant that as long as you had the code for a certain game you played on the Game Boy, you could enter it into another device that would be able to play the exact same game.
This is due to hardware with which the console worked, which made it possible to replicate a game situation on another device without this implying adding more gadgets in the middle of the process. Emulation continued to be explored in other games released over the decades, such as Halowhich could also be played on other devices.
Without even guessing the success that the Game Boy would have, in the same way there was no perception of the influence that this portable console would have on future models. O hardware simple and characteristic feature of this iconic device contributes to an unprecedented development within the video game industry. 30 years later, the Game Boy is still very much present.