Imagine if I told you, almost 20 years ago, that you could put every single Game Boy game (plus a bunch of others) inside of your Game Boy Pocket without having to buy or swap out cartridges. “Forsooth, what wizardry is this,” you’d say. “Tell me more, time-traveler.” Prepare yourself, twenty-years-ago-you, because your brain is about to explode.
This DIY project by Travis Brown shows you how to remove the guts from your old Game Boy Pocket (a smaller Game Boy variant) and stuff in an SD card, a battery, and a Raspberry Pi board. By wiring the old controls to the board, you can build what amounts to the best thing in the entire known universe.
Using a version of the Raspberry Pi operating system called RetroPie, Brown has fitted all of the components inside the old case and found that the battery lasted three hours on one charge. He also removed the inner structural parts as well as a lot of the controller PCB. By wiring in new connectors to the Pi, he was able to recreate the original Game Boy controls using an emulator.
Then all it took was a quick ROM download and he was in business. If I knew I wouldn’t hurt myself doing this I’d totally rip apart an old Game Boy this weekend. Therefore, I leave that as an exercise for the reader.