New Modification Turns Classic Game Boy Console Into Android Game Controller
Retro meets modern with this story! One of the cool things that is possible with the Android line of smart phones is the ability to play various retro video games with the new mobile devices. However for those of us that miss the classic feel of the original consoles, yet want the convenience of modern technology, this modification very well could be the answer. Imagine what it would be like to control your Android smartphone with a classic Game Boy. Imagine, no more! We have the story as well as a video showing this fantastic modification in action!
Those fellow gamers that are interesting in modification don’t really need an excuse, other than for the fact that modifications can be done. This particular one was done by a man named Chad Broughton, also known as “alpinedelta” on the Instructables website. Here’s what he said about his specific motivation:
“I wanted to play Nintendo emulators on my phone, but did not like the touch screen input. I’ve heard this complaint time and again, all over the ‘net. I’ve seen some great looking commercially produced solutions, but I wanted something more. I wanted to enhance the experience by actually playing on classic Nintendo hardware, and at the same time not having to plug in via USB. Not to mention I love making things.”
After gutting out the original Game Boy model DMG-01, Chad began working on converting the controls on the portable console into a language that the Android-based phone could comprehend. (In his example, he is using a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.) He decided to use a wireless Bluetooth connection to provide the required input for emulator uses, by using hardware that is found in a standard Nintendo Wiimote. The Game Boy’s circuity was then cut, with lead wires attached to the Wiimote circuitry. After physically modifying the Game Boy casing to provide an area Wiimote guts, and doing some changes to the outside of the Game Boy to allow the cell phone to be mounted directly to the Game Boy, he was the owner of a brand new, fully functional game pad. (Downloading the Wii Controller IME application is also required for the system to work correctly.)
Of course, there is a slight limitation of doing this particular modification, and that is you are limited to playing games for systems that offered two buttons or less on original controllers. For playing games for retro consoles such as the NES, Atari’s 2600 and 7800 systems, and naturally the original Game Boy, this is a perfect mod to try out. But don’t plan on using it for consoles with more than 2 buttons, since obviously, it will not be compatible.
So if you happen to have a spare Game Boy and Wiimote, and some experience in doing some modification, this could be a really fun project for you to attempt. For those of you that like the concept of emulation, but don’t like playing games that way because they seem so, emulated, this is a neat way to combine the feel of the classic system with today’s electronic abilities.