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Smart Boy Brings Retro Feel to Modern Gaming

The Game Boy made one of those splashes seldom seem in the game industry that has allowed it to surpass multiple generations. Hailed frequently as a classic, anyone who has played a games console has had some interaction with the little portable device that brought handheld gaming to new heights.

The Game Boy however has long been surpassed by the Nintendo DS, and whilst a phenomenal offering with a plethora of games, there isn’t much you can do with it if you feel like busting out your old cartridges.

With handheld gaming entering something of a hey-day as a result of a combination of factors, it’s only natural that people would begin to look back at what for some was their first foray into mobile gaming.

The Smart Boy developer kit

Hyperkin, a company specialising in video game peripherals, teased us in 2015 with the Smart Boy, a peripheral aimed at iPhones and Android devices that would essentially turn them into a Game Boy, complete with port to insert your Game Boy and Game Boy Colour cartridges. Initially it was put out as an April fool’s joke, but as all great jokes are want to do, it hung around. Now it’s a joke no longer.

Now the ability to play those classic cartridges on your phones has existed for a while now through emulators, and whilst they’re great, the on screen controls somewhat let down the experience. Hyperkin have decided to approach the issue from a different perspective.

Smart Boy Functionality.

What if you could just slot your phone into a Game Boy and play the cartridges that way? So that’s what they’ve done. Now the word is out on just how successful this will be, but with the developer kit selling for $60 (£40) and being accompanied by the firmware for the open source app.

The concept it would seem would be for armchair developers of all shapes and sizes, along with those professional ones with a vested interest in reliving their cartridge days to help develop the device further.

Only time will tell if the device will catch on, but come December, it’ll be the closest you can get to that nostalgic rush of childhood gaming without digging out your old device. Unfortunately people using an iOS device will have to wait longer than the rest, as the apple compatible version is apparently still in development.