This Day in Gaming History: Game Boy Added Color to Our Lives

Game Boy Color, atomic purple

Nintendo’s Game Boy Color turns 18 today. The updated version of the handheld proved to be very popular with gamers and is often seen as the definitive version of the console.

Game Boy Color, atomic purple

Though Nintendo’s original Game Boy revolutionized the gaming industry, by the mid-1990s, the black-and-white system was beginning to seem dated. This was only further cemented by the release of the color-capable Sega Game Gear and the Atari Lynx.

Around that time, Nintendo started Project Atlantis, an initiative geared toward building a 32-bit handheld that featured backward compatibility with Game Boy titles. This was quite the ambitious task at the time, as home consoles had only recently progressed that far.

Lynx, Game Boy, Game Gear
By 1998, the potential 32-bit console established itself to be too expensive and complicated for Nintendo to create. The company decided to shift their focus towards updating the Game Boy rather than building its successor. It would be a few more years before Nintendo would be able to Advance to that level (hint, hint).

Now with a new goal, the Atlantis team were able to implement many new features to the device, including beefed-up specs and the addition of an infrared port for communication between systems. The most important breakthrough they were able to accomplish was the ability to display color without the significant battery drain that the Sega Game Gear and the Atari Lynx suffered from.

All Game Boy Color Color Variations
This feature is what gave the Game Boy Color the increased edge as it went to sell more units than either competitor console combined.

Do you prefer the Game Boy Color over the original Game Boy? Do you prefer the Game Gear or the Lynx instead? Sound off in the comments below!

Eric Hall2712 Posts

Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.


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