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The Info List - Game Boy Color


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The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color[a] (abbreviated as GBC) is a handheld game console manufactured by Nintendo, which was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan[8] and was released in November of the same year in international markets. It is the successor of the Game Boy. The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color features a color screen. It is slightly thicker and taller and features a slightly smaller screen than the Game Boy Pocket, its predecessor. As with the original Game Boy, it has a custom 8-bit processor made by Sharp that is considered a hybrid between the Intel 8080
Intel 8080
and the Zilog Z80.[9] The spelling of the system's name, Game Boy
Game Boy
Color, remains consistent throughout the world with its American English
American English
spelling of color. The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color's primary competitors in Japan
Japan
were the grayscale 16-bit handhelds Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket
and the WonderSwan, though the Game Boy Color outsold these by a wide margin. SNK
SNK
and Bandai
Bandai
countered with the Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket
Color and the Wonderswan Color
Wonderswan Color
respectively but this did little to change Nintendo's sales dominance. With SEGA discontinuing the Game Gear in 1997, the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color's only competitor in the United States was its predecessor, the Game Boy, until the short-lived Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket
Color was released in August 1999. The Game Boy
Game Boy
and Game Boy
Game Boy
Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide making it the 3rd best selling system of all time.[1][2] It was discontinued in 2003, shortly after the release of the Game Boy
Game Boy
Advance SP.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Launch titles

2 Specifications

2.1 Summary

2.1.1 Color palettes used for original Game Boy
Game Boy
games 2.1.2 Partial List of games with special palettes 2.1.3 Hi-Color Mode

2.2 Cartridges 2.3 Colors produced

3 Games 4 Sales 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color was a response to pressure from game developers for a more sophisticated handheld platform, as they felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation, the Game Boy
Game Boy
Pocket, was insufficient.[citation needed] The resultant product was backward compatible, a first for a handheld system, and leveraged the large library of games and installed base of the predecessor system. This became a major feature of the Game Boy
Game Boy
line, since it allowed each new launch to begin with a significantly larger library than any of its competitors. Launch titles[edit]

Tetris DX Wario Land
Wario Land
II Pocket Bomberman

Specifications[edit] Main article: Comparison of Nintendo
Nintendo
portable consoles Summary[edit]

The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color motherboard

The technical details for the console are as follows:[10]

Main processor: Sharp Corporation
Sharp Corporation
LR35902 (based on the 8-bit Zilog Z80) Processor speed: 4.194 or 8.388 MHz (two processor modes) Resolution: 160 × 144 pixels (10:9 aspect ratio, same aspect ratio and resolution as the original Game Boy) Palette colors available: 32,768 (15-bit) Colors on screen: Supports 10, 32 or 56 Maximum sprites: 40 total, 10 per line, 4 colors per sprite (one of which being transparent) Sprite size: 8×8 or 8×16 Tiles on screen: 512 (360~399 visible, the rest are drawn off screen as a scrolling buffer) Audio: 2 square wave channels, 1 wave channel, 1 noise channel, mono speaker, stereo headphone jack ROM: 8 MB maximum RAM: 32 kB VRAM: 16 kB Cartridge RAM: 128 kB Power:

internal: 2 AA batteries, up to 10 hours of gameplay external: 3V DC 0.6W (2.35mm × 0.75mm) indicator: Red LED

Input:

8-way D-pad 4 buttons (A, B, Start, Select) Volume potentiometer Power switch Serial I/O ("Link cable"): 512 kbit/s with up to 4 connections in serial Infra-red I/O: Less than 2 m distance at 45° Cartridge I/O

Dimensions:

Metric: 133.5 x 78 x 27.4 mm Imperial: 5.25 x 3.07 x 1.07 in

Weight: 138 g[11]

