Could it be? Is the Game Boy really coming back? Maybe in the form of hypothetical Game Boy Classic Edition-type device, similar to the NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition that have taken the nostalgic masses by storm in recent years? Well, the bad news is, we don’t really know yet. The good news is, however, that there are rumors … so at least we’ve got hope that it’ll happen, right?
Here’s what we know so far:
On Oct. 6, a Twitter bot that tracks trademark registrations in Japan tweeted out a trademark that Nintendo Co., Ltd. seems to have filed on Sept. 15 for the Game Boy brand. Worth noting is that the trademark isn’t for any specific item; rather, it covers a wide variety of possible merchandise options, including, as Kotaku notes, keychains, smartphone apps, jewelry, clothing, and, yes, video game consoles. This means that we can’t take it as confirmation that an actual Game Boy device is in the works; however, we can probably expect some Game Boy-branded items to appear in the future, especially since, as the Independent observed, the 30th anniversary of the Game Boy’s original release is coming up in 2019. (The device originally arrived in 1989 in both Japan and North America. Happy early 30th, Game Boy.)
For whatever it’s worth, the Twitter bot’s tweet also included an illustrated rendering of a Game Boy. It looks like this:
But although we have no confirmation in any way, sense, or form that a new Game Boy device banking on retro-nostalgia is on the way, many are hopeful that it is. And, to be fair, it’s a fairly logical progression; given the intense popularity surrounding the NES Classic and Super NES Classic, it would make sense for Nintendo to try to repeat the formula with other classic favorites.
The NES Classic Edition was announced to great fanfare in July of 2016; a miniature recreation of the Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom console, which was originally launched in Japan in 1983 and North America in 1985, it featured 30 classic games, including Donkey Kong, Kirby’s Adventure, Castlevania, The Legend of Zelda, and of course Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3. It finally arrived in November of 2016 and flew off shelves; by February 2017, 1.5 million NES Classics had been sold — but alas, the mini console was discontinued just a few months later in April, leaving Nintendo fans who hadn’t managed to get their hands on the highly-sought-after device bereft.
In June, though, another announcement shook up the internet: A Super NES Classic Edition device would be arriving in the fall. Like the NES Classic, the Super NES Classic was a shown to be a scaled-down version of a classic Nintendo system — this time the Super Nintendo, which was originally released in Japan in 1990 and North America in 1991 — and would feature 21 built-in games ranging from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to Earthbound and from Super Mario Kart to Final Fantasy III. The Super NES Classic was released on Sept. 29, and like its predecessor, it was both extremely popular and notoriously difficult to get a hold of.
Somehow, my household managed to acquire a Super NES Classic on its original launch date; I do have to say, it’s great fun. I had an original NES when I was a kid, but I didn’t have a Super NES, so I’m finally able to play all the classics from this particular system I missed the first time ‘round. Also, it is adorably tiny. But hey, good news: As of Sept. 12, 2017, the NES Classic will be coming back into stores in 2018; additionally, the Super NES Classic will continue to be produced through 2018, as well. So, if you missed either or both systems on their original release, there's still hope for you to acquire one!
Anyway, the question we've all got now is this: Could a Game Boy Classic Edition be on the way next? Maybe, although admittedly, I’m not totally sure how “miniature” anything like this could really be, given that the Game Boy was originally a handheld device anyway. Then again, the classic Game Boy was rather brick-like in design; it measured 3.5 inches wide by 5.8 inches high by 1.3 inches deep and weighed over 10.5 ounces. (By comparison, the current Nintendo handheld system, the 3DS, is 5.3 inches wide, 2.9 inches tall, and 0.83 inches deep and weighs only 8.3 ounces — which, even owing for the change in orientation, is pretty svelte when held up against the original Game Boy.)
Again, though, we don’t have any proof or confirmation right now; all we have is a trademark for the general brand. Maybe that means there’s a new device coming, but maybe it doesn’t; all we can do at this point is wait.
And also hope that if there is a Game Boy Classic, its release is a little less panic-inducing than it was for the NES Classic and Super NES Classic. Judging from those two releases, we know that demand for a hypothetical Game Boy Classic would likely be pretty high — so, uh, maybe that’s worth planning for.