Imagine if Nintendo would have made a Game Boy Advance without that Advance payment 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 refocuses it as a horizontally-handled system, akin to the Sega Game Gear, the original GBA and many modern handheld systems, including Nintendo Switch (via Gizmodo).
This creation is named Game Boy DMG-0B “Prototype”, a homage to the original Game Boy DMG-01 model number, where DMG stands for Dot Matrix Game. Obirux has a short list of what went into this mod: It required sacrificing two original Game Boy shells, plus additional plastic, padding, and paint/dye. Then the original screen/front board was removed and replaced with a modified version of the board that comes with a replacement IPS screen kit – a modern screen upgrade that offers a much clearer picture along with backlighting. It’s a solid upgrade over the dot-matrix screen, which is good for its time, and its odd contrast quality. The screen can also emit different hues, allowing for a half-tone look, including a green palette that mirrors the original dot-matrix display.
Not only the screen has been improved, but also the battery. Obirux dispensed with the layout of the four AA batteries and replaced them with one Li-Ion battery, which not only saves a ton of space but also means the cells don’t have to be separated at opposite ends of the handheld like Sega’s Game Gear AA batteries divided into two housing parts. Other components such as the buttons and ports have been reused and relocated within the case. It even has a hollow power connector instead of a USB connector that other Game Boy modders have used, which adds to the handheld’s authentically retro look.
Obirux describes himself as “an artist who builds unique playable works” and works on the build in London. Lots of mods made by Obirux are listed for sale on their site, apparently including the WideBoy we just checked out – although like everything else on the site, it’s already “sold out”.
Personally, I’d love one of Obirux’s GameCube PC mods, since I’m a GameCube fan: like this Spice Orange Switch Dock by Littlewolf128, or Shank’s WaveBird Joycons. Also, it would be really cool to see another of these GameCube handhelds with an actual working slot-load disc drive.