Nintendo celebrates the GameBoy's 25th anniversary

Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device’s legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans. The Japanese firm released its 8-bit Game Boy on April 21, 1989. Billed as a “handy game machine”, few knew it would turn the console-based industry on its head, starting a revolution that did for portable gaming what Sony’s Walkman had done for mobile music.

On April 21, 1989, Nintendo released the original Game Boy in Japan. It was built like a brick and rendered a mixture of black and gray pixels on a muddy green background. The console wasn’t light, slender or powerful, but it was the trigger for a new culture around video games and changed people’s perception of the interactive medium. The Game Boy wasn’t the first handheld gaming device, but it was the first to resonate with a mass audience. The name was easy to remember and the button arrangement resembled the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller. Nintendo was a brand that people trusted and the portable console launched with Super Mario Land, another high-quality outing for the plumber.

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