Turn Your Smartphone Into A Working Gameboy

neowin
(Photo: Neowin)

Just over a year ago, Hyperkin launched an April Fools joke suggesting that they had created an interactive sleeve that you could place over your iPhone 6 to essentially turn it into a working Game Boy, finding a use for your old game cartridges and avoiding the use of clumsy and frustrating touchscreen controls.

Apparently even after it was outed as a gag, there was enough of a groundswell of interest that the company has continued to develop the idea, and now they're close to ready to give it a release date, possibly as early as the holidays.

Galled a SmartBoy, the sleeve features the same control layout and color scheme as a classic Game Boy, and was apparently spotted at E3 this week.

The SmartBoy works by inserting your phone into the front, and then inserting a game cartridge in the back. The visible part of the phone's display will serve as the game screen, while the rest wil interact with the D-pad and buttons much like your touchscreen ordinarily would work.

Unfortunately, the idea that it would work with your iPhone 6 is apparently still a pipe dream. The SmartBoy as it currently exists works only on Android phones.

While emulators of classic game consoles have been available in software form in the Google Play store for some time, there are potential copyright issues surrounding them, and quality tends to be poor. SmartBoy, it seems, would bring GameBoy emulation more into line with the popular Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo emulators available inexpensively at retailers for the last few years.

There's no word yet on what the price point or availability of the device would be; don't be too surprised if it's available exclusively through a specialty retailer like ThinkGeek or Merchoid at first, as the licensing deal would likely allow Hyperkin to make their money back pretty quickly and the built-in infrastructure of such a site would allow for a healthy stock to be in production with minimal investment from the creators.

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Gizmodo has some details (via Slashgear).