The Game Boy was developed by Gunpei Yokoi and his R&D1 team at
Nintendo. He wanted to combine the best features of the successful NES
with the portability of the Game & Watch handhelds, which he also
developed. The first prototype of the Game Boy was produced in 1987 and
expectations at Nintendo were high. Nintendo of Japan president Hiroshi
Yamauchi predicted that it would sell over 25 million in the first
An interesting move was the choice of game to be bundled with the
Game Boy. Out of all the games it had to be Tetris: A game developed by
a Russian mathematician, which has sold over 1 million copies to date.
Someone at Nintendo had noticed the game at an exhibition in 1988 and
immediately knew that it would be the ideal game to complement the Game
Boy. The decision was spot-on!
The Game Boy was released to the Japanese public in 1989 two years
later in the US. Three years after its initial release it had sold over
32 million units and continued going from strength to strength
throughout the '90s. By 1996, a new and improved Game Boy called the
Game Boy Pocket was released with a better quality "clear" LCD screen
and a smaller size. It was much lighter than the original. As a result,
more games were released for the GB and various accessories such as the
camera and printer were also released.