There has by no means been a device with the number of accessories that the Game Boy had. As the primary mainstream portable recreation console, the Game Boy had the sort of person base to guide an enormous hardware ecosystem, and it got here into being at just the right time to need those forms of add-ons to offer a complete experience. It became a super hurricane of hardware that resulted in some of the most various accessories ever made for a console. Looking returned, there were roughly two categories that Game Boy accessories match into: the realistic and the bizarre.

 

The practical aspect is less interesting in hindsight. After all, such things as attachable lighting, link cables, rechargeable battery packs, AC adapters, and display magnifiers all make a positive amount of feel for a tool that lacked these current conveniences.

While it’s easy to appearance returned now and deride the Game Boy (and its various successors) for their reliance on extra gadgets, returned then, it made sense. Nintendo changed into already pushing the technological envelope to the restrict with the Game Boy, and there actually wasn’t room for those other capabilities. Throw a backlight at the Game Boy, and it becomes a battery-sucking hog just like the Game Gear. The era on the time wasn’t precisely mature, either: light accessories for the Game Boy had been basically glorified e-book lighting fixtures that shone down at the display screen, and a rechargeable battery % I once owned ended up being so awful that it becomes almost worth just using batteries rather.

A lot of those weird devices aren’t around anymore certainly because the era has evolved past it. We don’t want lights whilst our displays have backlights, as an example. Wi-Fi has changed link cables (even though now not without a detour into an incredibly bizarre local wi-fi adapter for the Game Boy Advance), and the existence of a gadget-level OS with adjustable accessibility settings and large monitors has killed off display screen magnifiers. Technology getting higher over the years is a good aspect, and I wouldn’t exchange Wi-Fi or an integrated backlight for the times of old.

But we do lose something whilst we shift far from these accessories. My Game Boy changed into unmistakable mine, with a squiggly purple light and mismatched battery cover for the rechargeable battery that protruded weirdly from the back. This sense of individuality and customization is largely misplaced in nowadays’s international of homogenous gadgets. There was a kind of magic to Game Boy add-ons that let them transform the tool you have been the use of in a physical manner, like whilst fumbling within the dark for a mild to preserve gambling after bedtime or in the backseat of an automobile on a long street journey or placing collectively an epic Mario Kart race at camp by means of stringing four Game Boy Advances together.

There’s nevertheless the alternative facet of Game Boy accessories, though, like the infamously low-decision Game Boy Camera and Printer, the Nintendo e-Reader, and the GameCube / Game Boy Advance Adapter. These projects didn’t are seeking to patch over the Game Boy’s flaws; they sought to enlarge the Game Boy enjoy in new and innovative ways.

They weren’t continually a success. (In hindsight, having to experiment 5 separate fragile paper gambling cards to play Excitebike become not the excellent person enjoy.) But they challenged the manner we concept approximately our gadgets and gave them new uses and capabilities that the original hardware could simplest dream of. Why now not flip your Game Boy into a digicam, a controller for your own home console, or regardless of the e-Reader changed into alleged to be?

Much like how the legacy of the Game Boy and its dream of portable gaming has lived on with the Nintendo Switch, the legacy of out-there accessories that offer new ranges of creativity and play nevertheless exists in cutting-edge Nintendo merchandise just like the Labo’s cardboard creations or the Switch’s customizable Joy-Con colorings. With a renewed cognizance on a portable and modular hardware with the Switch, who is aware of in which Nintendo will take matters within the next 30 years?

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