Game Boy turns 25 years old


On April 21, 2014, the iconic handheld gaming console Nintendo Game Boy celebrated its 25th birthday.

Aria Frangos, Scot Scoop Editor

The Game Boy, one of the original and most iconic handheld gaming devices, had its 25th birthday on April 21, 2014.

On April 21, 1989, Nintendo introduced the 8-bit game system to the world. Game Boy was not the first of its kind on the market, but it is widely considered to be the one that revolutionized portable gaming.

Most people can recognize a Game Boy by its characteristic cross-shaped directional pad and staggered control buttons. “At one point, portable gaming was synonymous with the Game Boy,” said games industry consultant Serkan Toto.

“I got my first Game Boy when I was twelve,” said senior Chris Gonzalez. “It’s definitely interesting to think that it’s been out for 25 years. They’re really fun game systems to use.”

Its portability, addictive games like Tetris, and cheap prices were significant factors in the wide popularity of the original Game Boy. Over 118 million Game Boy units have been sold, worldwide in the quarter-century of its existence. along with over 81 million units of its successor, the Game Boy Advance.

Game Boy was not only a trailblazer for widespread popularity in the field of compact and portable gaming, but was also one of the first to incorporate the idea of gaming networks. Users could connect their Game Boys using a link cable and play together. Many consider this the very beginning of what has now evolved into mass online gaming networks that connect millions of users.

“Home consoles just keep growing more and more powerful. The Xbox One is a television, gaming device, and, to an extent, a computer, all wrapped in one,” said sophomore Sirena Vasquez. “And I think the Steam Machine is going to be a really prominent bridge between PC gaming and console gaming.”

With numerous competitors like Nintendo, Sony’s PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox, gaming has come a long way since the first Game Boy. However, what started as an 8-bit handheld device with blocky, black and white graphics has been one of the most prominent triggers in the popularity of gaming.

“All video game consoles are timeless to their owners,” said Vasquez. “It’s all relative, I think. People just really like their original consoles and games. I still play Pokémon, and it’s been more than 12 years since I first got into it.”

Although 25 years old and now discontinued, Game Boy continues to be an icon of original handheld gaming.

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