In the history of portable gaming, there’s nothing bigger than the Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Boy started a revolution of gaming that survived many variations over the course of a decade. When it launched in late 1989, it competed against the Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx. Remember those? Yeah, me neither!
The Birth of Next Generation Console Gaming
The 1980s saw a competition in video gaming that was unprecedented. The Game Boy Console was launched as an 8-bit video game device that featured a lightweight frame and familiar Nintendo control buttons used on its cousin, the Nintendo Entertainment System. One of the most unique features that set this device apart from others, besides its form factor, was the ability to plug in an extension connector for team gaming. The console also became a next generation gaming device with small cartridges. Often these cartridges mirrored the popular games at the time on larger console systems. This prompted simultaneous playing for the NES as well as competition for North American, Japanese, and European titles.
Advanced Features and Public Reaction
The Nintendo Game Boy also featured an external rechargeable battery pack and a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for added convenience. Initial reaction to the Game Boy took hold in similar fashion to the iPod. Although the Atari Lynx featured color graphics and networking abilities, the Game Boy was a more affordable option and featured more user-friendly controls. The rechargeable battery pack differentiated it from the market by making it truly a highly portable video gaming device, effectively targeting an expanded audience who often traveled.
The Many Colors of the Game Boy
The Game Boy became so popular that it played out many incarnations over the years to appeal to gamers. By the 1990s popularity continued growing by introducing the Game Boy Pocket. The Game Boy Pocket featured a smaller unit that required only two AAA batteries for 10 hours of game play. There was a better visual display and a change to an LED battery status level. There were also several choices of colors available. In Japan, the Game Boy Light was a marketed version of the Game Boy Pocket which featured a backlight in addition to advanced battery levels.
The Game Boy became a device expanding its use of the accessory port by introducing the Game Boy Printer in 1998, which was a year of many changes for Nintendo. It functioned using thermal paper with adhesive backing and was able to print basic black-and-white images as well as photos from the Game Boy Camera. Game Boy also introduced Game Boy Color, which allowed players to play traditional Nintendo games in full hi-color. This allowed users to go backwards compatible and play their old favorites in full color.
The Enigma of the Game Boy
The Game Boy continued to evolve into the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP in 2005. It utilized a flip-down top instead of the standard handheld device as seen before. Although the latest incarnation of Game Boy looks less like the original, it still contains many of the same features, such as battery life and use of ROM cartridges. It became a more portable device as well. Regardless of these changes, over the past decade the Nintendo Game Boy has created a market of simple design and innovation with compatible features for all versions.
Travis Fuller writes on gadgets, gadget accessories, video games, technology, computer hardware, and other related topics.
The NES Classic Edition Is Returning To Stores Next Month
Back in November 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a mini-sized version of the iconic NES console, which came loaded with 30 popular games from Nintendo’s past. The cost of reliving those nostalgic memories? A very reasonable $59.99.
The only problem? Nintendo drastically underestimated demand for the NES Classic Edition, and they were pretty much impossible to find, and many nostalgic fans like me never could get our hands on one, even after searching stores for over six months.
And then came the death blow, the announcement from Nintendo in April 2017 that they were discontinuing the NES Classic Edition, and that if you hadn’t got one by then, you were pretty much screwed.. or forced to pay $200+ for one on eBay.
Thankfully, it looks like Nintendo had a change of heart, recently announcing on Twitter that they will be re-releasing the NES Classic Edition, with the highly-coveted retro console returning to stores on June 29th. YAAAAASSSS!
The NES Classic Edition will cost $59.99 upon its return, just as it did when it launched in November 2016. The games included on the console will also stay the same.
Here’s the full list of the games that come loaded on the NES Classic Edition:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- FINAL FANTASY
- Ghosts’N Goblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby’s Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- Super C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Tecmo Bowl
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
As you can see, there’s a little something here for everyone: a nice mix of timeless favorites, cult classics and maybe even some games that you never got around to playing as a kid.
Needless to say, if you missed out on the NES Classic Edition the last time around, you’ll want to line up at the store come June 29th, as these are sure to sell out quickly!
PocketSprite Brings Retro Gaming To Your Keychain
Feast your eyes on PocketSprite, an impossibly small retro gaming device that can play your favorite Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Master System, or Game Gear games.. provided you’ve got tiny fingers.
It’s hard to believe that something as small as a Zippo lighter could do so much, but this shrunken Gameboy boasts a 240 MHz processor, 520 KB of RAM, a smooth OLED display, an 8-bit speaker, Wifi, Bluetooth, player-tested buttons, and a rechargeable battery. Pretty amazing, right?
With the PocketSprite safely tucked in your pocket, you’ll be able to relive your childhood playing games like Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog whenever you like. Sorry Candy Crush, it’s been fun, but I’ve found a new way to amuse myself on the subway (and on the toilet)..
But wait, there’s more! While the PocketSprite comes with built-in emulators for the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Master System, and Game Gear, the device runs open-source software, allowing savvy coders with skills to get creative and load whatever they want on it.
If you want to purchasing this ultra-tiny retro gaming device for yourself, it’ll set you back a very reasonable $55. You can reserve a PocketSprite from Crowd Supply, with shipping to begin on May 15th.
Are you planning on getting a PocketSprite?
‘Session’ Is The Skateboarding Sim Fans Have Been Waiting For
As someone who grew up skateboarding, I instantly fell in love with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and EA’s Skate series when they came out, playing the games for hours on end as I pulled off sick tricks that I couldn’t really do in real life without risking life and limb.
Sadly, EA stated that they aren’t working on Skate 4, leaving the skateboarding community without a game to play.. until now. Developer Creā-ture Studios has spent the past two years working on Session, the spiritual successor to Skate, and they recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help bring the game to fruition.
Speaking to Game Rant, Marc-Andre Houde, the game’s creative and artistic director and the co-founder of Creā-ture Studios, explains the thinking behind the game and its realism:
The way we see the game and how we want to make it is really we are targeting a niche market and we are trying to serve it as well as we can.
Sometimes [developers] try to do too much to please everyone so they make a lot of compromises and they make sure the experience is available for every skillset. It restricts the experience for more advanced gamers or more hardcore people. So, we decided to take it the other way for Session.
The game might appeal to the Tony Hawk Pro Skater audience but we are more targeting the Skate audience.
Unlike other games, Session does away with points/scoring, with the primary goal of you experiencing what skateboarding really is; a sport where there are no goals other than expressing your creativity and achieving success through hard work, perseverance and bits of madness for no one else other than yourself.
Session has blown past it’s Kickstarter funding goal, so barring any delays the game should be released on PC (and Xbox One) in July 2019. Fingers crossed!