Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is the Game Boy name gone forever?

Jeez, is it only Tuesday? It feels like Thursday to me for some reason... Anywho, article time!

George Harrison, Nintendo's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, recently had a little bit to say about the Game Boy brand:

"This year in our marketing you really won’t see much push against Game Boy itself, so it will kind of seek its own level. It’s hard to say in the future if we will ever bring back the Game Boy trademark. It was a big risk for us to actually pass on it and call the new product the Nintendo DS, but it was part of Mr. Iwata’s philosophy that if we’re going to make a radical difference and try to reach a new audience, then we have to change the name… We had to make a break even though we had one of the greatest trademarks in the history of the industry."

So there it is, the Game Boy is gone. Instead we now have the DS. But why did they bother changing the name from Game Boy to DS in the first place?

I think the main reason for the change was the fact that the DS is so vastly different from any model in the Game Boy product line. From the GB to the GBC to the GBA, not much was changed except for a few more colors, pixels and buttons. But the DS was the most radical change yet, with the integration of the touch-screen and microphone, something not yet seen in any game console, handheld or not. Calling the DS a Game Boy would be like calling the Nintendo 64 another SNES! Too much had changed to keep the same name.

The Game Boy DS? Does that sound good to you? What about the Ultra Game Boy? No? Me neither.

It's not as if the Game Boy name didn't have a good run, though. There was a good 15 years between the release of the original Game Boy and the release of the DS. But nothing lasts forever.

But, who knows? Perhaps one day, long from now, we'll see another Game Boy hit the market! But, for the time being, it's the DS' territory.

The Duck Has Spoken.


tom said...

whatever happened to the idea of having some kind of updated gameboy that could play gamecube discs? i thought i heard rumblings of that a long time ago.

btw i love your blog. keep up the good work!

ModestMr.Green said...

@Tom: That was merely a rumor, and it was never slated to happen.

@Duck: I remember Iwata telling Nintendo's employees something along the lines of, "If we are going to make a big change we cannot use an old name that is so tied to the past and an established property."

Obviously I made up that quote, but that was his philosophy, and I think we can all agree that it paid off.

alexanderpas said...

2031: game boy retro released.