It’s time for a Game Boy Color Classic

Source: Jennifer Locke / iMore

Let me take you back to the early 90s. You sit in the backseat on a long road trip, but that doesn’t matter. You have the perfect travel companion in a plastic case, ready to take you on an adventure without setting foot outside. Yes, he’s your trusty Game Boy, and whether you’re playing Tetris or Pokémon, you just hope to play as much as you can before it gets dark and you can’t see the screen anymore. Ah, the memories.

Nostalgia is a popular item that always sells well, and Nintendo knows it. Otherwise, the company probably would never have created the NES and SNES Classic systems. These little replicas of the real thing have given a whole new generation access to some of Nintendo’s greatest games, almost exactly as we remember them. Admittedly, there is no breath in the cartridge and Chrono Trigger is nowhere to be found, but it was close. After four long years, it’s time to bring back one of the best-selling consoles of all time and finally let us replay some of our favorite games. We need a Game Boy Classic.

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Why the Game Boy?

Game Boy Color HeroSource: James Bricknell / iMore

Having a Nintendo Switch can make a “classic” portable system obsolete, but there’s a lot of value here. When the NES Classic first came out in 2016, it sold out almost immediately. When he was brought back in June 2018, he oversold Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One for the month. Nintendo produced and sold over 2.3 million in the first edition, selling out in a matter of weeks. Despite a very eventful release, the SNES Classic still managed to sell 5 million units. So, it’s safe to say that there is some love for older consoles.

Unlike the NES and SNES Classic consoles, it is difficult to get your hands on most Game Boy exclusive games. While Nintendo introduced NES and SNES games to Nintendo Switch Online, Game Boy and Game Boy Color haven’t really benefited from this treatment. Right now, if you don’t have an emulator or an old Game Boy to come out of your closet, there’s almost no way to play the classics.

Of course, there are a few. You can play the Link’s Awakening remake on Nintendo Switch, an “updated” version of Pokémon Yellow with Let’s Go Pikachu, and there are a bunch of new versions of Tetris out there, but sometimes you want to go old school. This system is essentially the birthplace of Pokémon! It would be a great way to present wonderful games to future generations.

Opening the portable Pandora’s Box by creating a Game Boy or Game Boy Color Classic could pave the way for other portable systems like the Game Boy Advance, DS, and 3DS. Since Nintendo has all but ended its handheld line in favor of the Switch, there really is no such thing as a “portable” system. The company has a way of hoarding the classics and getting them to the hungry masses in due course, and it’s time for the Game Boy to get that treatment. Eighteen years is a long time to wait.

An affordable idea

Nintendo NES and SNES Classic EditionsSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

It’s possible that with the Switch in the center of attention, another “Classic” might not sell as well. But I argue that there is a market for it, and the key here might just be affordability. Since other classic systems were around $ 60- $ 80, it’s likely that a Game Boy Classic would find its price there. It’s a lot cheaper than a $ 350 OLED Switch, a $ 300 Switch, or even a $ 200 Switch Lite. Not everyone can deposit a couple hundred bucks on a gaming system, but at under $ 100 and with around 30 classic games possible, it’s a lot easier on the wallet.

At the very least, Nintendo should consider adding Game Boy games to its Nintendo Switch Online service. It would be an added advantage to buy. Fans would jump at the chance to play some of these classic titles once they finally break free from their locked prison.

The hardest part of a Game Boy Classic

Game Boy Color LifestyleSource: Jennifer Locke / iMore

The Game Boy offers over 1000 games, while the Game Boy Color has just over 900. The goal would be to reduce this long list to around 30 games, much like the NES Classic. There may be room for a few more, depending on the system limitations. In fact, game selection was one of the biggest issues with the NES and SNES classics – not all games were considered “classics” and there were so many left out.

The Game Boy / Game Boy color had a long lifespan from 1989 to 2003 between the two handhelds. It’s been a few generations of Pokémon to choose from. So how do you choose from such a long list? I’m sure it’s possible to choose 30 amazing games from the list which includes Super Mario Land, Metroid II, Wario Land, Tetris, and several amazing Legend of Zelda titles. This is just the tip of the iceberg; but, think how many more would want this system if they had the option to modify them for more than a few preloaded games. There’s no shortage here, and again, since most of these games are trapped on a dead console, fans will be lining up to grab them.

Unfortunately, no classic console is planned. The closest we have is the Legend of Zelda Game & Watch. Still, it’s nice to dream, and maybe one day fans will be able to play so many beloved games from a true golden age of portable gaming.

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