As someone who grew up with the original Game Boy handheld system, there is a sense of nostalgia every time I see one which led me to picking up a couple for my collection. One thing about the system I always hated as a kid was not being able to play it at night since you needed a fair amount of light to see what was going on and until now one of the only ways to do that was to add an LCD screen to it, which unless you know how to mod the system yourself could cost you a bit of money to get it done…that is until now.
At CES 2018, Hyperkin (the company behind products such as the Retron 5, SupaBoy and SmartBoy) revealed a line of upcoming products including officially licensed products from Sega and the currently in development handheld Game Boy system currently known as the Ultra Game Boy.
Here is a look at the Ultra Game Boy (images from Gizmodo):
The handheld’s body is composed of Aluminum which will make it lightweight and will make it a bit more resistant than the Game Boy Color (unlike the original system which was almost built like a tank). Like the original Game Boy you will be able to control the handheld’s volume and contrast via a dial, however, Hyperkin will also include a third dial which lets you control the backlit LCD display which is definitely a nice touch, which can be turned off for that original Game Boy 90’s experience.
You won’t need to worry about carrying about batteries to use this handheld as it will features a built-in rechargeable battery that will last for around six hours or so, along with a USB-C port for charging. Finally, Hyperkin is also adding a pair of stereo speakers which not only will give you better audio compared to the original but Hyperkin is also catering to the chiptune musicians who like to create modern electronic tunes using the handheld.
Hyperkin plans to release the Ultra Game Boy sometime during the Summer, right now it’s only confirmed that the handheld plays original Game Boy cartridges but we are expecting it to play Game Boy Color games too. No price was revealed but Gizmodo who made the reveal announcement about the Ultra Game Boy says the system is set to be under $100. I honestly can’t see this handheld selling for over $50, maybe $60 at best. Right now you can pick up the more sought after Gameboy SP AGS-101 model for around $60 which plays Gameboy Advance, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games or like I mentioned before I ended up adding an LCD screen to mine about a year ago which cost me $30 to have modded on top of the price of the Game Boy Color so there are alternatives.
We will definitely keep an eye on the Ultra Game Boy closer to its release because its still a great idea for those who want that original look and feel like me, especially since I like owning the original game carts and using them.