Game Boy Color
The Game Boy Color is the fourth model to the Game Boy and, in some ways, the handheld counterpart of the Nintendo 64. It is similar to its predecessors, the most notable differences being that it is lighter, it is capable of displaying multiple colors, and the processing power is twice as fast. It is the final handheld to feature 8-bit graphics.
Some games made for the original Game Boy display more colors if played on a Game Boy Color. Other games were made exclusively for the Game Boy Color. The older versions could not play these, but the Game Boy Advance, the Game Boy Advance SP, and the Game Boy Player could. It also had the shortest lifetime of a Nintendo handheld, as it was discontinued in 2003, and the last game was released later the same year.
The Game Boy Color has identical controls to that of the original Game Boy. These are , , , and buttons and the . There are no compatibility issues with games made for the original Game Boy being run on a Game Boy Color. All games, accessories that are programmed for a particular game (such as a Game Link Cable), and non-standard features (such as the camera protruding out of a Game Boy Camera cartridge) will work on a Game Boy Color. Playing games that did not have any color can now be played in color using a color palette by using a combination of and , , or no additional button being pressed to select presets, similar to the Super Game Boy how someone can change the colors into the typical monochrome display.
All older cartridges are compatible with the Game Boy Color, but not always the other way around. Here is a chart to explain.
Game Link Cable
The same link cable the Game Boy and its variations use can be used on Game Boy Color.
Game Boy Printer
The Game Boy Printer that was used to print pictures from the player's Game Boy. This accessory gained some extended support when the Game Boy Color was released, such as being used in Super Mario Bros. Deluxe in Toy Box mode viewing albums.
Mobile Adapter GB
Only available in Japan, the Mobile Adapter GB allowed certain games to connect to some Japanese mobile phones. The only strictly Mario games to utilize it were Mobile Golf and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, however the operation software that came with it (Mobile Trainer) features references to the Mario franchise. This peripheral was referred to as the Mobile Game Boy Adapter in a translated Iwata Asks interview.
There is an infrared LED, indicated by the black rectangle on top of the unit, that a Game Boy Color can use. This was the primary method in which Mystery Gift worked in the Generation II Pokémon games, but Super Mario Bros. Deluxe can make use of this feature by sending high scores and other data to other copies. This feature is exclusive to the Game Boy Color and is not present in later Game Boy devices.
The Game Boy Color will display a unique hardware-coded palette of colors for some titles using an internal list of original Game Boy games. Two such instances are Super Mario Land and Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.