Ars is celebrating the Game Boy’s 20th birthday today. Like pretty much EVERYONE in my demographic, I have fond memories of playing Tetris on that beast.
Indeed, when I got my DS, the first game I bought for it was Tetris. And once I had a phone that could play games, Tetris was the first download. It’s almost inconceivable to me that a hand held gaming device would not have Tetris available. (Well, it was until I got the iPod Touch anyway. Tetris needs buttons. It just does.)
The Ars article lists the reasons the Game Boy was such a success. One of those was price: it was only $90. I was young enough at the time to be unaware of things like prices, but I bet that looked pretty affordable. It was certainly in line with Christmas presents for most middle class kids in the US, even given the falling dollar since 1989. Though somehow, I skipped the Game Boy and begged my parents for a Game Gear instead. That was a mistake. The only games I ever had for it were the ones it was bundled with. It just didn’t have any staying power.
I still have my brother’s Game Boy stashed in the closet. I don’t have any games for it, though, so I can’t take it out and play it today for nostalgia’s sake.
So happy birthday, Game Boy! After all these years, you and your descendents are still printing money for the Big N. Well done.