I had so many of these as a kid. Happy memories.
There's a pretty comprehensive list of the units released over at NinDB.
Nintendo has revived its first mobile device, the crap-tacular Game & Watch. For those of you too young or too faded-of-memory to know of the device, they were about the size of a four-bar KitKat, boasted a small LCD screen, a single game and whatever buttons were needed to play it. 1982’s Donkey Kong incarnation of the Game …
I recall playing on one of the originals of these circa 83' - it belonged to a mate, no way my folks were going to spring for some "new fangled tech toy stuff" when we were living on a pretty tight budget.
I remember saying to said mate in my 7-ish year old innocence "you know, someday they'll figure out how to get different games on one of these, like your Atari 2600".
The smug bastard just smiled, knowing that he had said console, and was something of a local celebrity among us kids as a result.
MAME emulates these perfectly, and if you get the artwork they look amazing (SVG scaled to your screen!).
I had two as a kid and they are spot-on emulated.
Nintendo et al only "reimagine" something to keep their IP cash flowing, all those years people asked for it they weren't really interested (they did a couple of Gameboy ports that were half-hearted, if I remember correctly, but they've never bothered to offer them properly).
I always think that companies like that should look at what people are so desperate to have that they "steal", and then offer those people that thing at a reasonable price. Everyone's a winner. Money for old rope, maybe even support of an open source project to make it happen and recognition of the preservation efforts of those involved, and users find it easier to buy a GOOD emulation / recreation of the thing they wanted rather than have to resort to software piracy.
Fun fact: They run off a 32.768KHz 4-bit chip internally, with a pittance of RAM (literally bytes).
This is nice for collectors but in terms of landfill...
It would make more sense to buy a second hand Game Boy Micro (to save them from the land fill) for ~$20 (they have a similar size) and then purchase a ~$10 flash cart and then have access to the entire back catalogue of GB and GBA games. The Micros are fairly sturdy metal and easy to fix, you could keep them for a couple of generations ;)
If Nintendo did want the money, they would open up an official ROM download store where each file was ~$5 and DRM free.
^------- I want to live in this universe please :)
It would be nice if they also came with a recreation of the original games.
And it's a bit much for a couple of games, they clearly want to rinse buyers with dozens of different game variants, rather than one device that plays them all. Let's hope the device is hackable, but it's probably an all-in-one MCU with limited integrated flash.
TBH the gameboy micro was already quite close to the format, they should have taken that design and updated it with current tech and had a download store for GB/GBA games they could have sold for a tenner apiece (wifi is cheap to add these days). Makes me wonder if they are also working on a Gameboy Mini console.
Unlikely, they use a 4-bit tiny-RAM, 32.768 Khz chip with a fixed LCD display (i.e. they can only show the exact characters that they show, only in a few positions).
You can emulate them on MAME, but they aren't exactly multi-purpose, mainly because of the display and (very) limited RAM (think handful-of-bytes, not kilobytes).
This new G&W resembles the old ones in appearance only. The guts of this new device will be completely different, probably a SoC running a NES emulator, similar to the NES Classic Mini. If so, it will almost certainly be hackable to run other things - I relish the prospect of adding the other Mario NES titles to this at the very least.
I had that one, actually. That was my second G&W after Donkey Kong, Jr. At a point I also had Octopus and the dual-screen Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong II as well as a similar device (Pop Game) made by (I think) Seiko, under the Moriaka Tokei label (called Lasso; it's been exported to other countries under names like Rodeo and Cowboy). FTR, I lived in Guam at the time so had ready access to Japanese imports including Nintendo Game & Watches. I would be interested to see those emulated in MAME in future.
You’d be surprised how much some collectors are willing to spend for Nintendo items, especially limited edition items in pristine boxes. That goes for Game & Watch, and GameBoy. Take a look on eBay...
I doubt it’ll be an actual 4-bit Sharp CPU in this if it’s also emulating NES Mario and Mario 2 (the Japanese version of Mario 2 - the “lost levels”, not the version we got in the UK and US which was based on another game called Doki Doki Panic.) Some kind of Arm SoC perhaps?
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