The Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on April 21, 1989, in North America on July 31, 1989, and in Europe on September 28, 1990. It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line, and was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo Research & Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.Redesigned versions were released in 1996 and 1998, in the form of Game Boy Pocket, and Game Boy Light (Japan only), respectively.
Gunpei Yokoi (September 10, 1941 - October 4, 1997) was a legendary video game designer who is credited heavily for Nintendo's success in video games. He was the creator of various pieces of Nintendo hardware including the Game & Watch, the Game Boy and the Virtual Boy, as well as a variety of video game series such as Metroid and Kid Icarus. He taught Mario and The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto upon his arrival to the company and unfortunately passed away on October 4th of 1997.
In its first two weeks in Japan, from its release on April 21, 1989, the entire stock consisting of 300,000 units was sold; a few months later, the Game Boy's release in the United States on July 31, 1989 saw 40,000 units sold on its first day.The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions. By Japanese fiscal year 1997, before Game Boy Color's release in late-1998, the Game Boy alone had sold 64.42 million units worldwide.At a March 14, 1994 press conference in San Francisco, Nintendo vice president of marketing Peter Main answered queries about when Nintendo was coming out with a color handheld system by stating that sales of the Game Boy were strong enough that they had decided to hold off on developing a successor handheld for the near future.
In 1995, Nintendo of America announced that 46% of Game Boy players were female, which was higher than the percentage of female players for both the Nintendo Entertainment System (29%) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (14%).In 2009, the Game Boy was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, 20 years after its introduction.As of June 6, 2011, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are available on the Virtual Console service on the Nintendo 3DS's Nintendo eShop.