Play the original Game Boy in 1080p on an HDTV with hdmyboy

Upgrade for a 25-year-old device now on Kickstarter.  

The hdmyboy is one of the craziest - and potentially most beloved - propositions in ages: an upgrade to the original 1989 Game Boy that will upscale its minimalist graphics into a smooth 1080p image on your contemporary HDTV.

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Link's Awakening is still the bee's knees 21 years on.

Proposed by brothers Zane Amiralis & Joshua de Haan on Kickstarter, the hdmyboy is a module that you install on a Game Boy Classic by opening up its case and slotting it in the middle of the handheld device.

"hdmyboy gives you the sharpest and best picture you've ever seen come out of your Game Boy as we redraw every pixel without blurs (or anti-aliasing)!" the developer boasted. "We prefer 1080P FullHD, but support 720P. There are two modes: Scale, which is the same ratio as the game boy screen and Stretch, which is a full screen mode which redraws the graphics slightly wider."

Furthermore, you can adapt the graphics by choosing which four shades of colour you want, where the original device only supported four variations of green. So if you'd rather go full black & white or opt for a sepia-toned amber sort of look, you can do that.

That being said, this module will only work for the original 1989 Game Boy, not the Game Boy Colour, Advance, SP, Pocket or any other variation on the handheld.

Early hdmyboy footage looks pretty slick given how old the original tech is.

Some may be turned off by the mild dismantling associated with the hdmyboy's installation, but its developer insists that this is a piece of cake. "No Game Boys will be harmed when installing the upgrade! It takes under 10 minutes," the developer stated. "Just take six screws out of your Game Boy with the special screwdriver we send you. Disconnect cable, insert hdmyboy between the front and back half of your Game Boy, reconnect cables and voila: full HD Game Boy sandwich!"

If you're curious exactly how many pixels the hdmyboy outputs images at, the developers noted that Scale Mode upscales the original 160x144 by seven, resulting in a 1120x1008 image, while Stretch Mode multiplies the pixels by 12 horizontally and seven vertically for a 1920x1008 image.

The 100 Early Bird specials of €115 for an hdmyboy module, replica controller and screwdriver have already sold out, so now it costs €125 to reserve one upon their estimated May launch.

That so many people would claim these at such a high cost only five days into the campaign is a good sign that the hdmyboy will come to fruition, though it still has a ways to go before it reaches its €65K goal. It's not off to a bad start though, having already acquired €16,091 with another 24 days to go before its 26th December release. Perhaps pre-orders will be a hot Christmas item for retro game enthusiasts?

What do you make of this peculiar project? Is it a fool's errand to develop for a long derelict piece of hardware, or an important process in preserving the classics? After all, Link's Awakening is still among the best Zelda games ever made, amirite?

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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