ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Before his untimely passing shook the gaming community to its core, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had pushed ahead with a plan that none of us could have possibly seen coming. Nintendo would be branching out into the arenas of smartphones and tablets.

Teaming up with mobile company DeNA, the Japanese giants will, as of later this year, start releasing games on mobiles and tablet computers. But not any old port of an existing 3DS game, no, no, no! Nintendo will build the games from the ground up - front-end, UI and gameplay, whereas DeNA will bring their knowledge of servers and back-end.

But, while this is incredible news for Nintendo moving ahead, and how it seems as if they want to unify all devices so anybody - whether they are 3DS zealots, Wii U-sers, those with a smartphone or tablet and those interested in Nintendo's incoming NX console - will be able to seamlessly come together and play great Nintendo IP. But what if Nintendo went the whole hog and... made their very own smartphone?

In a similar vein to Commodore's return to techdom:

Oh, HAI!
Oh, HAI!

The guys over at Gizmodo and the brilliantly talented concept designer Pierre Cerveau teamed up recently to create an O.G. Game Boy/smartphone crossover, and it's so good I may have to lie down for a bit because it's so, so... it's just YES! It's like you've just been accosted by the warm and fuzzy paws of nostalgia.

Nintendo Smart Boy

Who's a clever boy then?
Who's a clever boy then?

As the Batman said to Lucius Fox "beautiful, isn't it?" Though no details of hardware/software spec came with the concept, bare with me as I geek out for a moment over the techy goodness I'd love to see under the Smart Boy's hood:

Battery Life

The day-to-day usage of your phone would surely fly up after getting your hands on one of these bad boys. Running the latest version of Android's Lollipop OS, the phone would have a power saving mode that would drag the resolution of the screen down to the Game Boy's old timey dot matrix reso, to squeeze out the last few minutes of Spotify and Animal Crossing.


In keeping with the GB's vintage, plasticky design, the shell casing of the Smart Boy will be a durable plastic. Possibly hidden within the slats on the back would be two stereo speakers, primed for the chiptunes of our youth.

Modular Upgrades

Here's an interesting idea. The Smart Boy would be compatible with various bits of customizable hardware. Coming off the back of Google's groundbreaking 'Project Ara,' which, if it takes off, will allow you to fully customize your own phone - right down to the the processor and camera - with swappable tech, the SB's hardware modules have been brilliantly designed to resemble the cartridges of that bygone era. So badass!

Game Bat Controller a.k.a. "Be Still My Quaking Heart"

This is fairly self explanatory. I guess the Game Bat peripheral would work similar to the Wii's classic controller, where you'd have to have one in order to play old school Nintendo classics, which is a bit annoying but maximizes capital for them.

What's interesting about the Game Bat is that it introduces two more front facing input buttons. What would be incredible with this, also, is if they incorporated a kind of touch pad on the back to function like shoulder pads, and the customary accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer controls. Spoiled much?


It should definitely have a screen, yes. That would be helpful. And if that screen was anywhere near the outrageous capability of Samsung's latest iteration of their Super AMOLED screens, then we'd be onto something brilliant here. But seeing as Super AMOLED is a major drain on battery, having a separate modular battery pack would be a welcomed addition.

The Smart Boy would be incredible, honestly incredible. As a nostalgic gimmick and a mobile games device for those who don't want to carry around an E-book reader, smartphone and 3DS at once. But, alas, it won't ever happen. But we can dream, right?

What old school piece of tech would you like to see become a smartphone?
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(Source: Gizmodo, Pierre Cerveau, Eurogamer)


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