A quarter-century of hand-held fun: Game Boy turns 25

TO GO WITH STORY Japan-Lifestyle-entertainment-game-company-Nintendo-GameBoy by Miwa SUZUKI This picture taken on April 17, 2014 shows a customer looking at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy at a videogame shop in Tokyo, while a large figure of Nintendo's character Super Mario stands. Nintendo's trailblazing Game Boy marks its 25th anniversary Monday with the portable device's legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNOYOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images
A customer looked at a large mock-up of videogame console Game Boy at a videogame shop in Tokyo. Nintendo's trailblazing Game Boy marked its 25th anniversary with the portable device's legacy living on in cutting-edge smartphone games and among legions of nostalgic fans.
AFP/Getty Images

Time flies when your nose is buried in a hand-held video game.

The original 8-bit Game Boy was released in Japan by Nintendo 25 years ago—on April 21, 1989. It debuted in the US later that year.

Game Boy was Nintendo’s second hand-held line. The first was the Game & Watch units of the very-early 1980s. A Game & Watch was a single game, while Game Boy played a variety of game cartridges.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The addicting Tetris was one Game Boy standout, as were several Pokemon games and games featuring the legendary character Mario.

These days you can still find working original Game Boys around, but it’s easier just to find apps and emulators that let you relive those games on your computer or mobile device.