Friday, February 7, 2014

Retail Display/External Game Boy Displays

I found this really fascinating. In the video he says "we've added some really cool special electronics so that you can watch your game boy being played on a tv screen". I would love to know what electronics! Would it be difficult for someone today to build a gameboy to CRT converter? I couldn't find any schematics for the retail display.

You can see a ribbon cable going into the game boy itself, and a small electronics board - but I think it's just the volume controls. It's not at all clear how this device works!

A separate kiosk/external display was based on the NES, it uses a board called the Demo Vision (thanks to Retrogamer72 of nintendoage for the tip!):

from assembler games thread
For example, this was used inside this kiosk:
and here is a picture of the back of the modified () gameboy that you use it with:
It's not clear how the gameboy has been modified, maybe it's just an extra long ribbon cable soldered on?

To ease the strain on the eyes of developers working and testing a game, there was the wideboy:

picture from the handheldmuseum
This plugs into a famicom/NES and lets you play game boy games on a screen - it's basically a NES cartridge with a gameboy CPU on it! Another page on the wideboy here.

A similar type of thing called the wideboy64 exists, letting you play game boy color games on an N64!

picture from
These were never available to buy (because they were either used in retail store displays or just for developers) but the GameBoy Booster was sold which let's you play game boy games on an n64:

picture from

A really cool hack someone did is interpreting the game boy signals from the ribbon cable using a microcontroller (but I have read that an FPGA is much more suitable) and then converting it into data for an oscilloscope to display:

See his blog here
And a video of it in action:

Another amazing hack, A gigantic LED matix being driven by a real gameboy through an FPGA: