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Portables (Games)

Is the Game Boy the Toughest Product Ever Made? 547

An anonymous reader writes "CNET is running an article about tough technology, which aptly includes the Nintendo Game Boy, a device so tough that mine still works after many years. 'There's no two ways about it: the original Game Boy is one of the hardest gadgets ever conceived. Rumor has it this beige behemoth isn't made of plastic, but from the skulls of fallen Gurkhas. If you ever saw one that was broken, it's because it lost a boxing match with a nuclear bomb — on points.' So do you agree that the Game Boy is the toughest consumer electronics device ever made?"
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Is the Game Boy the Toughest Product Ever Made?

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  • Pet Rock... (Score:5, Funny)

    by rthille ( 8526 ) <web-slashdot AT rangat DOT org> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:03PM (#22310208) Homepage Journal

    I still have my pet rock, 30+ years later...
    • by show me altoids ( 1183399 ) * on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:07PM (#22310290)
      Game Boy covers Pet Rock. You lose!
    • Not That Tough (Score:5, Informative)

      by dshaw858 ( 828072 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:29PM (#22310724) Homepage Journal
      I was playing a frustrating game on my original Game Boy back in the day, got frustrated and hit it against my head--I broke the internal screen, and it couldn't display games correctly anymore. So it's not that tough...
      • by TyrainDreams ( 982007 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:33PM (#22310810)
        That or your head is just that dense...i mean clearly you smashed things into your head...its probably pretty tough...
      • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:45PM (#22311012)
        The Gameboy's still showing games fine. You actually broke your eyesight, np.
      • by SnprBoB86 ( 576143 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:55PM (#22311178) Homepage
        So you are a Gurkha who has not yet fallen?
      • Re:Not That Tough (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Spokehedz ( 599285 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:05PM (#22311360)
        I bought the first Gameboy, and I still have it to this very day. I bought the external battery pack (filled with 4xC NiCad) and the carrying case that looked like a gigantic Gameboy.

        It still works. All of it. I have had to replace the batteries in the external battery pack, but that is it. I mean, the damn thing is almost 20 years old. It still turns on just fine.

        Also, the guys with the blowing in cartridges and stuff... Well, if you didin't carry the thing in your pocket like a goober then you woulden't have to do that. Mine works, and it has been sitting on my shelf for the last 10 years.

        I just pulled it out of the plastic bag, put some batteries in it, and stuck in both Quarth and RC Pro Am into it. No corrupted graphics at all.

        Sure they are toys. But they are also MY toys. I want them to work. I have all my consoles, and they all still work. Even the Virtualboy... Which was a good idea, but just failed in the execution.

        Nintendo knows its market. They realized that kids are a lot harder on consoles than adults--and their market is kids. So, all of their stuff is remarkably hardy. Except for the Virtualboy. That thing broke if you dropped it hard enough. Well, it did have rotating mirrors... Lets not mention the VB again, shall we?
        • Re:Not That Tough (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:41PM (#22313962) Journal
          Mine still works. I bought it in '90, just before heading over for Desert Shield/Storm. I was on the ground the whole time and it worked fine, even with all the dust and grit. I left some regular batteries in it, around '98 and had to clean up the mess a couple years ago but after that, is still working ok. Had to get it working so I could introduce my daughter to it. After 6 months, she was bugging me for a DS.
      • That just proves that, no matter how tough the Gameboy may be, your head is harder!

        (Come to think of it, We shouldn't be surprised at the density of your noggin, being that you chose to use your head as a hammer as opposed to the wall or some other, non-organic instrument of destruction ;) .

