features of all consoles

launched in Japan on April 21, 1989. This console was based on a Sharp LR35902 processor clocked at 4.19 MHz, which was based on the Zilog Z80. This console integrated a 2.6-inch reflective LCD screen in green and black with a resolution of 160×144 pixels.

It lacked internal memory. The games were stored in media-ROM cartridges that were installed in the back of the console. It also integrated a small speaker in the lower left part. It did not integrate a battery, instead it used four AAA batteries for its funtionability.

It was a fairly bulky console of light gray color, a pad of eight directions (crosshead) of black color. It had two action buttons (A and B) in purple, and the Start and Select buttons in dark gray.

Notable for being the first cartridge-based console to support more than four players. This was achieved through the mythical link cable that allowed to connect the consoles simultaneously. It allowed up to 16 players to be supported, although the only game that implemented this option was Faceball 2000.

Initially the console was only available in light grey, although promotional editions with company logos were released. In 1995 (year of its discontinuation) the Play it Loud! Are Game Boy special editions in various colors which were called:

  • radiant red
  • Bright yellow
  • lovely green
  • deep black
  • Cool Blue (Europe only)
  • Traditional White (Europe and Japan only)
  • transparent hi-tech
  • Pearl Pink (Very Limited Japan Only)

original game boy

Game Boy Pocket (1996-2000)

Review of the original console that was characterized by being smaller, lighter and with less consumption. I had room for two AAA batteries and offered up to 10 hours of gameplay. Internally the hardware is the same and the format of the cartridges was also maintained. What’s more, the console never had exclusive games, it used those of the Game Boy, without more.

One of the big differences was in the link cablewhose connector was smaller. An adapter was required in order to use the original Game Boy cable. The t-screenalso underwent a revision, using a black and white monochrome display.

The first model was silver in color and lacked an LED that would indicate the level of the batteries. Obviously, users were not happy with this point and it forced Nintendo to add it later. In addition, they added colors such as Blue Ice Metallic and a pink version that was only released in Japan.

gameboy pocket

Game Boy Light (1998)

console released exclusively in Japan and that it was almost identical in size to the Pocket. This console was characterized by having a backlit displaybeing the first to integrate it.

Something very interesting is that he used two AA batteries that allowed to play until 20 hours with the light off And till 12 hours with the light on.

gameboy light

Game Boy Color (1998-2003)

was released on October 21, 1998 and was the first to add a color screen. It was slightly larger than the Pocket, but much more powerful in every way. used a 2.3 inch TFT LCD screen with a resolution of 160×144 pixels.

Something interesting is that it used the same processor as the original console, the Sharp Corporation LR35902. The difference is that this processor could reach 8.39 MHz, which gave it greater performance. required dand two AA batteries for its operation and offered about 10 hours of use. It added an infrared port, something quite novel.

It offered compatibility with Game Boy cartridges and, in some cases, could add some variety of color. But, the cartridges created for this console could not be used in the previous versions. There was an exception, the black cartridges, which did offer compatibility.

gameboy color

Game Boy Advance (2001-2006)

This console represents a complete format change from its predecessors. We went from more elongated style consoles to a stretched solution that more closely resembles the current Nintendo Switch.

The main particularity of this console is that it integrates two processors on the same chip, which receives the name of CPU AGB. Inside we have the following processors:

  • 32-bit ARM7TDMI with a frequency of 16.8 MHz and integrated memory that is the main one of this console
  • Sharp LR35902 that works at the frequencies of 4.19 MHz and 8.38 MHz to give compatibility to the Game Boy and Game Boy Color games

This console has a 2.9-inch color TFT LCD reflective display. The screen offers us aat a resolution of 240×190 pixels. On the left of the screen (front view) we have the crosshead, Start and Select and on the right we have the A and B buttons, as well as the speaker. Then, at the top we have the L and R triggers, while at the bottom we have the volume wheel.

use this console two AA batteries what are you offering up to 15 hours of autonomy. Although the console is compatible with the cartridges of previous consoles, a more compact cartridge not compatible with previous Game Boy is introduced.

gameboy advance

Game Boy Advance SP (2003-2008)

Variant of the previous console that recovers a bit the style of the original consoles. Its greatest particularity is its design, Clamshell or shell type. The screen folds over the crosshead and buttons, making it extremely compact.

The console uses the same processor and the same screen as the previous model, changing only the format. had the peculiarity of implement front light, that no backlight.

It is the first of the Game Boy that does not use batteries is based on a internal battery up to 10 hours of autonomy. Assumes a great innovation compared to previous models.

Interestingly, an improved version was released in mid-September 2005. Officially it was called AGS 101, but in the United States it was baptized as Mark II or GBA SP+. This console replaced the front light with screen backlight.

game boy advance sp

Game Boy Micro (2005-2008)

Variant of the Adavance, which is much lighter and smaller. It uses the same processor as this console, but there are notable changes to its design. The screen becomes 2-inch TFT LCD with a 240×160 pixel resolution and backlight with brightness adjustment.

