The latest Android trend involves using the platform to create a gamepad or portable gaming console of sorts. At CES, we've heard announcements about several new devices that are using Android as their core OS. As a quick recap, we've got the OUYA, Gamestick, Snakebyte UNU, and NVidia's Project Shield just to name a few.
As it would turn out, a modder named Chad Boughton with a taste for nostalgia, has figured out a way to make his very own Android gaming console. Instead of producing a chassis from scratch, Boughton repurposed an old Game Boy. While there have been many hacks involving the iconic portable over the years, we've never seen anything quite like this.
The repurposed Game Boy actually uses the brilliant Super AMOLED display of the Galaxy Nexus. Of course, the mod isn't directly using the phone; instead the Nexus is plugged into an attached holster and is connected to the buttons via an active wireless connection.
To make the mod, Boughton first removed the original Game Boy screen and trimmed down the chassis so that he could fit a Galaxy Nexus case within. He essentially bolted the case to the remaining body of the Game Boy.
To get the buttons working with the Galaxy Nexus, he also repurposed a Wii Controller which he then placed inside the rear battery compartment. To fit the controller he also had to trim a segment of the Game Boy's circuit board. Then he connected the Wii controller to the original Game Boy buttons so that they would work wirelessly with the Galaxy Nexus.
To get the Galaxy Nexus to recognize the Game Boy buttons, Boughton installed the Wii Controller IME app on his phone.
Now, he's got a mobile Android gaming console that will play any retro game which supports emulation. Since there's no shortage of emulation options, the console is compatible with games from the Game Boy, SNES, Sega Genesis and more.
This is probably one of the coolest DIY mods we've ever seen. If you own a Galaxy Nexus and would like to give this mod a try, we've included the demo video below. You can also find a complete tutorial, including all the images you will ever need to get the job done, at the source link.
Because the mod is so easy to reconfigure, you could essentially put any Android phone in the place of the Galaxy Nexus. Instead of bolting a Galaxy Nexus case to the Game Boy frame, obviously you would use the case for your particular phone.
It's refreshing to see projects like this pop up, if only because it gives us new ways to use of old toys. No doubt, the original Game Boy holds sentiment value for all of us. Sure, that nifty Galaxy Nexus screen adds a bit of color and spice to the console, but it's still the same old Game Boy at its core. Although, you couldn't play so many games from so many different consoles on the original portable. I'm of the mind that this DIY mod is certainly more useful than the original Game Boy.
Anyone else out there willing to make one of these with their own Android phone?