What started as a disguised April Fool’s joke has quickly spiraled into the development of a new phone accessory. Hyperkin released a small “leak” on April Fool’s Day last year showing a phone placed inside of an old Game Boy shell. The overwhelming hype and excitement that the leak received from the public made the company really think. They are currently developing an Android phone case that can also be used to transform your phone into a Game Boy, called the Hyperkin Smart Boy. The phone will plug directly into the case and will be fully functional. The top half of your phone that sticks out will display the game being played, while the bottom half of the case is identical to the bottom side of a Game Boy. As of right now, this will only be available on Android devices, not iPhones.
While this is a great idea, there are a few factors that make me very skeptical. For one, the use of emulators is so profound in today’s society that I’ll be very surprised if people start paying money for things like this. The other downside is that this accessory is ONLY compatible with original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. No Game Boy Advanced games can be played. That shrinks the market significantly, not to mention the fact that Gamestop currently has about 70 Game Boy games available for sale, most of which have modern day remakes for newer systems. The accessory is dropping for $60, which is not incredibly expensive, but I can’t see them making any money off of this. Especially when you can buy a refurbished Game Boy Advanced SP from Gamestop for 10 dollars less. At the end of the day, I think it’s a great CONCEPT, but they could do much more with it. Tie in a more modern system, rather than an original Game Boy.
The biggest flaws I see with this are in regards to the consumers. First off, people will think that a Game Boy add-on for their phone is amazing when they see it, but how many will actually go and buy it after it’s available? Once they realize that the games they want to play all have remakes, the games are impossible to find, and the fact that it’s not even available for the largest phone manufacturer, I just can’t see opening day sales being too high. Secondly, the pricing needs to take a cut because I think $60 is too much to pay for something that came out in 1989. Lastly, the group of people that they’re trying to sell to, doesn’t exist. People that want to play Game Boy games, but don’t have the game or the system, use emulators. I also think it’s fair to say that those select few people who do still have a collection of Game Boy games, probably have a Game Boy to play them on as well. I think that about covers everybody that actually wants to play original Game Boy games. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love old Nintendo games. I think they’re fantastic, but if I’m expected to change my cell phone plan, get an Android, buy this add-on for 60 bucks, and then search through the old vintage game store that’s open next door to the run-down motel in the poorly lit area of town, I think I’ll just wait for the NX to drop next year and save the money and the trouble.