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Where Do You Stand On The Game Boy Color Debate?

How do you feel?

  • Game Boy Color is its own system

    Votes: 86 42.6%
  • Game Boy Color is just an upgraded Game Boy

    Votes: 116 57.4%

  • Total voters
    202

YoshiMadness

Member
Jul 31, 2021
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It's a debate that's been raging for years now. The question of whether the Game Boy Color is the true successor to the Game Boy, or if it's pretty much just a souped up Game Boy, akin to the DSi or New 3DS XL. Many people believe the latter, and that the GBA was the first true successor to the Game Boy. Nintendo themselves always lump them together, and if you look up the best selling systems, you'll usually see Game Boy as the third best selling system with original GB and GBC sales figures combined. Furthermore, any list of best Game Boy games you find on the internet usually includes both GB and GBC games.

But I think that's a load of horse shit. While it's true that a lot of GBC games can be played on the original, there are also a lot of GBC games that can ONLY be played on Game Boy Color (like Mario Tennis, Pokemon Crystal, or the Zelda Oracle games). In addition, the GBC actually used more powerful hardware than the OG. It wasn't just the addition of color, quite a few games would literally not be possible on original Game Boy. It isn't like PS4 to PS4 Pro, it's a genuine leap forward. The above video does a good job of explaining this.

Anyways, what is your position? Obviously, I believe the GBC is a true successor and not just an upgraded version.
 
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BlackTron

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Jun 30, 2016
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It was its own system but because it had the same form factor, same shape carts and full backwards compatibility, it comes off as being the same system.

It has different hardware and a lot of exclusive games.
 
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Mar 27, 2020
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Uncharted bunghole
I went from GBFat ---> GB Pocket ---> Game Boy Color ---> Game Boy Advance.

Never had the GameBoy SP or the GameBoy Micro though.

With that said the GameBoy Color wasn't just another Gameboy to me. It was actually a new system with upgraded hardware. Kind of like the GBA was.

The pocket was definitely just a Gameboy with a better screen that was slimmer. I absolutely loved that over the brick.
 
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Celine

Member
Oct 4, 2009
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Project Atlantis was the true next-gen Game Boy Nintendo was working on in late '90s which couldn't be commercialized due to issue with power consumption and production costs.
GBC was a revision based on the GB architecture that Nintendo could release as is due to the lack of meaningful competition.

 

Xellos

Member
Jun 10, 2004
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GBC is very close to being it's own console, but it's tied too heavily to GB to separate. Best hardware revision ever made though and very reasonably priced, IIRC it was $90 in 1998. Going from that blurry grey/green screen to GBC's color screen was a massive upgrade.
 

-sdp

Member
Sep 2, 2008
230
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miscrave.com
It's hard to find good articles about the game boy color as a console, most people do lump it together as part of the game boy line, but it really was its own thing, had its own games and feels from another generation than most regular game boy titles.
 
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lame gag1990

Member
Mar 23, 2019
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That would be like saying the Wii wasn't its own system because it was an upgraded Gamecube. Of course the GameBoy Color was its own thing. It might have had a short life but let's be honest, there's a bunch of exclusives you aren't playing on the original GameBoy. Nonsense to think otherwise.
 
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Eddie-Griffin

Member
Jul 11, 2021
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Nintendo did gameboy family because GBC didn't sell as well as they wanted.

In Japan competitors took a chunk of market share that was mitigated with the GBA.

By combining them it makes the original GB look bigger than it was.
 
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Teslerum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
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The GBC had overall 500+ exclusive games (Europe+US combined)

Yes, it was.

For comparison Sega Master System, CD, Saturn and Dreamcast all had much less.
 
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GametimeUK

Member
Jul 2, 2015
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I'm on the side of upgrade. I had no idea there was over 100 games that GBC could run that the original GB could not. That would raise a question.

Is the New 3DS model an upgrade or its own system? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Xenoblade won't run on a standard 3DS. Are there any more titles like this?
 

Speedwagon

Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. Yabuki turned off voice chat in Mario Kart races. True artists of their time.
Nov 14, 2012
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I'm on the side of upgrade. I had no idea there was over 100 games that GBC could run that the original GB could not. That would raise a question.

