CES is a great time for the tech industry as many of the big players announce and showcase their new products. There is such a broad range of items on show that even retro gamers get a piece of the technological pie – and with it being 2018, that, of course, comes in the shape of a weighty aluminium Game Boy.
Currently being developed by Hyperkin (who are known for oodles of retro gaming goodies) this still in development prototype will not include any games (following the theme of their other aftermarket products like the Retron 5 and the Super Boy S) but will have more modern features not found in 1989 like a rechargeable battery via a USB-C socket. Side note: It’s great that USB-C is getting so common that even Game Boys have it. Other cool features include stereo speakers and audio-outputs (added specifically with chiptune musicians in mind) along with a Link Cable port for the games that support it.
What I’m sure the biggest drawcard that Hyperkin is hoping on, though, is the adjustable backlit LCD screen. Not only will the illumination be changeable so you can turn it off completely if you’re inclined to relive the feeling of strained eyes from your childhood, but so will the colour spectrum. In a video captured by Gizmodo at the event, a very blue screen is shown since they were demoing Pokemon Blue. While that’s all the prototype at CES is currently capable of, it’s been suggested that you will be able to choose any colour – in a sort of Super Game Boy kind of way. While this seems to indicate that Game Boy Colour games will not be supported (which would be a bummer) it would be cool if there was at least a preset of some sort to emulate the grey-greenish tinge of the original DMG. You can have that idea for free, Hyperkin.
Many will be quick to point that Nintendo’s own Game Boy Advance SP is a very similar sounding device, although with GBC and GBA compatibility. I’m sure the major difference will be the screen since it’s not from 2003 and all that – although no concrete details on what it’s actually packing are available yet. It’s also still very much in development. Even the “Ultra” name they’re calling it is temporary – although I’d argue that it has a nice ring to it.
While not much else is known, Hyperkin is planning on selling it for under $100 and hope to have it on the market by the end of the year. Otherwise, expect a mostly complete revision at E3 in June.