April Fools has been a great way for some companies to introduce ideas and concepts with questionable marketability potential. ThinkGeek has gone on to produce a number of items it listed as jokes in the last few years after they received a lot of public interest. Hyperkin, a company known for designing and selling video game accessories, has dipped their toes in the same pool and seems to be paying off, or at least will in the near future.
Last year Hyperkin featured a small dock that turned your iPhone into a fully functional Game Boy, and included the classic controls, including the D-pad, and A,B, Start, and Select buttons. Despite being a clear ruse, the mob went nuts and began promising to throw their entire wallets at Hyperkin if they just built this thing. Turns out Hyperkin was paying attention and is planning to release, what they have dubbed the Smart Boy, possibly by the end of 2016.
Meet the Smart Boy, an upcoming Game Boy-compatible device for the iPhone 6 Plus (with more compatible smartphones to follow). This concept art shows that it will attach to the iPhone 6 Plus, turning the phone into a handheld gaming device compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges.
It will also feature an eight-way D-pad; two action buttons; a start and select button; and an included battery that can be charged through the phone itself providing 5 hours of game-play. The gameplay itself will output through the iPhone 6 Plus’ own screen.
Despite there still being a fair amount of work left to bring the adapter to market, Hyperkin did have a functional one on display at this year’s E3 Conference. And more good news: although it was first introduced as an iPhone accessory, there will be iOS and Android versions, with a Samsung Galaxy S6 used to demo the device at E3.
The simplest way to describe the Smart Boy is that it uses your smartphone screen to display the games while adding classic controls. However the adapter will not be using emulators, but will actually accept Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges so you will be playing the originals, fully satisfying that nostalgic little hipster in all of us. And it looks great, with a perfect translation of the Game Boy design of old.
If you’re interested in speeding up or improving the process, Hyperkin is selling a developer kit for $59.99 with promises of royalty percentages to those who help make the platform.
WE built the Smartboy. YOU can make it great. The Smartboy Development Kit attaches to Android smartphones, turning the phone into a handheld gaming device. It will be compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. Included in the kit is an open source serial app and firmware, which will enable developers of all kinds to advance Hyperkin’s current build toward a retail-ready model.
Hyperkin is offering a royalty percentage – of retail-ready Smartboy units sold – to anyone that can improve the Smartboy’s serial app and firmware. Updates and builds of the serial app and firmware can be uploaded to a dedicated Hyperkin Lab forum. Hyperkin Lab is dedicated to product testing and development.
As of now, details about availability, pricing and compatibility yet to be announced. The website is a little confusing as it’s not really clear if December 2016 is the planned shipping date for the developer kit or the finished product.
What do you think about Hyperkin’s Smart Boy? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: Neowin