Nintendo’s Lost Game Boy Expansion Reportedly Got Email

Images of a never-before-seen presentation featuring the canceled PageBoy software.

The Game Boy Color was released in 1998, a few years before the oldest and grossest smartphones hit the market. Back then, the internet was still fairly new, and the idea of ​​carrying a single device that could email people, search the web, send photos, and stream live video was a long way off. to be completed. But if a cancellation Game Boy Color accessory, the PageBoy, had seen the light of day, you may have done all of this alongside Mario via just one add-on.

The Page Boy was discovered by video game historian, researcher and journalist Liam robertson. In a video released today, Robertston first revealed a whole bunch of details and images of the proposed device.

This strange device was intended to use radio transmission technology to let Game Boy Color owners research and read international news, gaming magazines, weather reports, sports scores and even, more ambitious, watch live TV. This technology would also allow users to contact and send messages to other PageBoy owners. This radio transmission technology at the time was widely used by pagers, hence the name PageBoy.

Robertton spoke to people who worked on Project PageBoy with Nintendo about the device and where it came from and what ultimately killed it before it saw the light of day. According to those involved, after a meeting with Nintendo of America in 1999, the company was excited about the potential of the PageBoy, and for the next three years Nintendo worked with Wizard, a group created to help manage the device, to see if this add-on could actually be created and if it would end up being profitable.

A mockup of the PageBoy showing how it would attach to the Game Boy console.

While Nintendo was impressed with many PageBoy features, including the ability to send images using the Game Boy camera and even the ability for Nintendo to send live video to PageBoy owners via radio transmission technology, this encountered a major obstacle. The device relied on radio networks that only existed in a few select regions of the world, such as the United States, severely limiting the device’s customer base. According to Robertson, he was told that Nintendo believed the key to Game Boy’s success was the universality of hardware, allowing users around the world to play the same games with the same features.

So, because of this, Nintendo would have canceled the project in July 2002. However, as Robertston pointed out, many of the ideas that Wizard proposed for the PageBoy would eventually become a reality in the years that followed. The idea of ​​using live video to advertise games to its fan base is basically what Nintendo Direct is and the idea of ​​sending cute messages and pictures to people would be a feature in Wii U consoles. and 3DS. In a way, the PageBoy was ahead of its time, which meant it never saw the light of day.

Last year, Liam Robertson shed light on a similar add-on, the WorkBoy, in a video detailing the the disappearance of this piece of material.


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