This Game Boy Wasn't That Portable, You Know

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

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 ass, 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.

Share This Story