Codex Gamicus

Game Boy Camera
Basic Information
Game Boy
European Union European Release
CanadaUnited StatesMexico North American Release
June 11998
Japan Japanese Release
September 171998
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The Game Boy Camera, released as Pocket Camera (ポケットカメラ?) in Japan, North America and Europe[1] in 1988, is an official Nintendo accessory for the handheld Game Boy gaming console and was released in 17 September 1998. It is also compatible with all of the Game Boy platforms (with the exception of Game Boy Micro). The camera can take 256x224 (downscaled to half resolution on the unit with anti-aliasing), black & white digital images using the 4-colour palette of the Game Boy system. The focal length is ~ 50 mm. It interfaced with the Game Boy Printer, which utilized thermal paper to print any saved images, making a hard copy. Both the camera and the printer were marketed by Nintendo as light-hearted entertainment devices aimed mainly at children in all three major video game regions of the world: Japan, North America, and Europe. N64 Magazine (which has since been superseded by NGamer) dedicated a monthly section to the device.

The Game Boy Camera comes in five different standard colours: blue, green, red, yellow and clear purple (Japan only). There was also a limited edition gold The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time version, which contains different stamps from the standard versions and was available only in the USA through a mail-order offer from Nintendo Power.

The game has numerous references to other Nintendo products. Also, there are a few differences between the North American and Japanese versions, including the unlockable B album pictures and the stamps that can be placed on pictures.[2]

The Game Boy Camera was featured in the 1999 edition of Guinness World Records for being the world's smallest digital camera, though this record has since been broken. Nintendo reportedly had plans to release a successor to the Game Boy Camera for the Game Boy Advance called the GameEye[3] which would take colour photos and feature connectivity with the GameCube through a game titled Stage Debut, but neither the GameEye nor Stage Debut ever saw release. The Game Boy Camera would be the only handheld Nintendo product to feature a user-accessible camera until the release of the Nintendo DSi.

Notable features[]

  • The Game Boy Camera was used to take the photographs for the album cover of Neil Young's Silver & Gold.
  • The Game Boy Camera was featured prominently in the Hong Kong zombie film Bio Zombie.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, Chris P. Bacon uses a Game Boy Camera to take pictures.
  • The Game Boy Camera has been credited for, among other things, originating the modern concept of the selfie.


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