The Game Boy Color is Nintendo's successor to the Game Boy and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and in November 19, 1998 in North America and November 23, 1998 in Europe. It features a color screen and is slightly thicker and taller than the Game Boy Pocket, but smaller than the original Game Boy. As of March 31, 2006, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.7 million units worldwide.
The Game Boy Color was a response to pressure from game developers for a new and much more sophisticated system of playing, as they felt that the Game Boy, even in its latest incarnation, the Game Boy Pocket, was insufficient. The resultant product was backward compatible, a first for a handheld console system, and leveraged the large library of games and great installed base of the predecessor system. This became a major feature of the Game Boy line, since it allowed each new launch to begin with a significantly larger library than any of its competitors.
The creators were also under pressure from the public to create a system like the Sega Gamegear that included extensive color usage, one developer even jokingly stated "We actually showed the gameboy COLOR at a nintendo event as a joke, but the excitment was overwhelming."
As of March 31, 2005, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined has sold 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions. As of March 31, 2006, the Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.7 million units worldwide.