Nintendo Game Boy Takes Over Portable Gaming – Today in History – July 31st, 1989

Where were you on July 31st, 1989?  I was in middle school – technically summer break between grades but you get the idea.  I wanted a Nintendo Game Boy bad and I knew it was going to be hot at school the following year.  It was.  I remember the “cool kids” having the Game Boy and it being confiscated during class time because they could not keep it put away.  It was both harsh and funny at the same time.  This was the first real attempt by Nintendo to take on a new market since their Nintendo Entertainment System was launched.  Sure, they had portable gaming devise prior but they didn’t exactly set the world on fire with the Game and Watch series.  The Nintendo Game Boy did just that though.

The Nintendo Game Boy launched with a handful of titles, the biggest of which was Tetris, the pack-in title.  This was genius on the part of Nintendo.  Rather than launch their Game Boy with a Mario game pack-in they went with the much more portable friendly Tetris game.  This was also probably a big middle finger to Sega and Tengen whom Nintendo had just proved did not own the rights to the puzzle game.  No matter the reasoning, Tetris was reason enough to grab a Nintendo Game Boy and grab it fans did.

The Nintendo Game Boy set a standard for portable gaming, even with a crappy screen.  This little thing went hours on a few AA batteries and was THE gaming device for tons of gamers.  Sure, Sega and Atari both attempted to take on Nintendo in the portable world with the Game Gear and the Lynx respectively.  Unfortunately for both of those companies, the foothold that Nintendo had was too much.  This was proven time and time again over the next many decades as we have yet to see a non-Nintendo portable take the crown.

Today, we salute you Nintendo Game Boy.  If you don’t have a Game Boy, or simply want to beef up your collection then visit Ebay.  Your purchase helps Retro Gaming Magazine continue bringing you original content such as this.