        Still, made for a funny anecdote...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        So basically your point is that you have a hard head? That's not usually something to brag about. Now, if you broke it on your abs, that would be something!
    • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:19PM (#22311586) Journal
      I still have my pet dog after 30+ years too. He's right up there on the mantle.
  • by myawn ( 562028 ) <mike.theYawns@com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:04PM (#22310234) Homepage
    Back in the stone age when you didn't own your phone, but just leased it from the phone company, those things were darn near indestructible.
  • Blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:05PM (#22310246)
    http://www.aqualion.com/blog/uploaded_images/football-777893.jpg [aqualion.com]

    I've had this for over 25 years. Still works.
    • Until a couple years ago I had one of those (purchased it from a thift shop). It worked fine for quite a while, but eventually all the buttons did the same thing; turn the game off. Turns out soda beats football.
  • by lanthar ( 962279 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:05PM (#22310250)
    Will it blend?
  • Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by Captain Splendid ( 673276 ) * <[capsplendid] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:07PM (#22310278) Homepage Journal
    I dunno. Every single Zippo I've ever owned has been pretty robust. Those Ironman watches popular back in the 80's were fairly hardy, too.

    My wife's 2nd gen iPod has seen constant and rugged use since it was bought and it still works great.

    While I'm here, I'd like to also give a shoutout to my ancient HP Vectra VE, which until recently was my file/dyndns/hotline server . They don't make PCs like they used to, that's for sure.
  • by NickisGod.com ( 453769 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:07PM (#22310298)
    I remember my brother dropped his Gameboy in a lake accidentally when he was younger. It was under water for a week until friends of ours with scuba gear found it.

    That damn thing worked after we dried it out for a couple days and popped fresh batteries in it. It was missing a couple lines on the display, but it worked.

    Granted, it was fresh water, but still.
    • In the old days (1970s, 1980s and maybe 90s), HP -- that's the real pre-Carly HP -- had a publication called HP Digest. This had a column showing hough tough HP kit was. People would send in stories/photos about how they had backed a truck over their spectum analyzer or an oscilloscope getting burnt in a fire etc etc. Tough kit!

      For modern kit, I'd put some money on The TDS Recon http://www.tdsway.com/products/recon [tdsway.com]. I have seen one thrown off a building and they keep one in a fish tank in their lobby http:/ [tdsway.com]

    • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:12PM (#22312458)
      Actually, water isn't all that harmful to electronics (at least, when powered off) if a little care is taken.

      Eons ago I was a repair tech fixing oscilloscopes for Tektronix. Standard procedure for ANY piece of gear coming in the office was it went into the "wash rack." We took off all the side panels, hosed it down using essentially the same equipment you use in a self-serv car wash (w/soap & water), rinsed it, then it went into the dryers (I forget the exact temp, but as I recall it was relatively low, less than 150F I think). The only important thing we needed to remember is to put it in the dryers such that certain power transformer cans had their opening facing down (otherwise they could fill with water and three days then wasn't enough to dry it out). After that, we plugged it in and fired it up. This included both the ancient vacuum tube equipment and modern IC circuit-board equipment, including CRTs and the like. I suppose current gear with LCDs may get waterspots on the panels, and certain components might be uniquely sensitive. Mechanical devices such as VCRs might have grease on some moving parts that could be an issue but nothing Tek made at the time had that problem, and if they did the solution would likely be to re-lube the device.

      The important thing if you drop your ipod or whatever into the toilet, is to take out the batteries as soon as possible and open it up to the extent possible and leave it out to dry for a week or so. Movies & television shows that show dropping something electrical into water causing lots of sparks is mostly special-effect pyrotechnics and not reality. If it's plugged into AC though, unplug it from the wall first before you reach into the water, or you may get zapped...

      Tap water does conduct electricity so if it gets wet when it's powered on it could cause shorts that may damage things, but probably only with sensitive circuitry, as water looks like a resistor not a dead short so many circuits could survive it without damage. Battery powered units should be powered off ASAP though, as it could cause things to heat up. Yank out the batteries completely right away as well to minimize such adverse effects...
  • Um, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by molo ( 94384 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:08PM (#22310310) Journal
    My gameboy was next to useless after a year or so of use. There were many verical columns on the LCD that stopped displaying. Cleaning the cartridge connection didn't seem to help either. Yeah, you could drop it and it would still function, but that display would give out eventually.

