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The Gameboy Micro, The Lost Gem


WolvesEthereal

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Flickr/Skaughtto

2005... the year of Wi-Fi, Blogging, Nanotechnology, Hybrids, revolutionary leaps in the Robotic industry, and of course; The death of the Gameboy..

 

So what exactly happened that killed off what is considered the best looking Gameboy ever made?

Poor timing and lacking backwards compatibility, the Gameboy Micro released one year after the hugely successful Nintendo DS, it was dead in the water before it had even begun. The beautiful design, bright colourful screen and rich library of games made little difference to the fortune of the ill fated handheld. The Nintendo DS already had backwards compatibility with Gameboy Advance titles, the Gameboy Micro offered nothing particularly new or game changing to the Nintendo line up. That doesn't mean to say it isn't a fantastic console, if a version of the Micro was released today, it would do considerably better than it did on release. Nintendo quickly realised their mistake and cut their losses, the Micro was in production for only 3 years.



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Nintendo Gameboy Micro - Famicom edition Flickr/Koecki

 

The Gameboy Micro was and still is Nintendo's only product to be housed in a metal shell

 

Nintendo's market strategy was for the Nintendo DS and Gameboy Micro to coexist, with the Micro continuing the Gameboy classic lineage whilst the DS explored new and innovative ways to game, leading to the introduction of stereoscopic 3D technology in the 3DS. The Micro market now consist of hobbyist and collectors, so if you're planning on picking one up, be wary that they are gradually increasing in value and rarity.

 

Is it time for a comeback?

The 3DS line is coming to a close with an impressive number of sales, will the Gameboy brand valiantly return? Probably not. Rumour has it Nintendo are releasing a smaller budget version of the switch to fill the huge gap the 3DS will inevitably leave behind. We may see a "Gameboy Classic Mini" soon continuing the profitable trend of repackaged console on a chip collectables, but it will likely have no cartridge slot and a small selection of some of the best sellers.

 Oh well, I can dream....

WolvesEthereal

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Nintendo Gameboy Color - Kiwi

 

If you grew up during the late 1980's and 90's, chances are you have at least encountered the Nintendo Gameboy. If you happened to own one, chances are you wear glasses today.

I'm pretty sure my eyesight is as bad as it is due to years spent attempting to play the Gameboy in terrible lighting conditions,  or even worse; attempting to stay up later than my bed time by hiding under the covers armed with a torch and my Gameboy, Like a midget rebel... still, no system bares as much nostalgia and heartwarming fuzz than my Kiwi Gameboy Color, I took it everywhere in my equally awesome Pikachu carry bag.

Anyone else remember those "worm lights" they sold separately that could only remind you of that thing you weren't supposed to find in those drawers you weren't supposed to be looking in...

1998 was 21 years ago, I have aches in places I didn't know existed back then, and my eyes are about as useful as a chocolate fire guard, but i still love my Gameboy..I needed an upgrade.

Luckily for me then, some clever sausage from Australia named BennVenn decided to be an absolute fucking legend and develop a ribbon cable that converts the GBC output into the newer GBA LCD output signal, essentially adding support for the screens you would find in the Gameboy Advance SP. 

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BennVenns custom ribbon cable

If you're interested in doing this mod yourself, you can achieve this by purchasing the parts yourself and carefully hacking up a Gameboy Color shell. Let's assume though, like me...you are either lazy or too clumsy to perform the mod yourself and just want the end product, there's a shop for that!

JellyBelly Customs are a shop that specialise in custom and refurbished consoles for nerds like me who just can't let go..

Whilst there are various other outlets that will also sell you a custom console, JellyBelly Customs go the extra mile, and it definitely shows in their products.

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JellyBelly Customs Gameboy Color Light

You can grab a Gameboy Color Light from JellyBelly Customs for £179.99

You can buy all the standard colour variants of the original, or if you prefer; you can "build your own" and pick 'n' mix to make yourself a unique Gameboy for those extra nostalgic fuzzy feel good points, you cataclysmic nerd.


Speaking of Pick 'n' Mix.....Woolworths anyone?

 

 

Nintendo Gamecube in 2019 - Still holds up?


WolvesEthereal

 

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Nintendo's 2001 console has never looked more crisp!

 

Nintendo ceased production of the Gamecube 2007, 12 years later...does it still hold up?

Thanks to the efforts of Shmups user Unseen, the Gamecube has a new lease of life! Unseen successfully reverse engineered the infamously priced official Nintendo component cables for the Gamecube, these cables were only produced in Japan and are only compatible with the DOL-001 Model via the digital AV out. So if you want crystal clear picture quality , you're going to need to make sure you have a DOL-001 model Gamecube. 

 

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You can expect to pay in the range of £200 - £300 for the scarse official component cable

 

It's a great shame that Nintendo never fully utilised this under appreciated masterpiece, the first company to release the technology on a mainstream console would be Sony's Playstation 3, Nintendo were way ahead of their time with the component cable. Unfortunately, the digital AV output was barely utilised and removed from later hardware revisions. It's worth noting that outside Japan during the Gamecubes lifespan HD TV was not common, the rest of the world often play catch up with Japan when it comes to the tech industry..

 

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Windwaker, anyone?

 

Several companies have utilised the work of Unseen to produce their own Gamecube HD options, with varying prices from around £70 to £130. It's worth noting though, the technology used in these devices is exactly the same, you're not going to get a better picture quality by spending more. You may however get more features built in to get more bang for your buck with the more expensive models.

At the lower price point you can grab a HDMy Cube or Carby for around £70 and for a more premium price you can grab a GCHD by E.O.N for around £120, They justify this price by adding new features and hardware revisions. I personally own the HDMy Cube and that does a perfect job, an 18 year old console never looked so good! 

 

Youtube channel Oatburner provides a comparison between standard composite and component output 

 

All in all, if you're as mad about the Gamecube as i am, definitely grab one of these. Even £70 is alot for what is essentially a cable, but it's a worthwhile investment which will bring several years more life into your trusty old Gamecube.

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