We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Photos: Inside a Nintendo Game Boy

We dissect the Game Boy on its 20th birthday

As Ninetendo's Game Boy celebrates its 20th anniversary, we take a look at what makes the gaming handheld tick inside.

Cleft in twain

Enough of the outside of the Game Boy - it's time to dive in. After removing six slightly annoying screws, I carefully cracked open the unit. The Game Boy's internals consist of two major circuit boards, seen here attached to the two halves of the device. Connecting them is a thin ribbon cable (middle) that serves as a freeway of sorts for power and I/O data.

Farther apart

Now that I've carefully unplugged the ribbon cable, you can see the two halves of the Game Boy in more detail. The top half (left) contains the LCD screen, the speaker, and the control-pad elements. The bottom half (right) holds the main motherboard, the cartridge slot, and the battery compartment.

Examining the back half

Here I've removed the motherboard (right) from the back half of the Game Boy. Attached to the motherboard are two smaller circuit boards; the one at the bottom sports a headphone jack, and the other one appears to have something to do with power regulation. The shiny metal plate on the plastic case is part of the cartridge-port assembly and probably doubles as RF (radio frequency) shielding.

The Motherboard

Here you can see the major motherboard components. The largest chip, in the center of the board, is the CPU (labeled 'DMG-CPU B'). The original Game Boy used a custom Z80 microprocessor. Another interesting feature was the link port, which allowed you to connect two Game Boys with a serial cable so that you could play with (or against) your mate in any games offering that capacity.

NEXT PAGE: Examining the front half

  1. We dissect the gaming handheld on its 20th anniversary
  2. Getting inside the Game Boy
  3. Examining the front half


IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

2015 visual trends: 20 leading designers & artists reveal what should be inspiring us in 2015

IDG UK Sites

Mac tips tricks & hacks: 10 things you didn't know your Mac could do