Thursday, September 29

When the Game Boy Color wanted to look like a smartphone: Nintendo discarded an accessory to surf the internet from the console in 2002

In the late 1990s, Nintendo studied the possibility of launching an accessory for the Game Boy Color that would have closely resembled the console to a smartphone, the Nintendo Page Boy. This peripheral would have allowed the users of the mythical video game console surf the internet, send messages, send photos taken with the Game Boy Camera and even access live broadcasts.

This curious device was studied and developed, but it was finally discarded and a prototype was not even made. It has now been discovered by video game journalist Liam Robertson, who has revealed its existence in a video from the Game History Secrets series on his YouTube channel.

Robertson explains that the idea for the Page Boy came up in the late 1990s in the UK. The creators of the device thought they could use the two-way radio technology used by the pager -popularly known as ‘searches’ – to make the game console have internet access. The promoters of the device then presented the idea to Nintendo executives in the United States, with whom they had a relationship through a previous project, who liked the idea and decided to dedicate a team to investigate its feasibility and commercial possibilities. The starting price would have been around $ 50.

This team was working on the project between 1999 and 2002, and although Page Boy promised, it failed to overcome a major stumbling block for Nintendo: the system. it only worked with radio networks that were not very widespread at that time around the world and that basically limited the use of the device to various areas of the United States.

According to Robertson, the Japanese company believed that he owed much of his success to creating universal devices and video games, which could be used anywhere in the world, which led them to finally discard the creation of Page Boy.

Image | Mihnea Stanciu

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