The Super Retro Boy Is A Thing

The Super Retro Boy from Retro-Bit (it’s not on their site yet) is yet another reason that Nintendo should re-release the GBA. Retro Bit have done a brain fart and bundled the GBA hardware into an original Game Boy shell, whilst doing away with the shoulder buttons. The machine is lovely to look at, it’s obviously as close to cloning the Game Boy shell as they can get away with, and it looks beautiful – but try playing Mario Kart or F-Zero with shoulder buttons tacked on the front and you’ll soon be hurling the damn thing at the wall.

This machine takes cartridges from the GBA, GB and GBC so it seems it’s based on orginal GBA hardware, though whether or not it’s actually a hardware clone or just an emulator is yet unknown. £10 says it’s an emulator, but that’s not the end of the world. The shoulder buttons though, god damn it man.

This thing is going to cost about $80 when it’s released but you can count me out. I hope that the success of the Nes Mini has got the cogs whirring at Nintendo HQ though… if they re-released the original GBA in a host of new colours and with a beautiful bright LCD, WiFi and access to a store to buy ROMs and SNES ports that never made it to GBA I would snap one up in an instant.

The below images are from theverge.

 

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5 Comment

  1. I tried it out at the show, the dpad barely works it is clearly a 3D printed or cnc mock up. The software is there though but it certainly is not a tangible controller that works too well currently. Was not a fan of the dpad but the screen size is nice however. Really will have to wait and see how tooling quality is.

  2. Bigbot says: Reply

    They’re banking on nostalgia, pure and simple. If they truly cared about form factor, they’d use the GB Micro design, just upsized a bit. But it isn’t as iconic as the original GB.

  3. Pal says: Reply

    Let’s stick to constructive criticism! Don’t give up on it so soon:

    > Retro-Bit said the CES version is a prototype, and the company may move the shoulder buttons to the sides in the final version

    We’ve seen so many clones of 16-bit consoles that I think it’s refreshing to see something like this. Many modders have slapped better screens into DMGs and GBAs, this will save some time — and for not much, either.

  4. Why?!?
    Why would you emulate / replicate the Game Boy and put it in that form factor?!?

    The GBA was the best shaped Game Boy as far as hand comfort goes. And moving the shoulder buttons to the face without also leaving them on the shoulders is – as you pointed out – a bad choice.

    The DS, DS Lite, 3DS, and even PSP and Vita all have accepted the landscape format. Heck – even the upcoming Switch’s portable mode is wide, not tall.

    Why anyone would want to go back to the vertical hand cramp of the original Game Boy is beyond me. Nostagla is one thing – copying the bad design of the past — while making it even worse (by moving the shoulder buttons) is another.

    1. SirVer says: Reply

      I actually preferred the GBA SP – the original was definitely better for comfort, but you just can’t beat the portability of the SP (yeah, nostalgia talking here :P). Well, except for the Micro, but that thing’s display was too tiny even for me.

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