The world’s oldest boy is celebrating its 25th birthday today.
July 31, 1989 marks the day that the Nintendo Game Boy hit store shelves in North America, making it 25 years since the original Game Boy was released.
The Japanese handheld gaming system was one of the first in its kind, selling over 119 million units internationally (at $89 per unit), allowing gamers to play on the go and change games on the fly with removable cartridges.
The Game Boy’s lead engineer, Gunpei Yokoi, helped create the high tech Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen that displayed the black and white graphics of the original Gameboy in all of its now obsolete glory.
The Nintendo Game Boy also offered the ability to connect with friends with a “Game Link Cable”, which let players link up and play multiplayer games with the handheld devices.
When they originally hit the store shelves on July 31, 1989, two of the games that Nintendo offered were Super Mario Land, which sold over 18 million copies and Alleyway.
Alleyway is a paddle game that’s similar to the “Brick Breaker” game seen later in time on BlackBerry phones.
The other original releases included: Baseball, Tennis, Tetris and Yakuman, which released only in Japan.
Popular games that were later released on the Game Boy included: Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins, Kirby’s Dream Land, Donkey Kong Land and Final Fantasy Adventure.
But arguably, the jewel on the Game Boy’s crown was Pokémon, which was released on February 26, 1996.
The wildly popular franchise turned into a television show, card game and global icon that’s the second best selling video game franchise ever behind Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros.
Ever since, Nintendo has released a new slightly modified version of both Mario and Pokémon every year or two.
Game Boy has also seen its fair share of reinventions, with the Game Boy Pocket being released seven years later, featuring a slightly modified version that was slightly smaller and lighter.
The Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Micro, which was released in 2005 all proceeded the inception of the original Game Boy.
After thousands of batteries used and countless hours playing. Here’s to 25 years.