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Still holding on to your Game Boy cartridges? You may want to check out Smart Boy

A cool new accessory wants to send your farther down memory lane than ever before. It’s called Smart Boy and it’s basically a Game Boy-styled shell for your smartphone.
By
June 20, 2016
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Nostalgia and gaming go hand in hand. Just look at all the faux-8-bit games raking in downloads in the Play Store. Or the unofficial emulators that let you play old NES games on your very modern smartphone – lousy onscreen controls notwithstanding.

How about emulating the physical experience of the games of your childhood?

A cool new accessory wants to send your farther down memory lane than ever before. It’s called Smart Boy and it’s basically a Game Boy-styled shell for your smartphone.

Developed by Hyperkin, Smart Boy started life as an April Fools’ joke last year. Like the best pranks, Smart Boy was credible enough to elicit an enthusiastic response, encouraging Hyperkin to pursue the idea. Fast forward a year, and Smart Boy was spotted by Neowin at the E3 convention. It’s now a real device, albeit one that is not ready for the spotlight quite yet.

smart boy

Details are scarce, but Smart Boy will reportedly work with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games thanks to the built-in slot, and, presumably, some emulation magic.

Smart Boy features the same button layout and color scheme you know from the Game Boy, but instead of a monochromatic display, you get to gawk at the millions of colors rendered by the AMOLED screen of a Galaxy S6 Edge (or any compatible Android device for the matter).

Hyperkin is now selling a Smart Boy Development Kit for $60, with an expected shipping date of early December.

Here are the features, as per the product page:

  • Open source serial app and firmware
  • Compatible with GB and GBC cartridges
  • Classic handheld-style tactile button set
  • Designed for Android smartphones
  • Double-sided micro USB port

And specs:

  • Atmel 90USB646
  • NTSC/PAL cart compatible
  • Phone Size: 5in-6in
  • Smart Boy Serial App Access for Mounting and Controller mapping
  • 4.4 Android KitKat OTG minimum OS requirement

Hyperkin hopes interested developers will help turn the concept into a retail-ready device. It remains to be seen if Smart Boy will ever hit the stores – even if everything turns out well, Nintendo may be inclined to put the kibosh on it.

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