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Game Boy Camera
A red Game Boy Camera. Various other colors were also available.
Manufacturer "Nintendo
Product family "Game Boy line
Type "Video game accessory
Generation "Fourth generation
Release date
  • "JP: February 21, 1998
  • "NA: June 1, 1998[1]
  • "PAL: June 4, 1998

The Game Boy Camera (GBC), released as Pocket Camera (ポケットカメラ) in Japan, is a "Nintendo accessory for the handheld "Game Boy gaming console and was released on February 21, 1998 in Japan, which ceased manufacture in late 2002. It is compatible with all of the "Game Boy platforms (including "Super Game Boy and with the exception of "Game Boy Micro). The camera has a 128×128 pixel CMOS sensor,[2] [3] and can store 128×112, black & white digital images using the 4-color palette of the Game Boy system. It interfaced with the "Game Boy Printer, which utilized "thermal paper to print saved images, making a hardcopy. 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 "N64 Magazine (which has since been superseded by "NGamer) dedicated a monthly section to the device.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 colors: blue, green, red, yellow and clear purple (Japan only). There was also a limited edition gold "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time edition, which contains different stamps from the standard versions and was available only in the United States through a mail order offer from "Nintendo Power.

The device's software 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.[4]

The Game Boy Camera (GBC) 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.[5] Nintendo reportedly had plans to release a successor to the Game Boy Camera for the Game Boy Advance called the GameEye[6] which would take color photos and feature connectivity with the "Nintendo GameCube through a game titled "Stage Debut, but neither the GameEye nor Stage Debut saw release. Nintendo has had built-in cameras with the "Nintendo DSi and "Nintendo 3DS.



A picture of a "Ford Tempo taken with the Game Boy Camera

There are three visible options available on the home screen: Shoot, View, and Play.

There is a fourth set of options that are shown when the SELECT button is pressed. A fifth, hidden menu appears when the user presses the START button.

SHOOT option (from home screen)

VIEW option (from home screen)

PLAY option (from home screen) -see Minigames below

SELECT button (from home screen) - various photo editing functions

Users can make photo albums, slideshows, and custom animations of photos.

START button (from home screen) - personalization and record viewing options


Hot-Spot allows users to link pictures together by clicking on certain spots of the picture. This can be used in a number of creative ways. For example, it could be used for creating a game where a player can go from one photo of a room in a house to another by pressing certain spots on the photos. The location of the hot-spots are customizable by accessing the Special menu via the Select options and choosing "Hot-Spot". In this mode, up to five one-eyed blobs can be placed on each picture, which become invisible hot-spots during "Hot-Spot" mode. Each blob can be programmed to send the player to a different photo and include a "visual transition and a sound effect. Then, in Hot-Spot mode, when the player presses one of the hot-spots, he or she will be sent to a photo of another room, where additional hot-spots will send the player to additional photos, and move him or her throughout the virtual house.

The Japanese version of the device is optionally integrated into the "Mario Artist suite of multimedia games for the "64DD peripheral. Users can create drawn and 3D-animated avatars of themselves based on photographs taken with the camera.[7]


Play is a built-in Space Fever II minigame,[5] which is the sequel to the "Space Fever arcade game created by Nintendo. At the beginning of the game, two spaceships appear, one marked with a "B" and one with a "D". Shooting the "B" ship will send players to the "Ball minigame. Shooting the "D" ship will send players to DJ mode, an open-ended "music video game. By avoiding both of the ships, the player will begin playing Space Fever II. After scoring 2,000 points in Space Fever II, a new minigame called Run! Run! Run! will be unlocked. Once unlocked, a new ship marked with a "?" will appear alongside the "B" and "D" ships at the beginning of each new game of Space Fever II. Access Run! Run! Run! by shooting the "?" ship.

Easter eggs[edit]

The Game Boy Camera's software came with a few "Easter eggs.


Initially, the Game Boy Camera was not well received at Nintendo. However, Kuwahara approached "Creatures, Inc. President "Hirokazu Tanaka regarding the development of the software for the device, which solidified the project.[13] The camera's built-in software was co-developed by "Nintendo Research & Development 1 and the Japanese company "Jupiter, with Tanaka directing the project.[14][15][16]

International variations[edit]

There are many differences from the Japanese version.


In popular media[edit]

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.

Using the GBC as a camera[edit]

The Game Boy camera remains a popular device for photography and people constantly find new ways to get more out of this camera. A few examples are

Photo transfer[edit]

The Game Boy Camera requires additional devices to transfer photos. The "Game Boy Printer prints photos directly, while devices like the "Super Game Boy or "Game Boy Player can display photos on a television. Photos can be saved and edited using a "videocassette recorder or "TV tuner card.



  1. ^ "Game Boy Camera". "Nintendo of America, Inc. Archived from the original on May 30, 1998. 
  2. ^ Arthur Ed LeBouthillier. "Inside the Gameboy Camera "Eyeball"". Robotics Society of Southern California. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Mitsubishi M64282FP Datasheet" (PDF). Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Game Boy Camera". NinDB. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Koerber, Brian. "Take a Pixelated Look at NYC Through a Game Boy Camera". 
  6. ^ "Nintendo Power June 2003 Issue.
  7. ^ "GDC: Miyamoto Unveils Camera Connection". IGN. March 18, 1999. Archived from the original on June 10, 2001. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ Totaka's song in gameboy camera?. May 20, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Game Boy Camera/Regional Differences". Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  10. ^ "7 Creepy Video Game Easter Eggs You'll Wish Were Never Found". Cracked.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  11. ^ Rhody. "Credit Feed: My Game Boy History". Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ Game Boy Camera - Dancing Guy. November 11, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ Harris, Craig (March 27, 2009). "GDC 09: Nintendo Prototypes that Never Made It". "IGN. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  14. ^ Claude Moyse, Markus Pfitzner (June 1998). "Der Mann hinter der Kamera!". Club Nintendo (in German). Nintendo of Europe GmbH (Ausgabe 3): 15. 
  15. ^ "ポケットカメラ". "Jupiter Corporation. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Nintendo Research & Development 1, "Jupiter Corporation (June 1, 1998). Game Boy Camera. "Nintendo of America, Inc. Scene: staff credits. 
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