Unreleased Nintendo Game Boy Color Peripheral Revealed After 20 Years
An unreleased first-party peripheral for the Game Boy Color would have given Nintendo's handheld a number of additional functions, including web browsing, e-mail options, and the ability to send selfies with the Game Boy Camera. The device, which would have been called the Page Boy, was showcased in a new episode of DidYouKnowGaming, hosted by Liam Robertson. In the video, Robertson reveals that the ambitious project was started by Eddie Gill, the founder of Source Research and Development, and creator of the Workboy. The Workboy was a similarly cancelled peripheral for the original Game Boy, that would have given the system an address book, world clock, the ability to make currency conversions, and more.
According to Robertson, Gill's idea for the Workboy inspired him to keep trying to create a similar device. Alongside brother Christopher, they formed a group named Wizard. Interestingly enough, the system would not have used wi-fi, instead using radio waves, which is similar to how pagers worked around the same time (hence the name). To get the idea in front of Nintendo, Gill called on Frank Ballouz, a former Nintendo executive that oversaw the production of the Workboy. In 1999, Wizard pitched the idea to Nintendo complete with extensive information on the technology, as well as physical models of what it would look like, commissioned from a company called Sirius Modelmaking.
According to the presentation (obtained by Robertson), Page Boy would have included a search engine specifically for the device, called "Ask Mario." As users waited for search results, Mario would talk to them, and even whistled the theme from World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros.! The device would even feature something called "Game Boy TV," where Nintendo could make new announcements regarding upcoming games, which Robertson compares to an early take on Nintendo Direct presentations.
The device would have cost $50. Nintendo investigated the concept for three years, before closing the door in 2002. While Nintendo was fascinated by the concept, the technology would have been limited to North America, leaving out users in Japan and Europe. The company felt that it cost the item a big part of its appeal, which was being able to communicate with other Game Boy users around the world. The concept was clearly ahead of its time, and it could have been a very interesting device, had it come to market!
Are you disappointed this peripheral was never released? What do you think of the Page Boy concept? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!