Chiptune artists make music with Game Boys. Clothing manufacturers plaster them onto t-shirts and hoodies. More eccentric designers have inserted them into the soles of platform shoes. Many come equipped with modern upgrades like lithium batteries and backlit displays. More adventurous modders have hacked the design, offering Game Boys running emulators with extra buttons and docks for GBA cartridges.
They share the beloved, brick-like form factor of their predecessors but not much else. There are tens of thousands of people in the Game Boy modding scene, according to the people in it with whom I spoke.
Warner Skoch is one of them. He studied computer science in college but always had a soft spot for hardware. He helps run the site Sudomodwhich serves as a blog, wiki and marketplace for the scene.
About two years ago he uploaded a video to YouTube featuring an original Game Boy with a small Raspberry Pi computer, larger screen, and a handful more buttons. In the late s, the modders often cobbled together rebuilt and retrofitted Game Boys out of parts harvested from the original hardware, Skoch explained.
Enthusiasts worked with button boards, power switches, and volume wheels. More recently, as Game Boy modding became more popular thanks to popularizers like JoeTeach and othersthe hobby expanded and grew more experimental with its creations.
New supply chains and manufacturers of higher quality replica parts came into the mix to meet the increased demand. Nintendo stopped making Game Boys in the early s. Trying to source parts for obsolete hardware is actually one of the most time consuming parts of the hobby.
Some spend weeks going through sites like Aliexpress and Alibaba looking for Chinese suppliers while others will rely on other modders posting about their work. His is just one node in a much larger network of Instagram postersYouTube channelsand Reddit threads that form a sort of digital Lazarus pit keeping the idea of Game Boy alive in hundreds of different shapes, colors, and custom configurations.
The handheld first released in and fortnite cops and robbers code popularized thanks to the success of games like Super Mario Land and Tetris. At the time it was the closest any portable piece of technology had come to capturing the feel of playing a console or arcade game, and for that reason it changed what a generation of people thought about how gaming could fit into their lives.
First there was the plain grey model with the yellowish-green tinted screen everyone recognizes. Lots of weirder models never officially came out in North America, and part of the allure of modding revolves around trying to replicate them.
This year, Brad Sparks, who got his start playing around in the extremely niche area of gaming on camcorder screensturned his attention to old Nintendo handhelds. After perusing a few online stores and blogs, he got the parts and elementary knowledge together to do it himself. Olivier runs Retro Moddinga site for people to place custom orders and also find tutorials.Personalize your own from several colors.
Perfect fit, quality made. Gives my GBP that extra pop! I was given the wrong buttons. I ordered Game Boy Pocket buttons which are smooth and received ones with the letters A and B printed on them. I have reached out to their support and am awaiting a reply concerning how I can get these replaced with the ones that I actually want. RetroSix is a small team of people who have been in the gaming industry and retail business sinceand sold consoles, controllers and even designed our own controllers and consoles.
Complete beginner's guide to all aspects of modifying the classic Nintendo Game Boy. Game Boy Modding will provide readers with a detailed process for purchasing, refurbishing, modding, and customizing several Nintendo handheld consoles. We don't send out emails often, but when we do, they often inform you about new products, restocks and news in the modding community.
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Modding Community. Sign-In Register. Supertek Co. Unionleds Lighting HK Limited. Cart Error Add to Cart Added. Silicone button pads not included. Replacement buttons for your Game Boy Pocket Console.A rounded bubble edge completes these superb glass lenses for the Sega Game Gear. Made with our friends from RetroSix. No trimming required. Check out the USB-C version.
A screen is NOT included in this kit. Following on from our super successful GBA shell, we spent another 8 months developing the perfect GB shell. Perfecting vintage console with upgrades and modern technology. Restore and recreate your childhood gaming memories with custom designed parts and mods. Play your consoles in the dark, give them the makeover of a decade, or add new functionality.
Each and every gaming console is to be preserved, restored and brought back to its former glory and more. Hand Held Legend offers retro modding for the modern day gamer. Use handheldlegend on instagram for your chance to be featured on our page. General information. Works when the backlight is off, and will look similar to the stock display. Only works when the backlight is on. Visible outdoors and indoors, even in bright light. Poor visibility outdoors or in bright light.
Very power efficient. Higher power consumption relative to TFT and stock displays. Crisp image, but not to the same degree as an IPS display. Viewing angles quickly lose quality. More crisp in presentation relative to the TFT display. Viewing angles retain color and sharpness. The mod can be undone if desired. No soldering needed. Requires shell modification, some of which can be seen in clear shells.
