Nintendo Handheld Console Comparisons (N.H.C.C.)

This page has been created by Sebastian Tomczak. Please email stomczak@e-access.com.au for questions / comments. You can visit my main little-scale blog.
You may also be interested in my video game collection page.

A changelog of this page can be found at the micro-scale blog under the label "n.h.c.c.".

The current unit count is 35. The last updated 2 May 2007.

 

Content Index

This page is divided into the following sections:

 

 

Links

Herbert Weixelbaum has made a very good gameboy comparison page with clear waveform pictures and plenty of text.
http://www.herbertweixelbaum.com/comparison.htm

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Types

* although not actually handheld devices, these machines do not use emulation to achieve software and sound support.

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Comments

Xtal
The internal crystal resonator has been replaced.
The GameBoy is now running at a different clock speed.
The default clock speed for an Original GameBoy is 4.194304MHz.

 

Sound Examples
An mp3 of the gameboy in question.
These recordings have been made with the same gain level.
These recordings have not been normalised.

 

Waveform
The diagram represents the very first part of the very first note in the sound example.
The recordings that these diagrams are based upon have not been normalised.

 

Sonogram
The graph shows frequency on the vertical axis against time on the horizontal axis.
The colour indicates the amplitude of a certain frequency.
Exactly the first five seconds of the example audio has been analysed (including musical silence).
The recordings that these diagrams are based upon have not been normalised.
Source wave recordings at a quality of 16 bits / 44.1 KHz have been used for analysis (not mp3 files).

For the sake of reference, here are three five-second example graphs

Sine Wave
Freq: 20Hz - 20KHz
Amp: 0.0 - 1.0

Sawtooth Wave
Freq: 20Hz - 20KHz
Amp: 0.0 - 1.0

White Noise
-
Amp: 0.0 - 1.0

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The N.H.C.C.

Type
Serial Number
Comments
Picture (front)
Picture (back)
Sound Examples Waveform Sonogram
Added
Original GameBoy 11 units
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GB
G29701489
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GB
G18482856
2MHz Xtal
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GB
GH2978412
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GB
G05023962
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GB
-
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
16/03/2007
GB
G36674416
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
16/03/2007
GB
GM4173248
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GB
GH2943508
-
   
23/03/2007
GB
GH4353946
-
   
17/04/2007
GB
G19773709
-
   
17/04/2007
GB
GM2053088
-
   
17/04/2007
GameBoy Pocket 10 units
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GBP
MH13641670
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GBP
MH14954561
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
16/03/2007
GBP
MH12655460
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
16/03/2007
GBP
MH10203929
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
26/03/2007
GBP
MH14571325
-
   
27/03/2007
GBP
MH16782369
-
   
01/04/2007
GBP
MH16805093
-
   
01/04/2007
GBP
MH13549917
-
   
02/04/2007
GBP
-
-
   
12/04/2007
GBP
-
-
   
02/05/2007
Gameboy Color 8 units
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GBC
C18584851
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
11/03/2007
GBC
-
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
16/03/2007
GBC
-
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
23/03/2007
GBC
CH21052295
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
26/03/2007
GBC
-
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
04/04/2007
GBC
CH18709928
-
LSDJ 3.3.9
05/04/2007
GBC
CH18709928
-
   
02/05/2007
GBC
CG119942444
-
   
02/05/2007
GameBoy Advance 1 unit
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GBA
-
-
     
02/05/2007
GameBoy Advance SP 1 unit
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GBA
SP
XAH10967455
-
     
11/03/2007
GameBoy Micro 2 units
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GBM
MAF1006694
-
     
11/03/2007
GBM
MAF10066815
-
     
11/03/2007
Nintendo DS Lite 1 unit
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NDS
L
UAF10001592
-
     
11/03/2007
Super GameBoy 2 units
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SGB
-
-
   
01/04/2007
SGB
-
-
   
02/05/2007
Super GameBoy 2 1 unit
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SGB2
-
-
   
01/04/2007
                 

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Conclusions

One thing that is obvious after having heard all of the GameBoy models is that each type and each unit does have its own unique sound. The original GameBoy is often cited as having the best sound quality. However, after listening to a number of units I have come to the conclusion that although the original has the potential for the best sund quality, defects and inconsistancies brought about perhaps by age on a unit-by-unit basis mean that a certain GameBoy might not sound all that good. Areas in which the original model often differs on a unit-by-unit basis is the balance between the left and right channels and the quality of sample playback.

This is in contrast to the GameBoy Pocket (GBP) which, although it is lacking in the low end when compared to the original, has a much higher consistancy of quality on a unit-by-unit basis. The GameBoy Color (GBC) on the other hand has neither of these qualities, with a high level of high frequency noisy areas in the spectrum.