  • by robvs68 ( 560549 )
    I've always been amazed by the controller that came with the Atari 2600. My friends and I beat the crap out of it for years and not only did it survive, it barely showed any wear.
    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      That controller was tougher than the humans. "Atari Thumb" was the RSI of the early 80's. Anyone but me do the trick of taping a dime to the top of the button contact to reduce the travel time? I had a couple controllers that actually required the dime trick because the button wore a hole through the contact. Worked all right for the stick contacts too, though it made it a bit fiddly.

      (yeah, posted just after me carping about slow news days. it's just the "ask slashdot" part of it that bugged me)
    • That's odd... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Belial6 ( 794905 )
      That's odd. Me, and almost everyone I know, had exactly the opposite experience. The joysticks that came with the Atari for were notorious for being easy to break. The problem was the plastic 'spring' that they used inside was prone to snapping. And, unfortunately the plastic was too oily for glue to fix. Many of the third party controllers of the day were extremely durable though. The Wico bat stick, and the slick stick come to mind. The slick stick actually used auto parts in it's construction. Th
  • everything nintendo makes is tough. I never had a nintendo product break. and I've dropped all of my systems at least twice.
  • !DIAF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oxy the moron ( 770724 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:09PM (#22310344)

    I remember reading a blurb in an issue of Nintendo Power (I want to say sometime in the early 90's) that featured a picture of a Game Boy that had supposedly been in a house fire. They were able to fit the Tetris cartridge back into the slot, turn the game on, and actually play it (albeit, with some loss in the pixels) even though the shell of the system was almost completely charred.

    I think that's pretty hardcore.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...but I do think a "blackbox" comes instantly to mind.
  • Bad LCDs (Score:5, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:12PM (#22310398)
    I went through three original Game Boys back in the day because the LCD screens kept on losing vertical lines. These were generally near the edges of the screen, but one got so bad that nearly half the screen didn't work. I'm sure they probably still power up just fine, but if you can't see what's on the screen it doesn't really matter.
  • Anyone who did knows that they're not beige ;)
  • by simdan ( 207210 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:13PM (#22310424) Homepage
    A bit lightly toasted [wikipedia.org]. The page has a link to a YouTube video on it as well.
  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:13PM (#22310428) Homepage Journal
    Engadget report here: http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/02/iphone-takes-on-semi-lives-to-tell-the-tale/ [engadget.com]

    One iPhone, gets left out... and flattened by a Semi tractor trailer. Took a lickin', kept on tickin'.
  • I got mine for Christmas the year the original came out. I also got a copy of Tennis for it. I got so mad at that game, I slammed the GB against my head and destroyed the screen. I had to pay $30 of my own money to replace it, too, which for a 13 year old in 1990 with no allowance, was rough.
  • When I was a kid I broke my Gameboy after a few years of having it by dropping a book on it and cracking the screen.
  • Melty (Score:2, Interesting)

    It may not be a nuke, but there's a gameboy in Nintendo's NYC store that survived a barracks bombing (no clue as to which side's barracks it was, though.) It's on display there, still playing Tetris to this day.

    here's a pic and a flash video of it:
    http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-fully-functional-gulf-war-gameboy#more-6645 [techeblog.com]

    Pretty badass...
  • Creative Media (Score:5, Interesting)

    by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:15PM (#22310458) Journal
    Zen Jukebox:

    1. Dropped in bucket of paint from hip height: still worked
    2. Dropped in bucket of paint thinner from chest height: Removed paint from earlier drop, still worked
    3. No vista support... Coaxed drivers on vista anyway... STILL WORKS BABY!
  • Mine still works. Whereas my E2 essentially crapped out after a year.
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:17PM (#22310508) Homepage
    Apparently, more weapon than controller it is capable of withstanding high speed impact with stationary objects, LCD/plasma TVs, dry wall, idiots, etc.
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:21PM (#22310570) Homepage
    The DS screens break (top one specifically) if you fart too close to it. I still haven't broken my DSlite... yet..., but I went through 4 DS's with them in my laptop bag when they were damaged.

