This custom-made circular Game Boy is an object of pure weirdness

I don’t think anybody’s ever held a Game Boy and gone “Maybe this would be better as a circular device”. Sure, it would look cool, but the potential pros are heavily outweighed by the potential cons. Nevertheless, here we are with Love Hultén’s latest custom build, a weirdly circular Nintendo Game Boy that also comes with a circular display to match its body. At best, it’s weirdly fun, at worst it’s a usability nightmare, but then again, Hultén isn’t planning on selling this piece. It’s purely a custom build to flex his DIY skills and probably rile the internet up a little.

Designer: Love Hultén

From the looks of it, Hultén’s custom build was pretty much made from scratch and didn’t involve harming or hurting any existing Game Boys. Having extensively worked with circular displays (and even integrated a few into his custom-made synthesizers), Hultén managed to find a 5-inch IPS display he could spare for this build. The body looks like it was made from scratch, and the origin of those buttons could be anyone’s guess. Speaking of guessing, this custom Game Boy probably runs off an emulator fitted within its base. That also probably means all your games need to be sideloaded, and the circular Game Boy doesn’t have a slot at the back to input cartridges… although I wouldn’t put it past Hultén to actually make his own circular cartridges too!

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GameCube Advance brings a fantasy gaming handheld to life

The Nintendo Switch might be the company’s latest darling, but Nintendo has had consoles that become iconic in their own right during their lifetime. The Game Boy’s name is probably unchallenged, but the GameCube is definitely up there in the annals of gaming history. Remembered for being the first Nintendo console to use an optical disc instead of a cartridge, many GameCube fans have sought to revive the home console’s name today. One modder definitely succeeds in that goal by not only making the GameCube relevant but by also giving life to a popular fake version of the console that made rounds over the Internet more than a decade ago.

Designer: GingerOfOz

In 2005, right at the height of the GameCube’s popularity, a pair of renders sparked the interest of gamers and Nintendo fans. It was that of a portable version of the console that folded in a clamshell form, just like the Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP handheld that was launched around that time as well. In those days, Nintendo had no intentions of creating a portable version of a powerful home console, predating the creation of the Switch by more than ten years.

Someone finally tired of looking at fakes and dreaming of what could have been and made an effort to actually make this GameBoy Advance a reality. Thanks to the tools and services available even to hobbyists these days, that’s no longer an impossibility. That said, it wasn’t simply a matter of gluing pieces together, as the modder discovered the hard way.

The 2005 images, although quite attractive, were nothing but a work of fiction that couldn’t even translate into reality. The size of the hardware needed to support a GameCube disc would have made the handheld too large. The buttons, which were naturally patterned after the GameCube’s controller, would have also made it impossible to close the console shut.

In the end, GingerOfOz had to take liberties in how he implemented the design while at least sticking true to the form of the fake render. He even had to use a Wii’s internals instead of a GameCube in order to save space and reduce the device’s power consumption. And, of course, there was no optical disc drive.

The end result, however, was still a masterwork, especially since it could actually play GameCube titles with the ease and portability of a chunky Game Boy Advance. There are some limitations, of course, not to mention potential legal pitfalls with this mod, but there is an undeniable sense of satisfaction in finally making a long-standing dream a reality.

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Game Bot reimagines an iconic gaming handheld as a toy you can play on

The Switch might be Nintendo’s current darling, but it is hardly its most iconic gaming device. That distinction probably belongs to the Game Boy, the handheld gaming console that catapulted the company’s name into the nascent gaming scene, at a time when consoles were still hulking boxes that had to be kept at home. The Game Boy served as the inspiration for many new products, projects, and concepts, and this latest do-over turns the Game Boy into a robot that, in some alternate universe, could actually have been a working and usable gaming console.

Designer: Greg Dmnt (Grapheart)

The original Game Boy’s design is beautiful in its simplicity. With only a D-Pad and four buttons (counting Select and Start), Nintendo’s historic handheld was clean and distraction-free. Of course, the games from that age didn’t need the complex controls that even the simpler Nintendo Switch has today, but some gamers might have actually considered that to be a strength rather than a weakness.

That also meant that it was trivial to retrofit the Game Boy’s design, and it would still be recognizable as a Game Boy. Especially if you use the same button layout, same button designs, and same color motif as the original. Bonus points if you actually used some parts of the original Game Boy in a completely new design, one that has an uncanny resemblance to a certain Star Wars droid.

