Platform: Game Boy Color

Platform description

General description

The Game Boy Color, referred to as GBC, is a handheld game console manufactured by Nintendo, which was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and was released in November of the same year in international markets. It is the successor of the Game Boy. The Game Boy Color, as suggested by the name, features a color screen with 160 x 144 pixels resolution, but no backlight. It is slightly thicker and taller than the Game Boy Pocket, which is a redesigned Game Boy released in 1996. As with the original Game Boy, it has a custom 8-bit processor somewhat related to a Zilog Z80 central processing unit (CPU).

While mostly retaining the same hardware as the original Game Boy, the Game Boy Color's primary competitors were the much more advanced Neo Geo Pocket by SNK and the WonderSwan by Bandai (released in Japan only), though the Game Boy Color outsold these by a huge margin. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide. It was discontinued on May 30 2003, shortly after the release of the Game Boy Advance SP.

Games that are designed specifically for the Game Boy Color are housed in clear-colored cartridges and are shaped slightly different from original Game Boy games. These games would display a warning message and refuse to play if used in older Game Boy models. Games that are designed for the Game Boy Color, but which also include backwards-compatibility with the previous Game Boy systems, are shaped like original Game Boy games, but usually have black colored cartridges. Pokemon Gold and Silver are also examples of Game Boy Color games that work on an original Game Boy system. The clear-colored Game Boy Color cartridges will function correctly only when used in a Game Boy Color or a later model (a Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, or Game Boy Player).

The Game Boy Color is backward compatible, a first for a handheld system. The GBC's successor, the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP, are also backward compatible to support both Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. The Game Boy Advance Micro is not backward compatible and was also far less popular, mainly because the next successor, the Nintendo DS, was released shortly after it.

For more information on the GBC, including hardware specifications and colors, see Wikipedia.