    I also broke several GB advances, I think it's the flip open design, it stresses the screens somehow.

  • http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/rancilio_silvia [coffeegeek.com]

    That thing is freak'n indestructible. I've had one for almost seven years, use it daily - sometimes left on all day - and the damn thing just won't break. I wonder if I'll have it for the rest of my life because it shows no signs of impending failure.
  • I dunno about that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:21PM (#22310580) Homepage Journal
    I got my first gameboy when I was about 8 years old when I was going on a flight by myself to see my mom in FL. That one lasted me probably about 8 months. I remember the first time I broke it, I dropped it down the front steps at my gramma's house. The device stayed intact, but the screen wouldn't display anything except for a couple of horizontal black lines.

    I got a new unit a couple months later from my dad which lasted me close to a year before it finally wouldn't turn on one day. We tried replacing the batteries, but nothing would fix it. I remember seeing my dad with it open on his desk doing some kind of surgery to it. He wound up taking the screen out of that one and transplanting it into my first one, thereby fixing it (I had to do a similar thing with my PSP, but that's another story). That gameboy still works to this day, although I made the mistake of putting the majority of my gameboy and gamegear games into the same drawer as this 8" speaker magnet that I had and none of them work anymore.

    I've got really bad luck with electronics... Not including the normal upgrade process, only replacements for faulty units, I've had about 6 ipods, more than 10 cell phones, 3 palm pilots, 2 PSPs, 3 xbox360s, 2 Wiis, about 6 Laptops, a dozen monitors (CRT), countless harddrives (well over 20), and several new headphones, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, drive enclosures and powerbricks. Many were replaced under warranty, but still.
    • by EveryNickIsTaken ( 1054794 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:23PM (#22310612)

      I've got really bad luck with electronics... Not including the normal upgrade process, only replacements for faulty units, I've had about 6 ipods, more than 10 cell phones, 3 palm pilots, 2 PSPs, 3 xbox360s, 2 Wiis, about 6 Laptops, a dozen monitors (CRT), countless harddrives (well over 20), and several new headphones, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, drive enclosures and powerbricks. Many were replaced under warranty, but still.
      Hmm. Sounds like a user issue to me.
    • by QMO ( 836285 )
      Your electronics budget is too big.
    • Magnet?!? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Comboman ( 895500 )
      I made the mistake of putting the majority of my gameboy and gamegear games into the same drawer as this 8" speaker magnet that I had and none of them work anymore.

      Contrary to popular belief, game cartridges are not 8-track tapes (or core memory); there is nothing in them that is stored magnetically or that could be damaged by a magnet. More likely, the connectors have oxidized.

    • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:31PM (#22311796)

      I've got really bad luck with electronics... Not including the normal upgrade process, only replacements for faulty units, I've had about 6 ipods, more than 10 cell phones, 3 palm pilots, 2 PSPs, 3 xbox360s, 2 Wiis, about 6 Laptops, a dozen monitors (CRT), countless harddrives (well over 20), and several new headphones, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, drive enclosures and powerbricks. Many were replaced under warranty, but still.
      Wow, you're where electronics go to die. Do you have the black cloak and a scythe or just a big magnet on a stick?
  • I have a 45 year old GE portable AM radio, and a 40+ year old Marantz [marantz.com] stereo receiver that still works fine. Gameboys are very robust and can possibly take more physical abuse (my son's still works fine), but they have many years to go to catch up with some of these other things.
  • Other products (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:25PM (#22310648)
    I never owned a Game Boy, but I did own a lot of other things that held up well over the years.

    My first camera was a Canon Snappy 35mm. It held its own for many years. By comparison, the non-digital Elph2 I got afterwards made it through a single summer (of near daily travel and use).

    The only phones that ever survived abuse were my old Nokias. I dropped them countless times and they always worked.