That’s exactly what this imaginative designer did with an unused Game Boy shell, prying it open and cutting it in half to reuse some of the parts. The D-Pad and action buttons are placed on the robot’s chest. According to the creator, those buttons are actually clickable, so they’d theoretically be usable if they were actually wired to some electronics. That’s sadly not the case, but the designer definitely aimed for authenticity and fidelity. He even created a custom Game Boy cartridge and packaging for Game Bot that looks and feels like the real deal.

Another interesting part of this robot’s design is the cartridge slot on its back, taken from the original Game Boy. It can hold a genuine game cartridge, and one can only imagine that the Game Bot could actually read the data off it. Maybe in the future, gaming consoles could actually be robots that can hook up to a TV when you want to play games and then follow you around as your faithful companion the rest of the day.

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New Nintendo Switch Joy-Con has two cameras for immersive AR gaming, streaming, and photography

Designed to uplift the Nintendo Switch from merely a gaming device, the ‘Joy-Cam’ is a controller that snaps onto the side of the gaming console, giving it front and rear-facing cameras so you can capture photos/videos, play in immersive AR and MR, and even stream your reactions while you game. The Joy-Cam comes from the mind of UK-based designer, Liam de la Bedoyere, a tech enthusiast who believes the Nintendo Switch has much more potential than being simply a game console. Much like how the classic Game Boy came with its own add-on Game Boy Camera that could take rudimentary black-and-white low-res photos, the Joy-Cam gives the Switch photographic features, turning the console into a much more versatile multimedia device.

The Nintendo Joy-Cam has a large primary lens and a smaller front-facing lens built right into its design. Liam’s original idea was to give the Nintendo Switch DSLR-like capabilities with a large viewfinder, although it’s easy to also envision the Joy-Cam as a breakthrough augmented and mixed reality gaming device. The primary camera lets you see the world ahead of you on the Switch’s large OLED display, while also superimposing digital elements into the real world in what would truly be a Pokémon GO-rivaling experience. For Switch gamers who also like recording themselves while playing, the front-facing camera lets you stream your reactions too, providing a new easier way for Switch-gamers to stream to their audience. The Switch + Twitch combination feels so incredibly natural, doesn’t it??

Getting, however, to the Joy-Cam’s original purpose, it really turns the Nintendo Switch into a powerful camera, adding a fresh contender into the smartphone camera race. This time, however, modularity is the name of the game, as Nintendo can simply release newer, better camera controllers, allowing people to upgrade their lenses and sensors without necessarily buying a new device each time.

The Nintendo Joy-Cam’s hardware feels like an upgrade when compared to a smartphone camera too. Of course, it houses a MUCH bigger primary lens, as sleekness isn’t really a concern for gamers as much as it is for smartphone users. The Joy-Cam also comes with a selection-pad and a shutter button located right under your thumb, and an Autofocus/Manual toggle switch on the top, allowing you to either switch on the camera’s autofocusing abilities or rely on manually turning the focus ring on the lens to click incredible DoF shots with real bokeh. Lastly, a flash located right under the primary lens lets you shoot in low-light too, giving you all the features you need to go from gaming to photography. Could Nintendo inadvertently build the natural successor to the Phonebloks and Google/Motorola’s failed Project Ara experiment? Well, Liam de la Bedoyere shows exactly how to go about it!

Designer: Liam de la Bedoyere

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Nintendo-inspired coffee machine concept lets you play the latte game

There are hardcore gamers and there are casual gamers. It doesn’t matter which group you belong to but I’m certain if you are, you will love this Nintendo FP Coffee Machine.

For people who grew up playing Super Mario, you won’t have a problem identifying the inspiration. No, this coffee machine won’t churn out Super Mushrooms or Fire Flowers. It can make your favorite cuppa joe and top it off with latte art of your favorite Nintendo game character. Mario? Pikachu? Name it. The Nintendo FP can print it.

Designer: Sergen Çağlayan

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine Advantage

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine Design

Turkish industrial designer Sergen Çağlayan has a knack for turning ordinary devices into something fun. We’re guessing he grew up playing Nintendo games on his NES or maybe his Nintendo Switch. He used this passion to create something coffee lovers will be interested in. And sure, if this concept becomes a reality, we know stocks will quickly disappear off the shelves as fast as Pickachu’s Volt Tackle.

