One man created an amazing update to the original Nintendo Game Boy

The original Nintendo Game Boy was the size of a hotel bible, required four AA batteries, and only played games in black and white.

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Game Boy is one of the best-selling game consoles Nintendo’s ever made — that includes the original Nintendo Entertainment System and the enormously popular Nintendo Wii.
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Evan Amos, Wikimedia

Beautiful, isn’t it?

But one ambitious gentleman thought he could make it even more beautiful. Behold: The updated Nintendo Game Boy, with the ability to play games from the original Nintendo through to the Game Boy Advance, including Sega’s consoles, the Super Nintendo, and some old arcade games!

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YouTube user ‘wermy’

Not a bad look, right? Being able to play “Super Mario World” – arguably the best “Super Mario” game ever made – on the go is fantastic. So what makes this thing tick? Check it out.


This magically updated Game Boy started life as a standard Game Boy. Here it is after having two holes drilled out of its face:

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Imgur

The drilling was to make space for two new buttons, acting as the X and Y buttons like the Super Nintendo gamepad:

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You can tell they’re from the NES gamepad because they’re concave!
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YouTube user ‘wermy’

They were culled from an original NES gamepad, thus the fire-engine red:

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YouTube user ‘wermy’

Beyond adding two buttons, this updated Game Boy also has a 3.5-inch composite display — a major upgrade over the black-and-white visuals of the OG.

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Here’s “Donkey Kong Country” for Super Nintendo looking glorious.
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YouTube user ‘wermy’

Powering all this new stuff is a new internal processor: the Raspberry Pi Zero. It’s a tiny computer that’s far more powerful than the original Game Boy’s internals.

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Raspberry Pi

Here it is jammed inside the Game Boy:

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It wasn’t as simple as just slapping the new computer inside and connecting some wires. This is a serious situation! Soldering was involved and everything!
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Imgur

Since the Raspberry Pi Zero doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, it had to be added to this little guy. That means you could use a wireless controller with it — important if you decide to plug it into a TV, which you <em>totally can</em>.

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The mini-HDMI port means you can easily output video from this little guy into a TV, like a full-on game console — like the Nintendo Switch, even!
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YouTube user ‘wermy’

There’s also a rechargeable battery, which gets power via microUSB (like most phones/tablets/etc.).

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YouTube user ‘wermy’

The updates don’t end there: An original Game Boy cartridge was modded to serve as a microSD-card reader. It contains hundreds, maybe even thousands, of games.

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Imgur

The Raspberry Pi Zero runs an emulator, “Emulation Station,” which serves as a simple menu system for selecting which retro game console you want to play.


This is what it’s like having a gigantic selection of gaming classics in the palm of your hand, able to go anywhere you want.

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YouTube user ‘wermy’

But you should really see this beauty in action. Check out this video for a closer look at the retro update in action!