This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know

The very last model of the Game Boy was the Game Boy Micro. It was tiny. You couldn't just put it in your pocket, you could lose it in there. Now let's compare that sleek handheld with something from 1991.

It's easy to remember the original Game Boy existing as a lone entity. You owned the Game Boy, and that was that. But at the time, Nintendo didn't want it to be a lone entity. They wanted you to buy a whole load of crap to stick in it and stick on it. And if you bought it all, it was suddenly the least portable portable games system ever made.

Which may sound like a pain in the arse, but then, it was all part of Nintendo's plan! Because you see, if you (or your parents) shilled out for all the handheld's official accessories, and the Game Boy became too unwieldy to take out of the house, then Nintendo could then sell you the Game Keeper.

The Game Keeper was a large plastic suitcase for your Game Boy. Lined with a foam interior, there were compartments for your Game Boy, a rechargeable battery pack, the Game Boy Game Link, some headphones and even the Light Boy, Nintendo's unwieldy "lamp" for the original Game Boy.

As you can see in the ad here, it's pitched as something that can save you from lugging a ton of crap around in your hands, by allowing you to...lug a ton of crap around on your shoulder instead.

It was of course not a compulsory purchase. Most Game Boy owners never owned any of that add-on junk, let alone enough of it to warrant a dedicated carry-case. Those that still own now, and wouldn't mind the light attachment, maybe look at importing the sadly Japan-only Game Boy Light instead.

But the fact such an enormous case existed at all should show you that, as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the last of the Game Boys, perhaps the best indicator as to how far the handheld progressed from beginning to end is to compare the 4-inch Game Boy Micro with this goliath of a setup.

And when that's done? Find this poor kid and see if he has any lasting back or shoulder problems. And where he got those amazing jeans.


Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.


    I had that case when I was a kid! Well not that exact one actually, but something very similar.

    Does anybody remember the booster boy? It was a thing about the size and shape of a size 14 sports shoe that you slotted your gameboy into. Magnifying screen, lights and a little cover that converted the dpad and buttons into a thumbstick and even biddy buttons. That thing needed its own backpack.

      I still have one of those monstrosities, costed me a pretty penny too :( $50 from Tandy if I recall.

      I've got one sitting in my bedroom right now.

    The comparison of this with the Game Boy Micro seems a bit misleading to me. Yes, the Micro was the last handheld by Nintendo to be called a game boy, it was also, however, a revised Game Boy Advance. Which didn't have the capability to play Game Boy or Game Boy Color games.

      I just passed a hipster wearing the exact same thing...

        My bad, that shouldn't have been a reply!

    Personally, even though they don't carry the name officially, I see the DS range as a gameboy still. All Nintendo handhelds will be in my eyes.

    But the ad does bring back memories. My first gameboy was the original silver gameboy pocket (parents were never in a financial position to get me a gameboy before then) and I got Double Dragon with it. Oh the hours spent squinting at the screen in any situation that didn't allow perfect lighting.

    ...and with all that crap connected it still wasn't as big as an Atari Lynx!

      Still got one of them (well a Lynx II, my original one was stolen which was the first model).

      You could seriously club people to death with that thing. I think it took 6 AA batteries and lasted about an hour or two. However, having to open the door at the side to put the cards in was novel.

      And Todd's Adventures In Slime World was a fun game.

    I use to have a light attachment (with magnifying glass)for my Game Boy Colour back in the day, not a official Nintendo one though.
    I actually found it the other days and the 10 year old batteries in it had leaked, so sadly I had to throw it out :(

    "Most Game Boy owners never owned any of that add-on junk, let alone enough of it to warrant a dedicated carry-case."

    A gun rack? A gun rack. I don't even own A gun let alone many guns that woujld necessitate an entire rack. What am I gonna do, with a gun rack.

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