Like the Avance SP, this console comes with an internal battery, but much more limited. this console offered only 5 hours of autonomy.

The US version came with two interchangeable faceplates. Nintendo of America, on its website, sold different skins for further customization. While the European version only included a cover.

It is the first console that does not have the ability to read Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. It is only compatible with games released for the Game Boy Advance.

Game Boy Micro

game boy cartridges

There are two types of cartridges for Nintendo consoles, the “original” 5.8×6.5 cm and the “Advance” 5.6×3.3 cm. In both cases, they housed the game and the information needed to be able to launch it.

Internally these cartridges contained a small battery with SRAM. In addition, they had flash memory or EEPROM chips to be able to save the progress of the game.

There were a total of four types of cartridges that had a meaning:

  • Greys: compatible with all game boys, except with the Micro. It was the color of original console cartridge. The games of these cartridges are programmed in black and white
  • Blacks: compatible with all game boys, except with the Micro. It tells us that the games are programmed in color, but can run on monochrome Game Boys. It is estimated that over a quarter of the games created for the Game Boy Color used these cartridges.
  • Clear or translucent: exclusive for the Game Boy Color, No offering compatibility with previous consoles. Its “bulged” top and it doesn’t say “Nintendo Game Boy”, it just says Game Boy Color. In addition, its design is completely rectangular, without the security slot of the original Game Boy. This was done so that it would not install on said consoles and try to turn on
  • Advance: are exclusive to the Game Boy Advance, Advance SP and Micro, being also compatible with the Nintendo DS and DS Lite. His height is nearly half the size of the original cartridge. All cartridges of this type were gray in color

gameboy cartridge

special editions

Although the colors are standard, there are cartridges with special colors. These are:

  • original gameboy
    • Red: for the Red Pokémon
    • Blue: for the Pokémon Blue
    • Yellow: for the Yellow Pokémon (where Pikachu is the protagonist)
    • Yellow: for Donkey Kong Land
  • Original Game Boy and Game Boy Color
    • Gold: for the Pokémon Gold
    • Silver: for the Pokémon Silver
  • Game Boy Color
    • Translucent blue: for the game Pokémon Crystal
  • gameboy advance
    • Red: for the Ruby Pokémon
    • Blue: for the Sapphire Pokémon
    • Translucent green: for the Emerald Pokémon
    • 4.4 cm long: Yoshi’s Universal Gravitation game includes a motion sensor inside, so the cartridge is 1 cm longer
    • Transparent: the Boktai series are transparent since they include a solar sensor inside

game boy color cartridge

Differences between Game Boy consoles

Finally, we are going to summarize what are the differences between the Nintendo consoles. These are:

boy range gameboy pocket Game Boy Light Game Boy Color gameboy advance Game Boy Advance SP Game Boy Micro
Dimensions 148x90x32mm 127.6×77.6×25.3mm 135x80x29mm 133.5x78x27.4mm 82x145x24mm 82x84x24mm 50x101x17.2mm
Weight 220 grams 150 grams 190 grams 138 grams 140 grams 142 grams 80 grams
Processor Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz and 8.39 MHz ARM7TDMI 32-bit 16.8 MHz with internal memory
Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz and 8.39 MHz
ARM7TDMI 32-bit 16.8 MHz with internal memory
Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 MHz and 8.39 MHz
ARM7TDMI 32-bit 16.8 MHz with internal memory
Memory 8KB RAM
32KB DRAM (internal CPU)
256KB DRAM (external CPU)
96KB VRAM (internal CPU)
32KB DRAM (internal CPU)
256KB DRAM (external CPU)
96KB VRAM (internal CPU)
32KB DRAM (internal CPU)
256KB DRAM (external CPU)
96KB VRAM (internal CPU)
screen size 2.6 inches 2.6 inches 2.6 inches 2.3 inches 2.9 inches 2.9 inches 2 inches
Screen color black and green black and white black and white Color Color Color Color
Resolution 160×144 pixels 160×144 pixels 160×144 pixels 160×144 pixels 240×160 pixels 240×160 pixels 240×160 pixels
backlight No No Yeah No No Front light (AGS-001)
Backlight (AGS-101)
adjustable backlight
Battery 4 AA batteries with up to 15 hours of autonomy 2 AAA batteries with up to 10 hours of autonomy 2 AA batteries with up to 20 hours of autonomy without light and 12 hours with light 2 AA batteries with up to 10 hours of autonomy 2 AA batteries with up to 15 hours of autonomy Lithium battery with up to 10 hours of autonomy Lithium battery with up to 5 hours of autonomy
cartridges 5.8×6.5cm 5.8×6.5cm 5.8×6.5cm 5.8×6.5cm 5.6×3.3cm 5.6×3.3cm 5.6×3.3cm
backward compatibility No No No game boy game boy
Game Boy Color
game boy
Game Boy Color
gameboy advance

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