Imagine if Nintendo made a Game Boy Advance without the Advance part. That’s what video game console and handheld modder Obirux did: they created a reimagined original Game Boy handheld that retains the aesthetic language of the 1989 model but reoriented it as a horizontally handled system akin to the Sega Game Gear, original GBA, and many modern handheld systems, including the Nintendo Switch (via Gizmodo).
This creation is named the Game Boy DMG-0B “Prototype,” a homage to the original model number of the Game Boy DMG-01, where DMG stands for Dot Matrix Game. Obirux has a brief list of what went into this modification: it required the sacrifice of two original Game Boy shells plus extra plastic, padding, and paint / dye. Then the original screen / front PCB board was removed and replaced with a modified version of the PCB that comes with a replacement IPS screen kit — a modern screen upgrade that offers a much clearer image along with backlighting. It’s a solid upgrade over the fine-for-its-time Dot Matrix screen and its odd contrast quality. The screen can also output different hues, allowing for a semi-colorized look, including a green pallet that echoes the original Dot Matrix display.
Not only was the screen upgraded, but so was the battery. Obirux shed the four AA battery arrangement and replaced it with a Li-ion battery, which not only saves a ton of space but also means the cells wouldn’t have to be separated into opposite ends of the handheld like how Sega’s Game Gear had six AA batteries split in two housing sections. Other components like the buttons and ports were reused and moved around the case. It even has a barrel power connector instead of a USB plug that other Game Boy modders have used, adding to the authentic retro exterior look of the handheld.
Obirux describes themself as “an artist building unique playable works” and works in construction in London. Many mods built by Obirux end up for sale on their website, seemingly including the WideBoy we just looked at — though, like everything else on the site, it’s already “sold out.”
I personally would love one of Obirux’s GameCube PC mods, as I am a stickler for all things GameCube: like this spice orange Switch dock made by Littlewolf128 or the WaveBird joycons built by Shank. Also, it would be really cool to see another one of these GameCube handhelds with an actual working slot-load disc drive.