For Only $50, This Accessory Lets You Turn Your Phone into a Game Boy

Published August 7th, 2017 - 01:10 GMT
One company wants to bring back the Game Boy glory days with the 'SmartBoy'. (Tech Radar)
One company wants to bring back the Game Boy glory days with the 'SmartBoy'. (Tech Radar)

For those who remember the Nintendo Game Boy - especially those who were lucky enough to see it debut in 1989 - you know that it had changed gaming as we knew it then. No need to impatiently wait to get home just to play Super Mario Bros and, of course, Tetris.

And while the last in the Game Boy line was the Game Boy Micro (released in 2005), the final device in the line-up to bid adieu was the Game Boy Advance SP in 2010. Still, the Game Boy's spirit lived on in the since-discontinued Nintendo DS, and still lives on in the 3DS/2DS line. (Consider it also alive and kicking in the Switch.)

However, one company wants to bring back those original Game Boy glory days with the SmartBoy.

You may have come across the device from Hyperkin some time ago; it was meant as an April Fool's Day joke in 2015, but a year after, they announced that they were accepting pre-orders for a development kit that called on developers to improve its open source code.

Fast-forward to today, and the company announced that a consumer version will be made available on December 1. Pre-orders are now being accepted.

So what in the world is the SmartBoy? It's a peripheral that you can connect to an Android smartphone (sorry, Apple) that has a display of 5.2 inches to six inches, and has the control panel of the original Game Boy - complete with the D-pad, A, B, Select and Start buttons. What's more, you can also insert original Game Boy and Game Boy Color Game Paks into it.

Ergo, you can definitely play all the classic Game Boy stuff on your smartphone. And it doesn't require batteries. Almost 30 phones are compatible with it - including the latest Samsung Galaxy S8 - according to its website.

Sounds really fun. I see two benefits (actually three): you get to play on a great screen and you actually have physical buttons to use, instead of relying on your fingers to feel the virtual buttons. (The third? Do we even need to mention that nostalgic touch?)

At $49.99 (Dh184), it's practically a bargain - as long as you haven't ditched all your Game Paks, that is.

By Alvin R. Cabral


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