The Game Boy Color (commonly abbreviated as GBC) is a handheld game console, manufactured by Nintendo, which was released in Japan on October 21, 1998 and to international markets that November. It is the successor to the Game Boy and is part of the Game Boy family.
The GBC features a color screen rather than monochrome, but it is not backlit. It is slightly thicker and taller and features a slightly smaller screen than the Game Boy Pocket, its immediate predecessor in the Game Boy line. As with the original Game Boy, it has a custom 8-bit processor made by Sharp that is considered a hybrid between the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80. The American English spelling of the system’s name, Game Boy Color, remains consistent throughout the world.
The Game Boy Color is part of the fifth generation of video game consoles. The GBC’s primary competitors in Japan were the grayscale 16-bit handhelds, SNK’s Neo Geo Pocket and Bandai’s WonderSwan, though the Game Boy Color outsold them by a wide margin. SNK and Bandai countered with the Neo Geo Pocket Color and the WonderSwan Color, respectively, but this did little to change Nintendo’s sales dominance. With Sega discontinuing the Game Gear in 1997, the Game Boy Color’s only competitor in the United States was its predecessor, the Game Boy, until the short-lived Neo Geo Pocket Color was released in North America in August 1999. The Game Boy and the Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide making them the third-best-selling system of all time.
On March 23, 2003, the Game Boy Color was discontinued, shortly after the release of the Game Boy Advance SP. Its best-selling game is Pokémon Gold and Silver, which shipped 23 million units worldwide.