|CPU||Custom 8-bit Sharp x80|
|ROM||256 kbit, 512 kbit, 1 Mbit, 2 Mbit and 4 Mbit and 8 Mbit cartridges|
|Graphic modes||160×144, Reflective LCD|
|Colors||4 shades of gray|
|Sound||2 Square Waves, 1 voluntary Wave (Triangle/DPCM), 1 White noise|
The Game Boy (ゲームボーイ, Gēmu Bōi?) is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on April 21, 1989 (1989-04-21), in North America on July 31, 1989 (1989-07-31), and in Europe on September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28). In Southern Asia, it is known as the "Tata Game Boy", and in South Korea as the "Mini Comboy", which was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, and was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo's Research and Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The Game Boy is Nintendo's second handheld system following the Game & Watch series introduced in 1980, and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch. It was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.
Despite many other, technologically superior handheld consoles introduced during its lifetime, the Game Boy was a tremendous success. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide. Upon its release in the United States, it sold its entire shipment of one million units within weeks.
The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.
At the time of its release in 1989, the Atari Lynx was also just being introduced to the market. This system featured color graphics, a backlit screen, and networking capabilities. However, its release price of $189.95 and substantial requirement of 6 AA batteries that would provide roughly only four or five hours of gameplay (compared to 10–12 hours on 4 AA batteries and a release price of $89.99 for the Game Boy) doomed it to a second-rate status. Nintendo also experienced heavy competition from Sega's Game Gear. To promote its new color console, Sega aired a number of negative ad campaigns in the United States that mocked the Game Boy's monochrome display compared to Game Gear's full color display. Like the Lynx, it too required six AA batteries that only lasted about 4–6 hours and was much more expensive than the Game Boy. The Game Gear had the advantage of being fully compatible (with an adapter) with all Sega Master System games and, while not as successful as the Game Boy, it sold from 1991 until early 1997.
Official Nintendo Magazine has praised the Game Boy and its models that follow it as it "got people who enjoyed gaming while sprawled on the couch in their undies to game wherever they liked."
In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.