30 years ago, on April 21, 1989, Nintendo
released the first Game Boy in Japan, ringing in the era of mobile video gaming. The little grey device with a monochromatic screen went on to sell 118 million units, making it Nintendo’s second best-selling device, trailing only its eventual successor, the Nintendo DS, which sold 154 million units over its lifetime.
As our chart illustrates, Nintendo’s history is one of hits and misses. While the Game Boy and the company's first two video game consoles for the living room were blockbuster successes at the time, the Nintendo 64 and GameCube didn’t sell as well and the experimental and often forgotten Virtual Boy
(thanks to one of our readers for bringing it to our attention) failed miserably. The Nintendo DS and Wii, released in 2004 and 2006, respectively, marked Nintendo’s return to form, before the 2012 Wii U flopped and was quickly replaced by the highly popular Nintendo Switch.