Game Boy Color
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Handheld game console
Fifth generation era
October 21, 1998
Custom, Zilog Z80-alike
Worldwide: 118.69 million, including Game Boy units (as of March 31, 2005).
Pok¨¦mon Gold and Silver, approximately 14.51 million combined (in Japan and the US) (details).
Game Boy Pocket
Game Boy Advance
The Game Boy Color (¥²©`¥à¥Ü©`¥¤¥«¥é©`, G¨¥mu B¨i Kar¨¡ , shortened to GBC) is Nintendo's successor to the Game Boy and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and in November of 1998 in North America and 1999 in Europe. It features a color screen and is slightly thicker and taller than the Game Boy Pocket, but smaller than the original Game Boy.
The Game Boy Color was a response to pressure from game developers for a new and much more sophisticated system of playing, as they felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation, the Game Boy Pocket, was insufficient. The resultant product was backward compatible, a first for a handheld console system, and leveraged the large library of games and great installed base of the predecessor system. This became a major feature of the Game Boy line, since it allowed each new launch to begin with a significantly larger library than any of its competitors.
Game Boy Color games come in a clear plastic cartridge with a raised bump. Nintendo also made black cartridges that were compatible with the Game Boy Color, the older Super Game Boy and the original Game Boy. The black color distinguished these special cartridges from the grey Game Boy carts and the transparent Game Boy Color carts. The black cartridges had notches in the corner like old Game Boy cartridges, allowing an original Game Boy to be turned on when they were inserted, while the Game Boy Color cartridges did not. Special Game Boy Color palettes were built into the black carts, making it impossible to change their palette. Game Boy Color games also feature the different color cartridges for the hit game Pokemon.
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When playing an original Game Boy game on a later system, the user can choose which color palette is used. This is achieved by pressing certain button combinations, namely either A or B (both achieving different results) and an arrow key, while the Game Boy logo is displayed on the screen. It is also possible to use a monochromatic color scheme that preserves the original look of the game by pressing B+Left.
In addition, most Game Boy games published by Nintendo have a special palette that is enabled when no buttons are pressed. Any game that does not have a special palette will default to the Dark Green (Right + A) palette instead. Notable games that do have preset palettes are Metroid II, Kirby's Dream Land 2, and the Wario Land series.
The last Game Boy Color game released in Japan that was also compatible with the Game Boy and Super Game Boy was From TV Animation - One Piece: Maboroshi no Grand Line Boukenhen! (June 2002). This gave the original Game Boy (1989-2002) one of the longest continuous lifespans of any console, only bested by the Atari 2600 (1977-1992), and the Neo-Geo AES/MVS (1990-2004). In the US, the last game was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The Game Boy Color is featured prominently in the book Stormbreaker. It is also featured in the movie, "The Truth about Jane".