Reimagining the Game Boy looks like a Prototype Nintendo could have made

Imagine if Nintendo created a Game Boy Advance without the Advance part. That’s a video game console and handheld modder Obirux did: they made a reimagined original Game Boy handheld that maintains the aesthetic language of the 1989 model.

It was reoriented it as a horizontally regulated system akin to the Sega Game Gear, original GBA, and many modern handheld systems, including the Nintendo Switch.

This creation is anointed the Game Boy DMG-0B “Prototype,” a tribute to the original model number of the Game Boy DMG-01, where DMG stands for Dot Matrix Game. Obirux has a concise list of what went into this modification: it required the sacrifice of two original Game Boy shells plus extra plastic, padding, and paint/dye.

The original screen/front PCB board was replaced with a modified rendition of the PCB that arrives with a replacement IPS screen kit — a modern screen upgrade that provides a much clearer image and backlighting.

It’s a definite upgrade over the fine-for-its-time Dot Matrix screen and its weird contrast quality. The screen can also output different hues for a semi-colorized look, including a green pallet that reflects the original Dot Matrix display.

Not only was the screen upgraded, but so was the battery. Obirux relieved the four AA battery arrangement and replaced it with a Li-ion battery, which not only saves a ton of space. In addition, the cells wouldn’t have to be separated into opposite ends of the handheld like Sega’s Game Gear had six AA batteries split into two housing sections.

Other components like the buttons and ports were reused and moved around the case. It even has a barrel power connector instead of a USB plug that other Game Boy modders have used, adding to the authentic retro exterior look of the handheld.

Obirux describes themself as “an artist building unique playable works” and works in construction in London. Many mods built by Obirux end up for sale on their website, seemingly including the WideBoy we just looked at — though, like everything else on the site, it’s already “sold out.”

You would love one of Obirux’s GameCube PC mods, as you might be a stickler for all things GameCube: like this spice orange Switch dock made by Littlewolf128 or the WaveBird joycons built by Shank. Also, it would be relaxed to see another one of these GameCube handhelds with an actual working slot-load disc drive.

The GameCube abbreviated GCN in Europe and North America and NGC in Japan, is a home video game console unleashed by Nintendo in Japan and North America in 2001 and Europe & Australia in 2002. The sixth-generation console is the heir to the Nintendo 64 and contended with Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation 2.

The GameCube is the central Nintendo console to utilize optical discs as its primary storage medium. These are in the miniDVD format, and the system was not conceived to play full-sized DVDs or audio CDs. The console supports online gaming for rare games thru broadband or modem adapter. It connects to the Game Boy Advance via the link cable, permitting players to access exclusive in-game features utilizing the handheld as a second screen and controller.

The contemporary reception of the GameCube was typically upbeat. The console was honored for its controller, extensive software library, and high-quality games but was blamed for its exterior design and absence of features. Nevertheless, Nintendo sold 21.74 million GameCube units worldwide before it was discontinued in 2007. Its successor, the Wii, some models that have backward compatibility with most GameCube software, was released in November 2006.

Howard Cheng, the technical supervisor of Nintendo technology development, expressed that the company’s goal was to establish a “simple RISC architecture” to speed game development by making it easier on software developers. IGN reported that the system was “designed to attract third-party developers by offering more power at a lower price. Nintendo’s design doc for the console fixes that cost is of utmost importance, followed by space.”

Hardware partner ArtX’s Vice President Greg Buchner noted that their guiding thought on the console’s hardware strategy was to target the developers rather than the players and to “look into a crystal ball” and feel “what’s going to allow the Miyamoto-sans of the world to design the best games.”

The GameCube presented a proprietary miniDVD optical disc format as the console’s storage medium, competent for keeping up to 1.5 GB of data. The technology was created by Matsushita Electric Industrial (now Panasonic Corporation), which operates a proprietary copy-protection scheme – distinct from the Content Scramble System (CSS) found in standard DVDs – to prevent unauthorized reproduction. In addition, the Famicom Data Recorder, Famicom Disk System, SNES-CD, and 64DD have explored various complementary storage technologies. Still, the GameCube was Nintendo’s first console to abandon cartridge-based media altogether.

The GameCube’s 1.5 GB mini-disc has sufficient room for most games. However, a few games require an extra disc, higher video compression, or removal of content present in versions on other consoles. For example, the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, also sixth-generation consoles, use 8.5 GB Dual-Layer DVDs.

Nintendo designed stereoscopic 3D technology for the GameCube, and one launch game, Luigi’s Mansion, supports it. However, the feature was never allowed outside of development. It is because 3D televisions were not across-the-board then, and it was believed that compatible displays and crystals for the add-on accompaniments would be too cost-prohibitive for the client.

Another unofficial feature is two audio Easter eggs that can be conjured when the console is turned on. First, when the power is activated with the “Z” button on the Player 1 controller, a more whimsical startup sound is listened to in place of the standard one. With four controllers attached, holding down the “Z” button on all four simultaneously delivers a “ninja-like” tune at startup.