Due to the shell modifications, the mod is not able to be undone. Soldering needed to enable the brightness control. Take your old and outdated reflective pocket display to a bright and colorful upgrade your 10 year old self could only dream of. Knowledge Base. We don't send out emails often, but when we do, they often inform you about new products, restocks and news in the modding community.
Close menu. Main Menu. Open Go Back.Be sure to keep all the small pieces, such as screws, together in a safe place to avoid losing them.
This will allow you to position the LCD in the front of the shell, and provides a snug, centered fit for the LCD in the viewport of the shell. As the first step of installation, we strongly recommend using Kapton tape to insulate the back of the LCD.
Game Boy Pocket Buttons
The end result should be similar to the photo below. While the MGB does not have a spot for this brightness controller to be readily accessible, we have found that it can detect touch if slotted in the side of the shell, as shown in the photo below. Alternatively, this controller can be completely desoldered, and the backlight can be used at a static brightness. In order to draw the power required by the kit, two connections must be made.
If using a kit with only a single solder pad, only the connection to the power switch is required. At this point, your backlight is installed!
All that's left to do is reassemble your console, and enjoy your favourite DMG games on the Pocket regardless of the lighting condition! Please note, comments must be approved before they are published. Search Products. Pillows Pencil Cases Keychains.
UV Printed. Artists Series. Leave a comment Name. Back to Tutorials.An obvious, and quite simple mod is installing a backlight on a Game Boy. It only involves four solder points in total, soldering the backlight to the main board of the console.
I watched a bunch of videos on youtube linked below to get an idea of the procedure and got started. First I unscrewed everything and got the board to a point where I had access to the screen. Then I gently pryed away the screen from the shell. The next part was getting the old reflector off the screen so we can put in the backlight. This part is widely considered to be the most troublesome, but even so I still underestimated how long this would take.
So I busted out the isopropyl alcohol and some Q-tips and got to work. This is what it looked like after about 15 minutes of cleaning:. Eventually I ditched the isopropyl alcohol and went for a chemically pure type of petroleum which is a much more aggressive solvent, but even so it still took me a really long time to get everything off completely.
Overall it took more than an hour with some breaks and tests to make sure the screen still functioned correctly. The backlight kit I have is the one from Handheld Legend. V3 to be exact, the one with built in resistors on the ribbon cable of the backlight as can be seen here:. I fired up the soldering iron and put some solder on the solder points on the other side of the backlight ribbon cable. Then I soldered the two included wires to the backlight, red as positive and blue as negative.
Next I inserted the included polarizing filter to the back of the screen, and put the backlight on top of it. Then I put the screen back into its original place, and routed the wires so that they go around the bottom of the PCB to the other side like this:.
Next up is soldering the wires to the PCB. This is a bit different than most video tutorials did. Note that the screen is blueish here. So the scratches are on those films and not on the screen itself. Unfortunately, after this I managed to get one dead horizontal line when re-assembling the console. This is caused when the screen ribbon cable the one on the right side of the screen in the above image gets stressed or torn so the solder points in the cable come loose.
So I gave it a try and was able to restore the dead line without too much trouble! After this I ran into another issue. The Nintendo logo was all garbled when I booted the console up, almost like it had a bad connection with the cart but with more vertical glitches. I eventually realized that the solder points on the backlight ribbon cable was shorting out one of the cartridge pins. So I just put a piece of electrical tape over the solder points and the issue went away… rookie mistake.
In the end it was definitely worth it though. While the bivert mod increases the contrast of the screen, it also makes the screen blueish like in the earlier picture above, since you then have to rotate the polarization filter to invert the colors back to normal again. And I kind of like having a white screen.FAQ and Rules You will have to register before you can post.
Don't use an AOL e-mail address to register. Account activation will take a few days. Posting privileges to the Buying and Selling sub-forums will be granted 10 days after registration. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Similar agreements apply to other advertising or affiliate programs such as those from eBay, Google, etc. Remember Me? What's New? Results 1 to 16 of Thread: Gameboy modding? Thread Tools Show Printable Version. Gameboy modding? Hey, I was just wondering something: Has anyone ever made a custom mod of the original Gameboy, to make it where it has a clear screen?
Also, why was the screen on the original Gameboy so blurry anyway? Originally Posted by James8BitStar. Wasn't that much improved in the Game Boy Pocket anyway? I wouldn't imagine modding the screen would be very easy, since it can't be a standard TV-out signal going into it. What would be really intresting would be to transform the gameboy or any variation into a full-fledged console. Not like the super gameboy or gameboy player, but like. Figure out how to make the video line into a standard video out, change the controller interface to have a cord I'd imagine a standard NES pad would work well enough and simply plug the carts, err "game paks" in the system.
Easier said then done, but essentially it's gb c a games on the big screen. Plus, such a little system with litte games would look awesome.
