Game Boy Wiki
Game Boy Color
A red Game Boy Color system.
Release Date JP.png October 21, 1998
NA.png/Canada.png November 18, 1998
EU.png November 23, 1998
Discontinued 2003
BSG Pokemon Gold and Silver
Predecessor Game Boy Pocket (1996 - ?)

Game Boy Light (1998-2003)

Successor Game Boy Advance (2001-2009)

The Game Boy Color was the first major revision of the original Nintendo Game Boy. Released in the 3rd quarter of 1998, it was the first in the Game Boy series to introduce 8-bit color graphics, along with a faster processor and additional RAM/VRAM.

The Game Boy Color was preceded by the Game Boy Pocket and in Japan only, the Game Boy Light (which was released just half a year earlier). It was discontinued on 23 March 2003.


The Game Boy Color could also run original Game Boy games as well as Game Boy Color exclusives. When original Game Boy games are played on the Game Boy Color, the Game Boy Color has an enhanced palette built in featuring up to 16 colors, four colors for each of the Game Boy's four layers. The control scheme is unchanged from the original Game Boy (i.e. joypad and 2+2 buttons).

Like the Game Boy Light, the battery cover is hump-shaped to accommodate two AA batteries.

Although "color" is mostly spelt "colour" outside of North America, e.g. the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, the Game Boy Color's name was not changed for these markets.

Colors produced[]

The Game Boy Color logo spelled out the word "COLOR" using the five common colors in which the unit was manufactured. The colors were:

  • Berry (C)
  • Grape (O)
  • Kiwi (L)
  • Dandelion (O)
  • Teal (R)

Another color was Atomic Purple (clear purple). This was the first time the color was made a mainstream option; previously, a similarly colored Game Boy Pocket was exclusive to Japan. Game Boy Color exclusive cartridges were also a translucent plastic (although mostly in gray).

Limited editions and other colors[]

A limited edition Pokemon Game Boy Color.

Other colors were sold as limited editions or in specific countries. For example, a clear green and yellow Game Boy Color was sold in Australia.

Limited editions were also produced in standard colors but with distinct branding, like the dandelion colored Tommy Hilfiger edition. Other limited editions had mix-and-match colors like the Pokemon edition, which has a two-tone yellow/blue body and multi-colored buttons.


The most popular Game Boy Color exclusives included titles from the Pokemon and Mario series. Pokemon Gold and Silver is the best-selling Color exclusive, and the 3rd best selling Game Boy title overall.