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Game Boy - Features, Accessories, Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear

battery pack affixed batteries

Game Controls and Functions

The game controls for the handheld game are affixed to the lower part of the front frame. The Game Boy has four main buttons, the “A,” “B,” “START,” and “SELECT” buttons. The functions of the buttons vary depending on the game being played. The START button is often used to begin the game as well as to pause play in a game already in progress. The Game Boy is also equipped with a Directional Pad that allows several directions of progressive movement in the games. There is also a knob controlling volume located on the right side of the device. Another knob is affixed to the left side of the console which allows the contrast of the game’s screen to be altered. The ON/OFF function is affixed to the top of the Game Boy.

Accessories

The Game Boy Battery Pack

The Game Boy Battery Pack cost $30. A 2-inch cord stuck out of it, connected to a phone plug, with a standard plug located on the opposite end. The first version matched the Game Boy in color- it was purple and gray- and featured a belt clip. The battery pack was a welcome addition and lasted for several hours of play once the console’s AA batteries were used-up. The Game Boy Battery Pack utilized nickel-cadium batteries which lasted for about five hours every charge and were able to be charged up to 1000 times before any loss in strength could be seen. The battery pack was very heavy, though, and the phone plugs were considered a hazard because of the way they extended from the unit.

The Game Boy Camera and the Game Boy Printer

In 1998, the Game Boy Camera was released. It was able to take pictures and print then out with the use of the Game Boy Printer. The photos were only printable in black and white, and the resolution was not of the best quality. The units were sold together in Japan, throughout Europe, and the United States. They have been discontinued by Nintendo.

Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear

Game Boy has reached a high-level of success, having left the competition far behind. The first model sold over 70 million units throughout the world. One competitior, the Atari Lynx, was released at the same time, but was bulky and needed replacement batteries far more frequently than the Game Boy. It was also more costly because it featured a backlit screen and colorful graphics. In the early 1990s, Nintendo received competition from Sega’s Game Gear. Although Sega began a large ad campaign to thwart the Game Boy, their system was hampered by the same restrictions as the Atari Lynx.

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