Hobbyist adds a hinge to the Game Boy Pocket, delighting everyone

Enlarge / This custom-built Game Boy Pocket SP can fold in half like a feisty clam.

Earlier this month, a programmer and hobbyist named Allison Parrish debuted a compact hack of the 1996 Nintendo Game Boy Pocket handheld sport console. Taking inspiration from the later Game Boy Advance SP, she fabricated a {custom} plastic shell with a hinge so the older monochrome Game Boy can fold shut. She calls it the Game Boy Pocket SP.

In Parrish’s in depth write-up of the mod, she explains that her hack started as one thing of a joke. The Game Boy modding neighborhood is well-liked proper now, and one at the moment trending mod includes transplanting the circuitry of a folding Game Boy Advance SP (from 2003) into a non-folding {custom} shell. So she thought, “If y’all can take the hinge out of an SP, why cannot I add a hinge to a Game Boy that by no means had one?”

Parrish, who’s an assistant arts professor at NYU, constructed her complicated folding mod over the summer time utilizing instruments at her college division’s ITP/IMA store and the NYU Makerspace. Its distinctive clamshell design comes courtesy of a Game Boy Pocket motherboard she reduce in half, together with custom-designed flex PCBs (printed circuit boards) that route indicators between the two folding halves. To pull all of it collectively, Parrish designed a 3D-printed plastic shell utilizing FreeCAD.

An exploded CAD view of the Game Boy Pocket SP's custom shell, designed by Allison Parrish.

An exploded CAD view of the Game Boy Pocket SP’s {custom} shell, designed by Allison Parrish.

Additional components, resembling the backlit display screen, label, buttons, and rechargeable battery, got here from hobbyist outlets.

The completed product is compact, backlit, rechargeable by way of USB, and it performs unique monochrome Game Boy video games. Cartridges plug in simply behind the display screen, like in the unique Game Boy Pocket. After saying a tough prototype of the mod in September, the Game Boy Pocket SP gained first place in the “Technical” class in r/gameboy’s modding contest on Reddit.

Currently, the Game Boy Pocket SP stays a one-of-a-kind machine due to the intense effort concerned in making it. “The analysis and growth course of was additionally very costly,” Parrish writes. “In addition to the prices of supplies and manufacturing, there’s additionally the value of my very own labor.”

Still, if you would like to try to replicate her feat, Parrish has supplied PCB and shell design recordsdata on GitHub and an virtually step-by-step write-up of the construct course of on her web site.

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