04.21.2014Personal Tech

Three Ways Game Boy Was Way Ahead of Its Time

By: Jerry Rizzo
"If you're gonna play the game, boy. You gotta learn to play it right." --Kenny Rogers
KDDI Japan customers will use VoLTE service while traveling in the United States

It was 25 years ago today when the Game Boy revolution was sparked in Japan. It wouldn't be long until our stocky brick buddy would make its way to our homes and inevitably our hearts.

As a product of the late 80s, I didn't know life without it. The Game Boy, in my home, lived next to a few magazines on our living room coffee table for a good half-decade. Dad dabbled in Tetris, Mom was a Super Mario pro, and my brother taught me everything I knew about Double Dragon. The family Game Boy was undoubtedly a staple.

Let's dial into a few ways Game Boy was decades ahead of itself and has shaped the major tech trends we see today...kind of...maybe.

1. Smartwatches, eat your heart out.

It's hard to visit any tech site without stumbling across a piece about the newest way to wear tech or "wearable tech". Just remember when you're reading about those shiny new cuff communicators, Game Boy was innovating this space in 1989.

2. Before there were selfies...

...well...there were still selfies, but you could print them and share them with your friends. Game Boy Camera and Printer broke ground in 1998 and were compatible with all Game Boys except the Game Boy Micro. The next time you go and peg the selfie blame on "kids these days", make sure to remember your 80s and 90s babies.

3. Game Boys had sonar! Sonar is saaawwweeeeeeet.
Now I don't think Sony or Microsoft have any future plans of adding on fishing sonar to their system offering, but that's just because it may be too techologically advanced.

While it never made it to the States, Bandai created a Game Boy peripheral that used actual sonar to locate fish underwater. Here's a little more about it Game Boy Pocket Sonar.

There's been some great coverage for today's anniversary. Here are some other great pieces to take you down memory lane...

- The Guardain - Nintendo Game Boy - 25 Facts for Its 25th Anniversary
- Gamespot.com - The Game Boy is Now 25 years Old -- What's Your Favorite Memory?

Jerry Rizzo is Digital Communications Manager for Verizon and all-around digital media enthusiast. Tracking trends in technology, design, and social media, Jerry is always on the hunt to tell the next great story.