Nintendo Gameboy

The Nintendo Gameboy was released in by Nintendo Japan in early 1989. It was the latest brainchild from Gunpei Yokoi, the genius behind Nintendo Game & Watch games. Gunpei also had several game writing credits to his CV at the time, the most notable was co-writing Donkey Kong, and the Nintendo CEO at the time was confident Gunpei would repeat his previous successes with the Gameboy.

The game came packaged with a simple, yet addictive puzzle game called Tetris. Consisting of different shaped bricks falling down the screen, the bricks had to be manipulated and moved by the player to create rows along the bottom of the game area. Once a row was completed it would disappear, freeing up space for more bricks to fall into.

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The now 'infamous' game was designed by by Alexey Pajitnov and written by Alexy & Dmitry Pavlovsky, two Russian Computer Science Engineers. Although the game is one of the most successful selling games of all time, both authors would have seen very little of the money from the Gameboy release as they lived in the Communist Soviet Union at the time, and any royalties would have gone straight to the Government (or allegedly the KGB).

The Gameboy was an instant hit, largely due to the Tetris game, but also because Nintendo promised ports of their best selling Donkey Kong, Zelda & Metroid games onto the new system. As with the Nintendo NES, Nintendo had no shortage of software developers waiting to make games for the new console. In its first year more than 100,000 consoles were sold in Japan alone, and it has gone on to be the biggest selling console of all time, racking up an amazing 168 million units worldwide.

However, these 168 million were not all the original incarnation of the Gameboy. Over the years, the console has experienced several transformations. Firstly to the Gameboy Pocket was released in 1996. This was essentially the same as the original Gameboy and had the same hardware inside, but it was smaller, sleeker and with a slightly clearer screen.

Next came the Gameboy Colour in 1998. This was the same layout, size and shape as the previous two Gameboys', but sported a colour screen, and a palette of 32,000 colours to choose from. Original Gameboy games were compatible with the Gameboy Colour, some even featuring enhancements, but Gameboy Colour games were not compatible with the original Gameboy.

2001 saw the release of the Gameboy Advance, a completely redesigned console with much more power & better graphics & sound. The most recent Gameboy Advance SP features (finally) a back-lit screen amongst its improvements.

Indeed, it was the lack of several features such as back lighting and colour that lead Sega to believe its handheld console, the Game Gear, would become more popular than the Gameboy. While the Game Gear was technically superior, had a more ergonomically pleasing shape and a larger colour screen, it lacked the game catalogue that the Gameboy had accumulated. That and the fact that its battery life was 1/5 of the Nintendo Gameboy saw its sad demise in 1997.

Several other consoles also attempted to Steal the Gameboys' crown as king of handhelds, but all fell short. The Neo Geo Pocket, Atari Lynx, Bandai Wonderswan and GP32 consoles have all failed to outsell the Gameboy. However, Sony have recently announced the imminent release of the PSP, which is almost as powerful as the PS2. Could this be the handheld to finally topple the Gameboy? Only time will tell.

As with any console, there are a number of add-ons you can buy. Not only did the Gameboy have link cables, magnifiers, back lighters, in car packs etc, but if you felt the need you could buy mini cameras, and tiny printers for your machine! Aside from the obvious with Tetris, notable games for me are Donkey Kong Land, Super Mario Land games, Zelda & the Pokemon games.

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Gameboy Gallery

Box: 
yes
£12.00
Manual: 
yes
£12.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Kirbys Dreamland 2

Box: 
yes
£14.00
Manual: 
yes
£14.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Street Fighter 2

Box: 
yes
£42.00
Manual: 
yes
£42.00

From across the globe comes eight of the wildest fighters the world has ever known. Choose your champion, gather your courage and prepare to battle your opponents in a bare knuckle brawl. Face Ken and his devastation "Dragon Punch"! Watch the temperature rise as Dhalsim incinerates you with his mystical Yoga Flame! Hear your spine crack as Zangief smashes you to the pavement with his spinning pile driver! Cover your ears as Guile breaks the sound barrier with the awesome power of the Sonic Boom!

Tetris Plus

Box: 
yes
£14.00
Manual: 
yes
£14.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Pacman

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Parasol Stars

Facebook
Box: 
yes
£38.00
Manual: 
yes
£38.00

Get ready for some finger-searing action as Bub and Bob blast their way onto your computer screen. Use four kinds of elements - Fire, Water, Lightning and Star - to overcome wave upon wave of nasties bent on ending your quest to rid the universe of the evil mastermind Chaostikahn! Whether you play alone or with a friend, stay alert! Your only hope of reaching the final showdown is to unlock the secret of Parasol Stars!

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Picross 2

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Qix

Box: 
yes
£10.00
Manual: 
yes
£10.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

Space Invaders

Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

This is a Japanese import but it will work on any Nintendo Gameboy Console.

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