    As much as I dislike a lot of Sony's corporate policies, their consumer products I've bought have been sturdy as hell. My Sports Walkman worked flawlessly for a decade, and the CD-Walkman I got afterwards made it through a summer of constant traveling unscathed.

    It is too early to tell, but I think the 2nd-gen iPod shuffles will hold up well. There's not much to them, after all.

    Something has to be said for hardware designed in the 80s. I think the new small, sleek, shiny designs lend themselves to not be as reliable over the long run; any cosmetic defects would be more apparent.

    My parents have an old IBM XT. Ten years after they got it, I was using it for word processing, programming, and who knows what else. I booted it up a few weeks ago and it was running like I remembered it, over 20 years later. An old wood-paneled Kenmore TV also lasted about twenty years.

    What I've heard is that in certain types of consumer electronics (especially ones where form factor, not software is likely to change), the first-generation products usually hold up extremely well. These are things like the $1000 CD players and $500 DVD players. They become cheaper as they reach a mass market due to economies of scale, but the components usually get cheaper too.
  • Nintendo... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brad_Silva ( 54385 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:27PM (#22310696)

    My Son has a GBA, GBA SP and GBA DS. They all still work despite being dropped, crushed in backpacks, and having been loaned to a two year old nephew. Pretty hard to beat that sort of treatment.

    With the exception of the absolutely completely f9(^*(%'n useless screen on the GBA, I've been very impressed with Nintendo game machines.

    Seriously, what idiot released the original GBA?

  • by Punk CPA ( 1075871 ) <mitchtownsend&hotmail,com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:30PM (#22310730)
    I would have to nominate my flash drive. I left it in my pants one time, and it survived a trip through the washer and dryer. I should really have hand-washed it, though: it shrank from 1 gb to 512 mb.
  • I've noticed this is true of most cartridge systems. I remember back in college we obliterated a Nintendo 64 with a bat and a BB gun. No doubt alcohol was involved. Regardless, it still worked - despite the rather large hole in the middle of the console.
  • Xbox 360 (Score:5, Funny)

    by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:32PM (#22310784)
    Man, I wish 360's were that durable. Mine just about red rings every time I use my microwave, and dammit, i love my ramen noodles!
  • Not so much (Score:5, Funny)

    by boowax ( 229348 ) <boowax@ y a h o o . com> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:38PM (#22310868) Homepage
    My brother's forehead Christmas Day 1990 1
    Gameboy 0
  • by dalmiroy2k ( 768278 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:40PM (#22310926)
    Remember the Gamecube car test we posted a few years ago?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEvlWQ5ULCg [youtube.com]

    Same with original Nintendo DS, when closed mode it will withstand most drops.
  • by Rearden82 ( 923468 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:43PM (#22310968)
    I nominate the IBM Model M keyboard [wikipedia.org] and its brethren as being among the most bulletproof gadgets ever made. They weigh 5 pounds, mostly because the keys are mounted on a solid steel plate. And not only are they indestructible, but they're delightful to type on.
  • TI Calculators (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Idgit ( 1078377 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:43PM (#22310984)
    I don't know about everyone else but my Ti-83 still works after 10 years of abuse. Those are some hard calculators to break.
  • HP 48s (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HungWeiLo ( 250320 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @03:48PM (#22311054)
    Has anyone mentioned these yet?

    I heard one of the 9/11 rescue workers found one in the rubble, and it was still working.
  • by The Breeze ( 140484 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:03PM (#22311328) Homepage
    What's the last Microsoft project that Bill Gates spent considerable time writing code for before his managerial duties took away his time for coding?

    The portable, handheld battery-operated TRS-80.

    Solid as a rock. There are tales of people skipping them across concrete and they still work.

