Game Buoyancy

Game Boy, the brick that Yokoi built. When it launched in 89, it was like the PSP of its day– a technical powerhouse that parallelled its big bro’s machismo. And even though it was as colorless as ether, it had the games to move units and sold like pancakes at IHOP. 17 years later, the GB line has shifted more product than anyone.

As it stands, the GB’s future is questionable with the DS around. In our latest poll, there are mixed opinions among you guys as to Nintendo’s next step with the GB. Some think that Nintendo may/should discontinue it – since the DS has taken over Nintendo’s handheld territory (kids included), there’s no longer a place or need for a Game Boy in this market, they say. Man, getting rid of your fattest cash cow sounds like a brilliant move.

The DS goes all across the demographic spectrum, yeah, but so does the GB. The thing with GB is that it’s more specific to a certain type of game experience. Super compact, quick to pick up and put down. You can throw it in your bag, give it to your kids, bump and bruise it, and play your simple 2D games at any time for any amount of time. Strat-RPGs, card games, puzzlers, platformers, licensed crap, etc all define the GB. That is the now.

This is the future: DS and Revolution are foregoing the majority of tried and trusted game types, that we know. But is Nintendo gonna let go of that market completely and go on obliviously blazing their trails? Hellll no. There are 3 pillars for a reason– Revolution will reinvent everything old and invent everything else; DS will be the Revolution’s sidekick, giving us portable doses of the Rev experience; and Game Boy will be the retirement home of gaming as we knew it. Not just for the quick-fix games it has now, but for everything that used to rule home consoles. It’ll also be a haven for 2D games to flourish, safe from 3D graphics fanboys.

Nintendo needs the Game Boy around, irrespective of how well the DS does. Besides, the PSP hasn’t formally met its true rival yet.