You may soon have the option of reviving your Game Boy collection with the help of your iPhone.
Hardware company Hyperkin confirmed it is working on something that it’s calling the “Smart Boy.” It is a shell that you plug your iPhone 6 Plus into that enables you to play Nintendo’s old handheld games on the Apple product. The company purposefully leaked the concept around April Fools’ Day to gauge consumer interest, and it now says that it is confident the device has a market.
“A lot of you were speculating that the Smart Boy is an April Fools’ joke,” reads the Hyperkin Facebook page. “Well, it sort of was. We ‘leaked’ it with the initial intent of testing the market, seeing whether or not it should be something we’d actually make, under the guise of an April Fools’ joke. It looks like you awesome folks actually want it, so the Smart Boy is now in development.”
The Smart Boy is an interesting product. You slide an iPhone into the shell, and then the Apple device acts like the Game Boy screen. To play games, you’ll need the physical cartridge, which slides into the back of the Smart Boy — just like it does on the original 1989 handheld.
Hyperkin hasn’t explained how this will all work. Specifically, it’s hard to know how the Smart Boy will send a video signal to the iPhone. But that’s all stuff the company will have to figure out as it develops the product.
This is the latest throw-back device from Hyperkin, which is probably best known for producing the Retron console devices and the Supaboy. As time moves on, the patents for the technology in the old gaming systems, like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo, expire. Hyperkin takes that tech and repurposes it for new consoles that enable people to play their old cartridges with a new box. The best example of this is the Retron 5, which is a system about the size of a Genesis that has the capability to play games for the NES, Super NES, Genesis, Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance. It can even play the Japanese Nintendo games for the Famicom and Super Famicom.
Hyperkin has found a dedicated audience that loves these retro-style devices, and the Super Boy is the company’s next big thing.