Imagine if Nintendo made a Game Boy Advance without the Advance part. That’s what video game console and handheld modder Obirux did: they created a redesigned original Game Boy handheld that retains the aesthetic language of the 1989 model, but repurposed it as a horizontally managed system. similar to the Sega Game Gear, the original GBA, and many modern handhelds. systems, including the Nintendo Switch (by Gizmodo).
This creation is called Game Boy DMG-0B “Prototype”, a tribute to the original Game Boy model number DMG-01, where DMG stands for Dot Matrix Game. Obirux has a brief list of what went into this modification: it required the sacrifice of two original Game Boy shells plus additional plastic, padding, and paint/dye. Then the original screen / front PCB was removed and replaced with a modified version of the PCB that came with a replacement IPS screen kit – a modern screen upgrade that offers a much clearer picture with a backlight. It’s a solid upgrade from the perfect Dot Matrix screen for its time and weird contrast quality. The screen can also produce different hues, allowing for a semi-colorized look, including a green palette that echoes the original Dot Matrix display.
Not only the screen has been improved, but the battery too. Obirux ditched the four AA battery arrangement and replaced it with a Li-ion battery, which not only saves a ton of space, but also means the cells wouldn’t have to be separated into opposite ends of the handheld like Sega’s Game Gear had six AA batteries divided into two case sections. Other components like buttons and ports have been reused and moved around the case. It even has a barrel power connector instead of a USB socket that other Game Boy modders have used, adding to the handheld’s authentic retro exterior look.
Obirux describes himself as “an artist building unique playable works” and works in construction in London. Many of the mods built by Obirux can be found for sale on their website, apparently including the WideBoy we just saw – although, like everything else on the site, it’s already “sold out”.
Personally, I’d love any of Obirux’s GameCube PC mods, since I’m a fan of anything GameCube: like this spicy orange Switch dock made by Littlewolf128 or the WaveBird joycons built by Shank. Plus, it would be really cool to see another one of those GameCube handhelds with a working slot-loading disc drive.