For Nintendo size does matters so it was only natural that in 1996, seven years after the initial launch of the original GB classic, Nintendo released a smaller, lighter version of their flagship device, the Game Boy Pocket (GBP).
Several factors instigated Nintendo to make this move. Games were still selling well but the hardware was slipping, mainly because everyone who wanted a system had one, but a more compact unit would reinvigorate sales. Also the technology was becoming less expensive so Nintendo finally was able to create a smaller model without having to increase the price.
This new design was thinner and because of the smaller width the controls buttons were brought in closer together, so it could no longer be comfortably gripped in your entire hand. You had to either hold it with your fingers or secure the base between your palms, causing your thumbs on the control buttons to rub together as you play.
This smaller unit measures approximately 5” tall x 3” wide x 1” thick, weighing 5.22 ounces.
Screen: Although the graphics capabilities remained the same as the original GB with a reflective Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of 160 x 144 pixels, the graphics were now shown in true black & white instead of green which visually is a lot more pleasant. Luckily when Nintendo reduced the size of the overall unit they allowed the screen to remain the same size of 2.6” diagonally.
Headphone Jack / Battery: Like the previous model, headphones connect to the Pocket via a standard 1/8" jack. The same one used for most other portable audio devices.
The Pocket uses fewer and smaller batteries accepting two AAA for 10 hours of gameplay. This was great for keeping the size and weight of the unit down, but it reduced the number of hours you could play before changing batteries by more than half.
Games: Plays all GB classic titles. Like the original this model cannot play Game Boy Color or Advance games.[
Price: Out of production. Only available used for around $20.
Linking: The Pocket used a smaller link port so to connect to a GB classic you need an adaptor. This port size would remain the standard for all of the following Game Boy models until late 2005 when the Game Boy Micro was released. Regardless the Pocket still allowed anywhere from 4 to 16 players to link simultaneously.
Colors: The GB was produced in the following colors:
And in the Limited / Special Edition Colors: