So the most current bit geeky pop culture news floating around, that at least caught my attention, is this story on Kotaku about a guy turning a Burger King toy from around 2000, into a functional Game Boy. At least, that’s what the article states, and while this isn’t a lie, it isn’t quite what it sounds like.
You see, what the guy who made this thing did was take the old Burger King Toy and place inside of it a Retro Pi computer system; basically, a classic gaming emulation version of the Raspberry Pi computer. Add in some functional buttons for the Game Boy toy buttons, and a screen, and there you go. Great, right?
Everyone is getting excited over this and yeah, sure, it’s cool, but it isn’t anything special. Forgive my cynical nature, but all this is is a small emulation machine placed inside of a small toy from a fast food restaurant. The idea sounds cooler than it is in practice thanks to nostalgia. Many of us remember those Game Boy toys fondly, as they were part of the Pokemon hype back in the late 90’s, and seeing someone turn one into a functional way to play Game Boy games is great, but isn’t all that special.
Hobbyists have been placing small computers into odd things for years now, and this is just another logical project. Hell, another person was working on the idea when he discovered someone had already done it! So, it really isn’t that special, yet, like everything like this, so many people are getting crazy excited over it.
My biggest gripe with this though? All of the pictures show it being used to emulate Game Boy Advanced, the successor to the original Game Boy. LIke, really? You couldn’t show the classic Red or Blue game, you had to show the later re-release in the photos. Yeah, it may be a nitpick, but others have noticed this and laughed at it. At least try to keep with the original theme, maybe?
It is cool though on the same rate, if you had one of these you could in theory play Sega Genesis, or even better for a 2 button system, NES games on this portable, but at the end of the day, it’s one of those “just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should” kind of projects. Yeah, it’s cool. I’m not saying it isn’t, but it’s one of those things to do just because you can, it has minimal practical value, and craziest of all, the person has made a few of these and wants to sell them for $250 each. I’d rather get an actual Game Boy and a few games, than this.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a cool little project, but it isn’t as great as everyone treats it. The title makes you think someone took the core of an actual Game Boy and made a custom machine out of that, rather than what they really did – modern hardware into a toy.