The Nintendo FP isn’t your usual coffee machine. It doesn’t brew coffee grounds as it only accepts coffee capsules or pods. This one takes after the aesthetics of the Nintendo Switch. The signature red and blue colors were used. The play screen and buttons are reminiscent of those on the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced SP from the early 2000s.

Nintendo FP Coffee Capsule Machine Screen

The “FP” in the name means Froth & Play. You can’t exactly play any game but the froth printer lets you play the latte art game. With milk foam or coffee drop, you can have an image of your favorite game character on your coffee.

Nintendo FP Coffee Capsule Machine Latte Art

The Nintendo FP Coffee Machine is easy to use. Pour water on the plastic tank. Add milk on the separate milk tank if you like for froth. Lift the small LCD screen up to power on the machine and start heating. Insert your choice of coffee pod for the day on the capsule slide. Choose the image you want on your coffee. Wait for the 3D-like printer to do its job.

Once done, you can start enjoying your coffee with Yoshi smiling back at you. It’s that convenient and fun. Warning: the screen may show you you’ve been having too much coffee for the week.

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine Instructions

The concept capsule coffee machine looks more like a toy than a kitchen appliance. The choice of blue, red, gray, and white makes the device fun to look at and hold especially with its soft-touch rubbery feel.

Nintendo FP Coffee Capsule Machine Design

Die-hard Nintendo fans will find joy in this thing even if some may not be coffee drinkers. We’re imagining you can get your young children prepare the coffee for you with the Nintendo Froth & Play. Just don’t let them play with it too much. And don’t let them drink the coffee.

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine Sketches

 

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine Idea

Nintendo FP Coffee Machine App

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Nintendo phone concept is a glimpse of a dream that will never come to be

Although it’s unlikely the company will ever go down this route, this concept smartphone is easily every Nintendo fan’s dream.

Although it is hardly Nintendo’s first handheld gaming device, the Nintendo Switch not only sparked the imagination but also drove sales sky-high when it launched back in 2017. Since then, the gaming giant has continued to milk that cow for all it’s worth, ignoring clamor for a long-overdue Switch Pro upgrade. Some Nintendo fans, however, actually wished that the company went smaller rather than bigger, bringing its iconic characters and titles to phones. Nintendo has sadly withdrawn from mobile games, but one fan tried to envision the best combination of Nintendo’s spirit and mobile technology.

Designer: Lee Huang

In terms of technical capabilities, Nintendo definitely has what it takes to make a Nintendo Phone. The Switch, after all, is pretty much a tablet with custom software and a very successful gimmick in the form of the Joy-cons. Nintendo could have also easily partnered with some smartphone maker for a “Nintendo Edition” phone, but that will probably pale in comparison to one that bears Nintendo’s iconic design language.

It’s easy enough to actually mistake this Nintendo Phone concept as a toy, especially with its use of soft pastel colors and round buttons. That’s precisely the point, though, because this is a handheld gaming device first and foremost, a phone only second. It might look out of place in a boardroom meeting unless you’re the type who will flaunt their inner gamer in any setting.

Those colorful rear plates are also the perfect palette for branding, like the special edition consoles that Nintendo and its competitors would occasionally put out. There’s also an opportunity for slapping on skins, of course, and you won’t be as hesitant to put a Pokemon-themed skin on this as you would a regular phone. There’s also plenty of room for accessories, including game controllers, given how more open phone designs are compared to something like the Switch.

The rather sad reality is that this concept will remain just that, a concept that will tickle Nintendo fans’ fancy and make them yearn for better days. Nintendo hasn’t had much success with mobile games for phones, and it might not have the capability to run an Android spin of its own. For now, Nintendo fans can take comfort in knowing that their community has no shortage of creative people who can share their dreams of things Nintendo could do but never did.

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Super Mario Bros. Warp Pipe Can Koozie: Don’t Drink the Piranha Plants

Keeping your drink cold: it’s a necessity. Unless you’re drinking coffee or hot chocolate, then it’s the exact opposite of what I said. Besides, there’s already a coffee mug warp pipe for your hot beverage needs. But this is about beverages of the canned variety. And what better way to sip an insulated cold one and pledge your allegiance to old-school gaming than with this Super Mario Bros.-inspired warp pipe can koozie? Luigi would be so proud.

