The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The first handheld in the Game Boy family, it was first released in Japan on April 21, 1989, then North America, three months later, and lastly in Europe, over a year later. It was designed by the same team that developed the Game & Watch series of handheld electronic games and several Nintendo Entertainment System games: Satoru Okada, Gunpei Yokoi, and Nintendo Research & Development 1.
Nintendo’s second handheld game console, the Game Boy, combines features from both the NES home system and Game & Watch hardware. The console features a dull green dot-matrix screen with adjustable contrast dial, five control buttons (a directional pad, two game buttons, and “start” and “select”), a single speaker with adjustable volume dial, and, like its rivals, uses cartridges as physical media for games. The color scheme is made from two tones of grey with accents of black, blue, and dark magenta. All the corners of the portrait-oriented rectangular unit are softly rounded, save for the bottom right, which is curved. At launch, it was sold either as a standalone unit, or bundled with one of several games, namely Super Mario Land or Tetris. Several accessories were also developed, including a carrying pouch, Game Genie, and printer.
- Size – approximately 90 mm (3.5 in) x 148 mm (5.8 in) x 32 mm (1.3 in) (WxHxD)
- Weight – approximately 220 g (7.8 oz)
- Screen – 2.6 inch reflective super-twisted nematic (STN) liquid-crystal display (LCD), Vertical blank duration: Approximately 1.1 ms
- Display Size – Original: 47 mm (1.9 in) by 43 mm (1.7 in)
- Frame Rate – 59.727500569606 Hz
- Power – 6 V, 0.7 W (4× AA batteries)
- Battery Life – approximately 15 hours of gameplay
- CPU – Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 at 4.19 MHz
- Memory – 8 KiB internal S-RAM (can be extended up to 32 KiB), 8 KiB internal Video RAM, On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap ROM; KiB, 64 KiB, 128 KiB, 256 KiB, 512 KiB, 1 MiB, 2 MiB, 4 MiB and 8 MiB cartridges
- Resolution – 160 w × 144 h pixels (10:9 aspect ratio)
- Color Support – 2-bit (4 shades of “grey”: light to very dark olive green)
- Sound – 2 pulse wave generators, 1 PCM 4-bit wave sample (64 4-bit samples played in 1×64 bank or 2×32 bank) channel, 1 noise generator, and one audio input from the cartridge. The unit has only one speaker, however the headphone port outputs stereo sound.
- Input – Eight-way control pad, Four action buttons (A, B, Start, Select), Volume potentiometer, Contrast potentiometer, Power switch, Serial I/O (“Link cable”): 512 kbit/s with up to 4 connections in serial, Cartridge I/O