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Nintendo Game Boy Light

This Japan-only release eradicates the need for a third-party accessory for nighttime gameplaying. Certainly one of the gold mines among Game Boy collectors.

Not an imitation whatsoever. What you're seeing is real: the Nintendo Game Boy Light. Chances are good that you've never heard of this version, nor have you seen one in person. Because Nintendo was surely capitalizing on their success of the Game Boy, enhancements needed to be made and fulfilled to keep handheld gamers coming for more.

It's okay if you've never seen/heard of this because it was only available in Japan. Sales for this unit wasn't amazing, so I usually call this time "Nintendo's Experimental Peak" to refer to bigger things coming for the beloved handheld. The specs are nearly similar to the Game Boy Pocket, just a tad larger, the screen a bit smaller and the A and B buttons injected into the buttons, but I wanted to show the switch as shown on the pictures above. You can see there's a third switch with turns the backlight on but keeps the unit running. That means if you need the backlight during the game, you can activate it without turning off the handheld and going back to where you left off (especially games with no save option/points). On the back are ridges which act like grips—the battery compartment, and takes two AA batteries. The battery life is much longer than the Pocket, even with the backlight on. Still region-free and compatible with the entire Game Boy library, the Light was a unique unit that Nintendo tried before coming out with a new, cooler version for the American and European markets later that same year.

The Light comes in two colors: silver and gold (I have the gold one). If this unit being available in Japan doesn't make this rare enough, there are special versions of the Light branded by hit shows like Pokémon and Astro Boy. Unless you're a crazy Game Boy collector, those versions of the Light are too scarce to even find. As for the backlight, it's a turquoise-shaded light. This particularly is very nostalgic as the idea of cell phones were slowly seeping into the consumer market, sporting nearly the same dot matrix screen with almost the same color backlight.

With a move to reduce the purchases of third-party accessories to give the Game Boy some "light," this Game Boy version was a decent try. I understand Nintendo's move not to market and sell this to US and Europe, up until they released a more slick version of the Game Boy that got another million of people to grab hold of later that year.





  • Backlit screen.
  • Its exclusive release had the value of the console increase over the years.
  • Requires only two AA batteries.
  • Includes rare designs that are even more difficult to find.
  • Only released in Japan.
  • Backlit has a turquoise, cool color.
  • Battery cover makes the unit a bit bulky.
  • Screen is smaller than the Game Boy Pocket.
80% (B-)
Fan Rating
Game Console Nintendo Game Boy Light
Description ????
ISBN / Bar Code number L10647716 // ????
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3)
Audio Format Mono (Stereo via headphones, depending on game)
Region Compatible NTSC, PAL
Language(s) English
Released April 14, 1998 (JP)
Video Specification Dot Matrix ("Black & White")
Licensed by Nintendo®
Company Nintendo®
Model / Catalog Number (????)
Other Console Versions Super Game Boy, Game Boy, Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP, Game Boy Micro
Quoted Reviews --
Other The Game Boy sold over 100 million units worldwide.


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