The processor, which is a Z80
Z80
workalike made by Sharp with a few extra (bit manipulation) instructions, has a clock speed of approximately 8 MHz, twice as fast as that of the original Game Boy. The Game Boy Color also has three times as much memory as the original (32 kilobytes system RAM, 16 kilobytes video RAM). The screen resolution was the same as the original Game Boy, which is 160×144 pixels. The Game Boy
Game Boy
Color also featured an infrared communications port for wireless linking. The feature was only supported in a small number of games, so the infrared port was dropped from the Game Boy
Game Boy
Advance line, to be later reintroduced with the Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS, though wireless linking (using Wi-Fi) would return in the Nintendo
Nintendo
DS line. The console was capable of showing up to 56 different colors simultaneously on screen from its palette of 32,768 (8×4 color background palettes, 8x3+transparent sprite palettes), and could add basic four-, seven- or ten-color shading to games that had been developed for the original 4-shades-of-grey Game Boy. In the 7-color modes, the sprites and backgrounds were given separate color schemes, and in the 10-color modes the sprites were further split into two differently-colored groups; however, as flat black (or white) was a shared fourth color in all but one (7-color) palette, the overall effect was that of 4, 6 or 8 colors. This method of upgrading the color count resulted in graphic artifacts in certain games; for example, a sprite that was supposed to meld into the background would sometimes be colored separately, making it easily noticeable. The system also featured a rarely used "high color mode", capable of displaying more than 2,000 colors on the screen simultaneously.[12] Color palettes used for original Game Boy
Game Boy
games[edit]

Alternate Color Palettes

Directional pad Action button

None (default) A B

Up Brown Red Dark brown

Down Pastel mix Orange Yellow

Left Blue Dark blue Grayscale

Right Green Dark green Inverted

For dozens of popular Game Boy
Game Boy
titles, the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color has an enhanced palette built in featuring up to 16 colors - four colors for each of the Game Boy's four layers. [13] If the system does not have a palette stored for a game, it defaults to a palette of green, blue, salmon, black, and white. However, when the user turns on the system, they may choose one of 12 built in color palettes by pressing certain button combinations (namely a direction key and optionally A or B) while the Game Boy
Game Boy
logo is present on the screen. These palettes each contain up to ten colors.[14] In most games, the four shades displayed on the original Game Boy
Game Boy
would translate to different subsets of this 10-color palette, such as by displaying movable sprites in one subset and backgrounds, etc. in another. The grayscale (Left + B) palette produces an appearance similar to that experienced on the original Game Boy.

Illustrated color-samples of the palettes for the different key-combinations. Any color crossed out will be present in palette RAM, but rendered as transparent.

Partial List of games with special palettes[edit]

Donkey Kong (Game Boy) Kirby's Dream Land Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby's Dream Land
2 Kirby's Pinball Land Metroid II: Return of Samus Pokémon Red and Blue Pitfall! Super Mario Land Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land
2: 6 Golden Coins Tetris (Game Boy) Wario Land: Super Mario Land
Super Mario Land
3 Golf (Game Boy) Pokémon Yellow
Pokémon Yellow
(original Game Boy
Game Boy
version)

Hi-Color Mode[edit] A few games used a technical trick to increase the number of colors available on-screen. This "Hi-Color mode" is a mode used by the Italian company 7th Sense s.r.l. among others, and can display more than 2000 different colors on the screen. Some examples of games using this trick are The Fish Files, The New Addams Family Series and Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare.[12][15] Cartridges[edit] Games that are designed specifically for the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color are housed in clear-colored cartridges and are shaped slightly different from original Game Boy
Game Boy
games. These games would display a warning message and refuse to play if used in older Game Boy
Game Boy
models. Games that are designed for the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color, but which also include backwards-compatibility with the previous Game Boy
Game Boy
systems, are shaped like original Game Boy
Game Boy
games, but usually have black colored cartridges. Pokémon Gold and Silver
Pokémon Gold and Silver
are also examples of Game Boy Color games that work on an original Game Boy
Game Boy
system. The clear-colored Game Boy
Game Boy
Color cartridges will function correctly only when used in a Game Boy
Game Boy
Color or a later model (a Game Boy
Game Boy
Advance, Game Boy
Game Boy
Advance SP, or Game Boy
Game Boy
Player).

The clear cartridge for exclusive Game Boy
Game Boy
Color games.

The black cartridge was for Game Boy
Game Boy
games that took advantage of the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color's increased palette but not the increased memory or processor speed. These games can be played on original Game Boys in grayscale.

Game Boy
Game Boy
Color exclusive games are housed in clear-colored cartridges, referred to as "Game Pak" cartidges.[16] They are shaped differently from original Game Boy
Game Boy
games. When inserted into an original Game Boy, these translucent cartridges prevent the system from turning on due to a missing notch present in original Game Boy
Game Boy
cartridges that prevent the cartridge from being removed once powered on. While the Game Boy Pocket and Super Game Boy
Game Boy
do power on with a Game Boy
Game Boy
Color exclusive cartridge inserted, these games display a warning message stating that a Game Boy
Game Boy
Color system is required and refuse to play. Games that are designed for the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color, but which also include backward compatibility with the Game Boy
Game Boy
and Game Boy
Game Boy
Pocket, use the same cartridge shape as original Game Boy
Game Boy
games, but are typically black and never gray. Colors produced[edit] See also: List of Game Boy
Game Boy
colors and styles §  Game Boy
Game Boy
Color The logo for Game Boy
Game Boy
Color spelled out the word "COLOR" in the five original colors in which the unit was manufactured. They were named:

Berry (C) Grape (O) Kiwi (L) Dandelion (O) Teal (R)

Another color released at the same time was "Atomic Purple", made of a transparent purple plastic that was also used on the color-respective Nintendo
Nintendo
64 controller. Other colors were sold as limited editions or in specific countries. Games[edit] Main article: List of Game Boy
Game Boy
Color games Due to its backwards compatibility with Game Boy
Game Boy
games, the Game Boy Color had a large playable library at launch. The system amassed an impressive library of 576 Game Boy
Game Boy
Color games over a four-year period. While the majority of the games were Game Boy
Game Boy
Color exclusive, approximately 30% of the titles released were backwards compatible with the original Game Boy. While Tetris for the original Game Boy
Game Boy
was the best selling game compatible with the system, Pokémon Gold and Silver
Pokémon Gold and Silver
were the best selling games developed for the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color. The best selling Game Boy Color exclusive game was Pokémon Crystal. The last Game Boy
Game Boy
Color game ever released was the Japanese exclusive Doraemon no Study Boy: Kanji Yomikaki Master, which was released in Japan
Japan
on July 18, 2003. In North America
North America
and Europe, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, released in November 2002, was the last game released. Sales[edit] The Game Boy
Game Boy
and Game Boy
Game Boy
Color were both commercially successful, selling a combined 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.[1][2] In 2003, when the Game Boy
Game Boy
Color was discontinued, the pair was the best selling gaming console of all time. Both the Nintendo
Nintendo
DS and PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
would go on to outsell the pair and the Game Boy/Game Boy Color is now the third best selling system of all time and the second best selling handheld. See also[edit]

Nintendo
Nintendo
portal

List of Player's Choice games List of Game Boy
Game Boy
accessories

Notes[edit]

^ ゲームボーイカラー (Gēmu Bōi Karā) in Japan

References[edit]

^ a b c "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. 2016-04-26. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-10-23.  ^ a b c "A Brief History of Game Console Warfare: Game Boy". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2008-03-28.  ^ https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Support/Game-Boy-Pocket-Color/Product-information/Technical-data/Technical-data-619585.html ^ "モバイルシステムGB". Nintendo
Nintendo
(in Japanese). Retrieved 23 September 2015.  ^ " Japan
Japan
Platinum Game Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  ^ "US Platinum Videogame Chart". The Magic Box. Archived from the original on 2007-04-21. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  ^ a b Umezu; Sugino. " Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS (Volume 3 – Nintendo
Nintendo
3DS Hardware Concept)". Iwata Asks (Interview: Transcript). Interview with Satoru Iwata. Nintendo. Retrieved 2011-03-07.  ^ Nintendo.co.JP – Game Boy
Game Boy
Color ^ "The Nintendo® Game Boy™, Part 1: The Intel 8080
Intel 8080
and the Zilog Z80". RealBoy. Retrieved 2017-08-29.  ^ " Nintendo
Nintendo
Game Boy
Game Boy
Color Console Information – Console Database". ConsoleDatabase.com. Retrieved 2011-02-19.  ^ "Technical data". Nintendo
Nintendo
of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2018-02-04.  ^ a b "First Alone in the Dark Screenshots for Game Boy
Game Boy
Color". IGN. 4 August 2000. Retrieved 24 March 2015.  ^ Disassembling the GBC Boot ROM ^ "Changing the Color Palette on Game Boy
Game Boy
Advance Systems". Customer Service. Nintendo. Retrieved 2009-01-04.  ^ Albatross, Zen. " Game Boy
Game Boy
Games That Pushed The Limits of Graphics & Sound". Racketboy. Retrieved 24 March 2015.  ^ "Game Pak Troubleshooting - All Game Boy
Game Boy
Systems". Nintendo
Nintendo
of America customer support. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Game Boy
Game Boy
Color.

Official website Game Boy
Game Boy
Color at Nintendo.com (archived versions at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) [1] at Nintendo.com (archived from "the original" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-03.  at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine) Game Boy
Game Boy
Color at Curlie (based on DMOZ) Nintendo
Nintendo
Announces Full Color Game Boy
Game Boy
- ROME (March 10, 1998)

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