All you seem to hear about these days is current generation consoles. I understand of course as these days everyone loves reading about Microsoft versus Sony as these two gaming juggernauts battle over which console is mightier: the Xbox One or the PS4 with Nintendo’s NX slowly creeping into view as the Wii U tries to figure out a surprise attack. I of course like to hear about it too but there are times when I don the rose-tinted spectacles and seek to learn about the consoles of yore. One classic handheld for example is one that I will always cherish to this day: the Game Boy.
When I was a little Yoshi I was given a original Game Boy (You know, the big one that needed four AA batteries! :P) and I fell in love with it as soon as I played Pokemon Red and Super Mario Land 1 and 2 because why wouldn’t you at the time, because look how Pokemon has grown to become and Mario well, lets just say being Nintendo’s mascot is a full time job. It had its faults sure, as it was too big to fit in a pocket and it needed four AA batteries to work (Duracell’s aren’t cheap you know!) but the good thing was that when you got batteries in it, it would last a fair while before you had to inevitably run to your nearest corner shop. Also there wasn’t a back-light so playing it in the dark when everyone was asleep wasn’t an option unless you had one of those lights you could buy that plugged into the Game Boy. (Which mostly drained the battery and would do more harm than good as you would struggle to see because of the glare anyway.)
In spite of these little problems, the Game Boy was a sure fire hit as even though it didn’t have full colour graphics like the Sega Game Gear or the Atari Lynx it had the games to back it up. After all when someone is looking for a handheld console its not just the novelty of being able to take it with you on holiday, the train or basically anywhere you wanted to go, as that novelty will easily fade if there isn’t any good games available for it and while the other consoles had good games too the amount of successful games for the Game Gear, Lynx, Neo Geo and Pocket Colour paled in comparison to the Game Boy’s. Nothing against these consoles of course as they were great too but Nintendo was able to come up with a handheld that had great games and while it had its fair share of stinkers, was able to set the stage that many great game series like Pokemon, Mario, Metroid, The Legend Of Zelda and many more befitted from as it introduced a whole new generation to Nintendo, including me!
Of course, being a handheld console that was loved by a lot of people it is now a collectors item and there are many avid collectors out there trying to collect as many Game Boy games as they can as well as expressing their love for the Game Boy themselves. While I don’t collect Game Boy games myself I like reading about games I never played and watching YouTubers like GameBoyle not just talk about licensed games, but bootleg ones as well and realising that one of the Game Boy bootleg games he covered I happened to own too!
So when you have time, feel free to look deeper into the history of one of the best selling handheld consoles of all time because if it wasn’t for the Game Boy, Nintendo wouldn’t have conquered the handheld console market and I wouldn’t be writing about the first handheld console I ever owned too and one day, I will go to the corner shop and buy some AA batteries and hear the iconic start up sound all over again.