While today’s kids ask for iPhones from their parents for Christmas, ‘90s kids had Nintendo’s Game Boy at the top of their wish lists – a handheld console where you can play Tetris, one of the most iconic puzzle games of all time. There’s no doubt that this was one of the most sought-after gifts back in the days and there’s no reason you shouldn’t gift it to your gamer friend for the upcoming holidays.
After its success in Japan, Nintendo entered the United States console market early ‘90s with the Game Boy, and soon enough, every child in the block wanted to get a hold of the tiny yet powerful device. It was a relatively pixelated, black and white version of the modern ones now, but of course, the 8-bit handheld was the bomb back then.
Imagine sitting in the back of a moving car with nothing to do, the usual past time was just to look at the houses or trees passed by. Cue in the Game Boy, which became so addictive that kids couldn’t take their hands and eyes off of it, sans during night time when it rendered impossible to use the gadget because you couldn’t see anything on the screen.
But while other consoles lack portability during that time, Game Boy was ahead of the curve by miles. Playing games with this handheld weren’t limited to car rides, these gadgets became a crucial part of all family reunions and other boring events that needed time-killing. The point is, children became hooked onto this gadget and it eventually became a worldwide success.
That success transcends the vast influence of the Game Boy in today’s generation. Even in today’s digital age, there are still plenty of gamers who prefer to stick to the classics – this explains why there are so many modern companies trying to resurrect retro gadgets from the ‘90s.
Nintendo itself had released a modern version of its original Nintendo Entertainment System. Hyperkin also released early this year a replica of the first-ever Game Boy, although of course, the tech company made some tweaks and improved some of the kinks in the retro console.
Remember the time when screens flickered, game would take ages to load and even blowing into the cartilage wouldn’t fix the problem? All of these contribute to the joy brought about by holding a Game Boy. That said, there’s no reason not to give this as a present for the holidays.
It will serve as a reminder of the humble yet effective beginnings of Nintendo and gamers will surely remember how it once felt to have owned a Game Boy. Only a true 90s kid will know that as much as there are many copycats in the market that are far better, smaller and therefore more portable, and lighter than the real thing, nothing still beats the nostalgic feels of the original.
Giving out an original retro Game Boy meant standing out from the rest – in a world full of iPads, PlayStation Portable, and NES Classic Edition, you’ll definitely be a scene-stealer with your Game Boy. Of course, it also pays to re-earth some of the beloved plastic cartridges to include in your retro gift, but don’t forget about Alexey’s Pajitnov Tetris, considered one of the factors of the success of the device.
Imagine opening a present and unboxing a Game Boy, the first thought that comes to mind is, “where on earth did you get this?” Admittedly, finding this retro device is hard, let alone the cartridges, so it goes without saying that gifting this meant days and maybe months spent just to find it.
Second, a Game Boy can ultimately bring back happy, albeit mostly forgotten, memories of everyone’s childhood. Playing with it will mean numerous hours rediscovering on what used to be the center of every kids’ attention.
This holiday season, it pays to be a gift-giver that thinks outside the box. An iPad, iPhone, and an XBox aren’t just pricey, but are too common to give a thought about. Sometimes, a blast from the past is all it takes to make a person happy.