Frequently Asked Questions about the Nintendo Game Boy Video Game System

The Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, is one of the first major handhelds to ever achieve mainstream success. Sporting a retro blocky design and a monochromatic screen, the system is compatible with a library of more than a thousand games, including "Super Mario Land," "Pokemon Yellow" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening." You can relive all the classic games or experience them for the first time in this vast eBay collection. 

Are there different versions of the original Game Boy? 

Yes, Nintendo released several different colour schemes, plus two major revisions over the life of the device. All versions of the system accept and play original Game Boy games.  

  • Play It Loud! Series: More of a variation than an actual revision, the stylish Play It Loud! series is just a regular Game Boy device with a colour casing. The colour schemes include black, white, yellow, blue, red, green, and transparent, the last of which reveals the inside of the system.
  • Game Boy Pocket: This is a pocket-sized version of the original Game Boy with several modifications made to the hardware. It features a true black-and-white screen instead of the yellowish monochromatic screen of the original. It also requires only two AAA batteries instead of four AA batteries.
  • Game Boy Light: This version is slightly larger than the pocket and also features a backlit screen. It only requires two AA batteries.

How does the system differ from the Game Boy Colour? 

The Game Boy Colour, or GBC for short, is the successor to the original system. The GBC supports up to 56 colours on the screen at once, whereas the original only supports a basic monochromatic colour scheme. The two devices are similar enough that games for the original device will also function on the GBC. However, only a small number of GBC exclusive games will work on the original system. These games typically have black cases and should mention backward compatibility somewhere on the box. 

What should you consider when choosing a used Game Boy? 

Nintendo no longer manufactures the handheld device, so you will have to obtain it from a secondhand source such as through eBay. You will want to choose a system with minimal signs of wearing or scratching and clearly functional buttons. Marks on the outer casing alone probably won't affect the internal hardware, but marks on the LCD screen could make it more difficult to play games. Some sellers offer a completely refurbished system in an attempt to restore it close to the original factory conditions. 

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Nintendo.