Welcome to Macintosh. The TV de Advance for the original Game Boy Advance acts much like you describe though there's no extra controller port - the whole thing seals right back up afterwards. Originally Posted by XxHennersXx.
Jamma Nation X Videos. Originally Posted by Jorpho. On the other hand, the GBP introduced other problems It would seem that the easiest solution, then, would be to make some sort of soft rubber shell for the GBP that would give it the same "heft" as the original.
Game Boy Pocket | MGB
And perhaps the second easiest solution would be "modding" a brick by hollowing it out and replacing its internals with that of a GBP. And we won't mention the extremely minor compatibility issues the GBP had.
We won't mention those. I've seriously considered this myself many times. Essentially what I want is an original style or pocket style game boy system with a new LCD installed and modded to play everything from GB to GBA carts please, no emulators I even tried to find Ben Heck's contact info for it. What do you all think?Handheld gaming is a luxury that many take for granted in the modern age.
From our smartphones, to home console hybrids such as the Nintendo Switchgaming on the go has never been easier. From battery hungry machines to impractically sized designs, it quickly became apparent that for pocket sized gaming to be achievable, the correct compromises had to be made. Despite the Game Boy brand being discontinued, its appeal still resonates throughout gaming today, with enthusiasts developing ways to enhance the experience using modern technology.
This guide will look at the best way to experience the Nintendo Game Boy today, from original console modifications to new hardware options. From making the design more pocket friendly, to adding a splash of color to the graphics, the Game Boy evolved alongside technology of the time.
The Game Boy finally retired from its handheld throne inwhich means that newcomers have a wide variety of models to consider when starting out. Choosing a generation of Game Boy can be a tricky decision of style over substance, with each system having its own quirks and benefits. Whilst the original Game Boy is rugged and power efficient, its murky screen and lack of any sort of display lighting make it difficult to use today.
Whilst screen clarity was resolved with the Game Boy Pocket and Color, the screen is still very difficult to see without sitting on the surface of the sun. The Game Boy Advance SP is probably the most accommodating model of the handheld console; with its backwards compatibility, rechargeable battery and front-lit display. The main complaint about the SP is the form factor — as its clam shell design features a more cramped button layout. This is something the original Advance console design got right, with its wide shaped design and traditional sized buttons.
The Game Boy Micro was released just as the brands reign was coming to an end; featuring a backlit screen, miniature size and customizable face plates, whilst only being compatible with Game Boy Advance games. While features and design might be an important factor, the price tag might also sway your decision. For some, the price attached to getting a nostalgia fix might be a bit too high. Not only are there enough parts available to revive your tired old console, but you can also resolve fundamental flaws with the original system.
A great place to start when modifying your Game Boy is by updating its housing, with an alternative shell. From replicas of the original cases to abstract color combinations, customizing your Game Boys outer shell is something of an art form. These can be acquired from the likes of eBay or AliExpresswith variances in the quality of the plastic.
This will likely draw your attention to the issues with the console's notorious LCD display. The issue of its lack of lighting and ghosting has haunted gamers since the consoles release, naturally motivating the community to come up with a solution through modification. Adding a backlight to your original Game Boy can take the handheld from being a relic of the past to a viable way to game on the go.
Backlighting can also be added to the likes of the Game Boy Advance, which can be a great alternative to using the clam shell SP model. Your choice of mod will most likely come down to how much effort you want to go to, as well as how much money you want to spend.
From sound enhancements to. As these modding projects range from simple disassembly to more complex electronics soldering, you may be slightly nervous to give it a try. While the internet is filled with tutorials and guides, you might not have the time or the confidence to operate on what is essentially handheld gaming's grandfather.
You can even purchase a console straight from Deadpan Robot, already modified, saving you from providing your own. For some, the effort and money required to transform your Game Boy into a premium experience may seem unnecessary. In a world of emulators and mobile devices, an authentic experience usually appeals more to enthusiasts and retro gamers alike. If you want to explore the Game Boy catalog, out of nostalgia or intrigue, you find that investing in modern Game Boy compatible devices is the best option.
Retro gaming has never been more popular than it is today, which is why many companies have seized the opportunity to capture the nostalgia of potential customers. The Game Boy and its formfactor are no exception to this, with various devices and ways to replicate the experience available in the guise of retro tech. InHyperkin released the SmartBoy, a controller attachment for smartphones that essentially transforms your device into a Game Boy.
Using the same idea as their Retr0n series of systems, the SmartBoy uses actual Game Boy cartridges to load games into an emulator, in this instance on a Smartphone. Having both cartridge compatibility and physical buttons means the SmartBoy will feel very reminiscent of your original Game Boy experiencewith the added bonus of being able to use your own phone screen and battery.