Smart Boy Will Let You Play Game Boy Cartridges On Your Smartphone: Release Date, Specs & Everything We Know So Far

By V Doctor , Updated Jun 21, 2016 06:49 AM EDT

Fans of the classic Game Boy will soon be able to play original titles using real cartridges. It will be an opportunity to look back on how mobile gaming has evolved since.

Hyperkin is currently taking pre-orders for a Smart Boy Development Kit that allows Android smartphones to run Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. Although the device is not yet intended for daily use, the company is hoping that users can help improve the open source. Hyperkin also mentioned about coming up with a kit for the Apple iPhone, although it seems to be focused on Android devices at the moment.

Hyperkin Lab provided a product description of the Smart Boy Development Kit, citing that it can attach to an Android smartphone to convert it into a handheld gaming device. The Smart Boy is compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges. There is an open source serial app and firmware in the kit that will enable all types of developers to advance the current build developed by Hyperkin into a model that will be ready to retail.

The firm also invited developers to help make the product great. Hyperkin is offering a royalty percentage, from sold retail-ready units to any developer who can improve the serial app and firmware of Smart Boy. Potential developers can upload updates and builds of the serial app and firmware to a dedicated Hyperkin Lab forum. The company will proceed to test the product and check its development.

Individuals who are interested in the Smart Boy Development Kit can expect it to arrive with the classic handheld-style tactile button set, open source serial app and firmware and a double-sided micro USB port. There are no free cartridges included, although players who still have their old Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles can try these on the product after setting it up on their Android smartphones.

Previously, Hyperkin also wrote on their Facebook page that the peripheral will include an eight-way D-pad, a start and select button, two action buttons and a battery that offers up to five hours of gameplay.

The specification for developers includes an Atmel 90USB646, NTSC/PAL cart compatible, a 5 to 6-inch phone, a minimum OS requirement of 4.4.4 Android KitKat OTG and Smart Boy Serial App Access for mounting and controller mapping. The card will not be charged until it is shipped. Hyperkin also asked for payment information before they ship the product.

Engadget noted that at present, the Smart Boy Development Kit is priced at $60.

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