Game Boy Color

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Game Boy Color
Game Boy Color Logo

Game Boy Color - Purple Model

Manufacturer Nintendo
Released JP October 21, 1998
NA November 18, 1998
EU November 23, 1998
AU February 3, 1999
Generation Fifth generation
Processor Custom, Zilog Z80-alike
Media Game Boy cartridges
Units shipped 118.69 million (includes Game Boy)
Best-selling game Pokémon Gold and Silver
Backward compatibility Game Boy cartridges
Predecessor Game Boy Light
Successor Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Color is the successor of the Game Boy Pocket. It is slightly larger than the Game Boy Pocket and significantly smaller than the original Game Boy. Game production for the console started in 1998. This was set out to replace the original Game Boy Pocket, and nullified Sega's taunts at the "Puke Green Screen" that the original Game Boy Pocket featured. This helped set the Gameboy far above competition.


The prominent feature of the Game Boy Color is that it allows gameplay in full color, a maximum of fifty-six colors to simultaneously appear on the screen, unlike the Game Boy with a palette of only four colors.

In addition, it supports more powerful hardware than the Game Boy Pocket, with a processor that is twice the speed and quadruple the memory. A large number of games were released to exploit the capabilities of this new console, which was also backwards compatible with every previous Game Boy game with only a handful of exceptions. Like the Game Boy Light, the Game Boy Color requires two AA batteries.

The Game Boy Color has an infrared wireless link-up port. Seldom used by any software, it was consequently dropped for future Game Boy iterations and the Nintendo DS line of handhelds. It was reintroduced with the Nintendo 3DS.

Some were surprised that Nintendo released such an apparently underpowered system, as the Game Boy Color was not even as powerful as the Game Gear, which was released way back in 1990. However, the Color, as with its predecessors, was notably more portable, more affordable and had a greater library of games than any of its competitors, as well as many years of carefully-built brand recognition behind it. As such it dominated the market, and destroyed all competition. Despite being 8-bit, the Game Boy Color has 32,786 color palettes available compared to the Game Gear's 4,096 palettes.

Hardware Specifications

  • Main processor: Zilog Z80
  • Processor speed: 4 or 8 MHz
  • Resolution: 160x144 pixels
  • Color palettes available: 32,786
  • Colors on screen: 10, 32 or 56
  • Maximum sprites: 40 total, 10 on a line and 4 colours maximum
  • Size of sprite: 8x8 or 8x16 pixels
  • Tiles on screen: 512
  • Audio: 2 square wave channels, 1 wave channel, 1 noise channel, mono speaker and stereo jack headphone
  • Maximum ROM size: 8 Megabytes
  • RAM: 32 kilobytes
  • VRAM: 16 kilobytes
  • Cartridge RAM: 128px
  • Power:
    • Internal: Two AA Batteries allowing thirty hours of play.
    • External: 3V DC
    • Indicator: Red LED
  • Input:
    • 8-way D-pad
    • 4 buttons (A, B, START, SELECT)
    • Volume Potentiometer
    • Power switch
    • Serial I/O
    • Infrared I/O
    • Cartridge I/O
  • Dimensions:
    • Metric: 75 mm x 27 mm x 133 mm
    • Imperial: 2.95 in x 1.06 in x 5.24 in

Notable games

Ten best selling

Launch titles

See also


  • Outside of the United States and some other countries, color is spelled as "colour". Despite this, the system was still branded as the Game Boy "Color" in other English-speaking cultures.
  • Sometimes, this console was possibly one of the cheapest handheld consoles from Nintendo, consisting with a price of approximately seventy dollars.

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