    And as far as the code? Bill must have done something right, because as of a few years ago (I last heard this in 2005 or 2004) there are still some of these beasts in use. Not much computing power, but they have an RS-232 port. The O/S is flexible enough that there are corporations using the device still. Apparently, the thing is so tough that there are off-shore oil platforms running some ancient equipment that dumps data through an RS-232 port, and the crews that have to service them use the portable TRS-80's to grab the data and take it back to their offices where they upload it to their PC's. More modern equipment apparently chokes after constant exposure to salt air, constant shock, and, well, oil workers. They're tough guys, you know. :)

  • by phonicsmonkey ( 984955 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:07PM (#22311392)
    The original Blackberries, the Mobitex 850s, were bricks. Back at RIM we used to drop-kick them across the office for testing.
  • Blackberry (Score:3, Interesting)

    by compwizrd ( 166184 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:11PM (#22311450)
    Thanks to a cheaply designed holster, my Blackberry 7510 underwent daily "is local gravity still in effect?" testing, sometimes many times a day.

    No problems with it, the casing is scratched up badly, but it still works.

    My replacement 7520 undergoes a similar test every couple weeks, and holds up just fine.
  • by aplusjimages ( 939458 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:13PM (#22311476) Journal
    They knew that kids would be using them and if our experience was going to be anything like the NES there was going to be some serious controller slamming. Only this time the controller is also the console. I have to say that my DS Fat is still kicking after having it for several years and using it a lot. Now that it has the R4 in it I use it more.
  • Snap-on? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Kabuthunk ( 972557 ) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <knuhtubak>> on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @04:18PM (#22311560) Homepage
    I don't know about Technology (although the Wii remote would be pretty high up on that list... or generally anything designed by Nintendo... which I swear must have a contract with the makers of LEGO), but the strongest thing I've ever known is Snap-On tools.

    I swear... that company must be sacrificing souls to some demon in order to make them that damn-near-physics-defyingly strong :P.
  • OLPC... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @05:12PM (#22312474) Homepage
    I've broken Gameboys...but the OLPC looks tough.
  • Fisher Price Garage (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Zerbey ( 15536 ) * on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @07:08PM (#22314388) Homepage Journal
    I have an original Fisher Price Garage [dyndns.org]. The thing was bought in the mid 70s for my older brother and it was handed down to me. It's now over 30 years old. It's been played with by countless numbers of children over the years and apart from being very scuffed up is in working order. My own kids love it. I suspect my own grandkids will be playing with it many years from now.

    That, or my vote would be for anything Tonka made in the 70s. Still have several examples of those as well.

  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @11:06PM (#22316700)
    The problem with gameboy's was LCD rot (if you're talking about the original), I imagine others will have this problem as well as time goes on and pixels go dead (unless they've fixed this) but it takes a while to happen.
  • The Atari Lynx (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @01:28AM (#22317612) Homepage Journal
    I still own one. My original Gameboy had the LCD screen get lines in it, and stops working unless you jiggle the AA batteries just so and then power comes back on.

    The Atari Lynx uses more batteries and eats more power than a Gameboy, but it is more durable plus it came with a color LCD. It also weighs more, and has the graphics and sounds of an Amiga 1000 in a hand-held case. Plus the carts for the Lynx are wafer thin and don't need to be cleaned as often as the Gameboy carts.

    Also I have a few Game.com units by Tiger, the original touch screen handheld, they last forever as well. Except when I lose the stylus pen, but a finger or retractable ink pen works just as well as a stylus. As a bonus the Game.com has built in PDA like software.
  • I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wick3t ( 787074 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2008 @09:31AM (#22319774)
    The original Game Boy has problems with the battery compartment. The battery connectors (springs) wear and it doesn't hold the batteries in securely to the point where you have to be careful you don't move it while playing and even more careful when you put it down that it does not loose power. I had my first Game Boy replaced under warranty because of this. The same problem happened to the replacement after the warranty expired. Nintendo have since addressed this and have been using better battery connectors in their more recent products (GBA, Wii remote).

    I had another problem my second GB. I'm not sure how common this is but after many years of use, on the left-hand side of the screen a whole vertical bar of pixels disappeared. This later increased to a bar three pixels wide.

    From my experience, every Nintendo product made after the GB has been far more reliable.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell