Twenty-five years ago today, Nintendo unleashed its first portable gaming system--I'm talking about the GameBoy, of course--on a not-so-unsuspecting Japanese populace. (North Americans gained access to it a few months later, on July 31 of the same year, while Europeans had to wait until late September, 1990, to get their hands on it.)
In the ensuing years, it and its related revisions--GameBoy Pocket, GameBoy Light and GameBoy Color--sold more than 118 million units worldwide.
I'm personally responsible for four of those sales ... I think. I say "I think" because I honestly can't remember if I've owned three or four GameBoys over the years (one of which is a blue GameBoy Pocket, while the others are/were of the original "brick" variety).
Regardless, I've been the proud owner of at least a couple of GameBoys between 1989 and the present and I have some really fond memories of both the system and its impressive games catalog.
I distinctly remember, for instance, voraciously reading every article I could about the now-iconic handheld in the run up to its release and, as a result, desperately wanting one. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get one until either my birthday (late November) or Christmas that year, so I had to make do with (enviously, jealously) playing the one my best friend nabbed on day one for a good number of months.
At the time, Super Mario Land was my favorite of the GameBoy's initial handful of titles, although I also got a kick out of Alleyway, Tennis and the ubiquitous Tetris. (This friend of mine got the system and all five of its launch games as soon as they were available--pretty nice, eh?)
Later, my affections would transfer to the Final Fantasy Legend titles--all three of which remained treasured favorites until I stupidly sold my first GameBoy and all of my GameBoy carts in order to buy ... something I can't even remember.
Oh, well. Thanks to the Internet--eBay, especially--I've been able to re-acquire pretty much all of my most cherished (as a kid) GameBoy titles along with a good number of new ones over the last couple of years.
Quite a few of the latter can be found in the "Year of the GameBoy"-tagged posts I've published between late February and now, by the way. Check them out by clicking on the link above, if you're at all interested, and keep an eye out for many more such posts in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, do any of you have any particular memories of the GameBoy's launch? Or maybe you have a few general thoughts you'd like to get off your chests on the system or its extensive and diverse games catalog? If so, please feel free to share any and all of them in the comments section below.