Is the New 3DS model an upgrade or its own system? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Xenoblade won't run on a standard 3DS. Are there any more titles like this?
Minecraft and Fire Emblem Warriors.
 
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xXRedxSlugXx

Member
Oct 12, 2014
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Minnesota
This should make it simple for everyone to understand:

Gameboy (DMG)
CPU - Sharp LR35902 @ 4.19 mhz
8kb of ram
Monochrome LCD - 160 x 144 Pixels

Gameboy Color
CPU - Sharp LR35902 @ 8.38 mhz
32kb of ram
(TFT) LCD - 160 x 144 Pixels

On top of the previously mentioned GBC only games....

4 times the ram and double the CPU speed, that's a pretty hefty upgrade.

Things like screen resolution and using the same model of CPU are because of compatibility.
It was very much marketed as playing all your current Gameboy games as well as GBC only games.
It had a short shelf life at 3 years before the GBA but I still think its pretty clear that is for sure its own system.
 
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jigglet

Member
May 18, 2020
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Technically it's a new platform but there was barely a leap in the games I was playing so I always thought of it more of an upgrade. How much of a technological leap the addition of colour was is subjective.
 
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jigglet

Member
May 18, 2020
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Nintendo did gameboy family because GBC didn't sell as well as they wanted.

Not surprising. The lack of a backlight meant the colours didn't have the wow factor they should have. I remembered being very disappointed with mine. As I already had a Gameboy Pocket, the reduced size of the colour didn't impress me as the Pocket had already set the standard.

All in all I remembered liking my Pocket more. IMO it had a better colour range (subjective) and better looking form factor (also subjective).
 

StateofMajora

Member
Aug 7, 2020
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Even just playing game boy original games on the color is a huge upgrade from the green screen. Then you have games like shantae that would clearly choke on the og or pocket. My only gripe with the color is holy shit is it dim. Needs a backlight.
 
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yurinka

Member
Jan 19, 2007
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There is no debate, GB and GBC are two different, separate generations and devices:
-GBC has a different, more powerful hardware
-GBC has hundreds or thousands of exclusive games
-GBC was released 9 years later
-If having BC means it's the same console, then PS4 and PS5 are the same console. And PS1, PS2 and PS3 are also the same console
 
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Cutty Flam

Member
Dec 3, 2019
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First handheld with color was a huge deal. My friends had one and it looked amazing, way better in presentation

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening



The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons

 

Trunx81

Neo Member
Aug 16, 2021
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It’s a new system like the New 3DS is a new system (if you go by the fact that there are games only releases for this kind of machine).
 

lachesis

Member
Jun 17, 2004
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Well, GBC is indeed more powerful hardware for sure - but remember this.

Even with the double the cpu power and 4 times the ram, it had exactly same limitation in terms of max sprite numbers, max sprites per line, max sprite size et al. In my opinion, those supported sprite sizes etc were key importance especially in 8bit era. If they were different - I would be more willing to accept it as actual nextgen platform, but that's not the case here.

Which means, the bulk of the system's resource went into color reproduction, not necessarily actual game enhancements other than graphics. Heck, it even had same 4 channel sound. In any cases, yes - there were specific games that were exclusive the system - but if they were made to black and white only - I highly doubt that any GBC games wouldn't run on GB in conversion.

So in that sense, it just felt like an upgrade. Everything looked like a gameboy game, played like a gameboy game, except in color. Technically, yes, it's a platform of its own - but it just didn't feel like one.
 
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PhaseJump

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Aug 26, 2020
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It's election day in Canada, and now here I am scratching my head and struggling to think about the "raging debate" around Game Boy Color.
 
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Trimesh

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Jun 8, 2019
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I always considered it as a new system that had a backwards compatibility mode - rather like the way the Wii could play Gamecube games, but that didn't make it a Gamecube.
 
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UnNamed

18+ Member, acts like 12 year old console warrior
Dec 21, 2006
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Most of the GBC features are from GB and GBP.
Despite the exclusive games, I feel GBC is more like a PS4 Pro than a new system. The same is for DSi.
 
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