Made by Toynk and available on Amazon (affiliate link), the officially-licensed koozie looks just like an 8-bit warp pipe from the original Super Mario Bros. game for the NES. It will undoubtedly keep my Monster Energy nice and cold while I spent countless, infuriating hours trying to set a new speedrun record for the game, smashing controller after controller and unsettling the neighbors with my screaming.

I can never think of Super Mario Bros. and not think about how when I was a kid I’d convince my brother that the pits on the water levels were actually warp zones, so he’d swim down them and die and it would be my turn again. He still doesn’t trust me to this day.

[via The Awesomer]

This Keycap Looks Like a Teensy Nintendo Game Boy

Recently, I wrote about the Thumby, a teensy Game Boy-inspired gaming system that you basically need to be Ant-Man to play. If you like the idea of a miniature Game Boy, but your thumbs aren’t small enough to play that thing, you might want to consider the ZMKC Pocket Game Console Artisan Keycap instead.

These unique keycaps have an awesome retro look that apes the Nintendo Game Boy but stretched into the shape of a truncated pyramid, also known as a frustum. Yep, we all learned a new word today. If you’re typing on a mechanical keyboard, you have a whole bunch of frustums sitting there right in front of you. But I digress. These awesome artisan keycaps come not only in a retro beige color but in bold egg yolk yellow, a muted black, and several other hues in case you don’t care for the classic Game Boy color scheme.

Another neat thing about this keycap is its see-through window, which lets a keyboard backlight shine through like the old Game Boy Light screen.

The keycap is available for pre-order for $35 over on Drop, which means it’s actually more expensive than the playable Thumby game system. But I wouldn’t try gluing one of those onto your existing keyboard. It’ll start playing every time you type, plus you’ll probably get Krazy Glue stuck to your fingers when you’re doing it. Just think, for $35 each, you could replace all 85 of the 1U keys on a standard 104-key keyboard with these things for just about $3000!

Super Mario Bros. Build-A-Light Level Is a Definite 1-Up

The original Super Mario Bros. changed the course of video games as we know it, and arguably the most influential game of all time. And what better way to celebrate that than with a Super Mario Bros light with stackable, interchangeable, light blocks? Okay, I’m sure there actually are better ways to celebrate that, but this article isn’t about those. This is about the light.

The Build-A-Light level, available from FireBox, includes a lighted base and 16 double-sided light blocks to stack as you see fit, constructing the perfect level and lighting ambiance for your gaming room. Or your bedroom. Granted my wife said there will be no Mario light in our bedroom, but she also said the same thing about food, and I keep a stash of OREOs in my bedside table.

But do you think they’ll also release a Super Mario Bros. 3 version if this one is a financial success? Because I’d buy one of those too. And a Metroid one! And The Legend of Zelda! Actually just take my wallet already, Nintendo, you win.

[via The Awesomer]

Xbox just pulled a Nintendo with its 20th Anniversary translucent wireless controller!

“Ah, this gives me such fond GameBoy Advance memories!”

2021 marks a pretty important milestone in the timeline of gaming. It was 2 decades back that Microsoft unveiled its ambitious plans to move from computing to full-blown gaming with the Xbox, a console designed to take on Sony’s PlayStation which released in 1995… a rivalry that even 20 years later, is still going strong. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Xbox, Microsoft announced a special edition of its wireless controller, with a uniquely nerd-pleasing translucent black design with green accents – colors that have a strong link to the Xbox brand and even their logo.

While Xbox has a history of releasing translucent variants of their controllers (notably the translucent green Xbox Duke controller), it’s a tactic that one could argue was popularized at least in the gaming circuit by Nintendo, with the translucent GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance. The controller isn’t fundamentally different in function, although it’s a hat-tip to 20 years of Xbox revolutionizing the console gaming industry. It comes along with a translucent Universal Quick Charging Stand that’s designed by Razer, which claims to charge your controller in under 3 hours, with overcharge and overheating protection.

The Xbox 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller, which was announced earlier today, goes on sale beginning November 15th. Alongside the controller, Microsoft also announced a wired 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset, complete with bright green highlights and a translucent black shell.

“November 15th, 2021 will mark 20 years of gaming together! Fans helped shape what Xbox is today and we can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring”, said Microsoft in a press release on the Xbox Wire blog. “Today, we celebrate our history together with the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller and 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset – launching November 15 and available for pre-order now. We were inspired by our favorite memories together from the last 20 years and created not one, but two unique accessories to commemorate this milestone.”

Designer: Microsoft (Universal Quick Charging Stand designed by Razer)