Imagine if Nintendo made a Game Boy Advance without the Advance part. That’s what video game console and handheld modders Obirux did: they created a re-imagined version of the original Game Boy handheld that retained the aesthetic language of the 1989 model but repositioned it as a horizontal processing system—similar to the Sega Game Boy, the original GBA, and many modern handheld systems, including the Nintendo Switch.
The modification, named Game Boy DMG-0B “Prototype”, is a tribute to the original Game Boy DMG-01 model, where DMG stands for dot matrix gaming. Obirux briefly lists what this modification entails: it entails the sacrifice of two original Game Boy case, plus additional plastic, padding, and paint/dye; the original screen/front PCB was then removed and replaced with a modified PCB, plus a replacement IPS screen kit – a modern screen upgrade to provide sharper images and backlighting. It was a solid upgrade from the dot-matrix screens of the time and their strange contrast quality; the screen could also output different hues, allowing for a half-color look, including a green palette that echoed the original dot-matrix display.
Not only has the screen been upgraded, but so has the battery. Obirux has abandoned the deployment of four AA batteries and replaced them with lithium-ion batteries, which not only saves a lot of space but also means that the battery doesn’t have to be separated into the two ends of the handheld like Sega’s Game Gear. Other components such as buttons and ports were reused and moved around the case. It even has a barrel-shaped power connector instead of the USB plug used by other Game Boy modders, which adds to the handheld’s authentic retro look.
Obirux describes himself as “an artist who builds unique playable creations” and works in architecture in London. Many of the mods made by Obirux are already for sale on its website, which seems to include the WideBoy one just saw – although like everything else on the site, it’s already “sold out”.