Apparently we live in a world where street-smart companies use April Fools Day as a testing ground for their most ridiculous products. At least that's what Hyperkin did with the Smart Boy, a device that transforms your iPhone into a working Game Boy.
This week, a Hyperkin artist posted some concept art on Reddit and Imgur. Even though the art was unveiled on March 31st, the Internet was already in April-Fools mode, which means that everyone was justifiably suspicious. But the concept was interesting enough to generate some excitement, and that's all the encouragement that Hyperkin needed.
The following day, the company posted this message on its Facebook page:
A lot of you were speculating that the Smart Boy is an April Fools' Joke. Well, it sort of was. We "leaked" it with the initial intent of testing the market, seeing whether or not it should be something we'd actually make, under the guise of an April Fools' Joke.
The Smart Boy will allow iPhone and Android users to play old-school Game Boy titles on their cell phones. And I'm not talking about ROMs, either. If you have a library of Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges, it might be time to dust them off.
Here's how Hyperkin describes the product:
It will also feature an eight-way D-pad; two action buttons; a start and select button; and an included battery that can be charged through the phone itself providing 5 hours of gameplay. The gameplay itself will output through the iPhone 6 Plus' own screen.
So far, Hyperkin has only shown off the iPhone edition of the Smart Boy, but the company is currently working on an "open-sided" version of the device for Android-driven phones.
Here's my question, though: is this any better than purchasing an old-school Game Boy at one of those mall kiosks? And will be it be cheaper? After all, this seems like an awfully complicated way to play cartridges, and Hyperkin hasn't discussed any kind of ROM support.
Hyperkin's other products (RetroN, SupaBoy, etc) give players the ability the play old-school cartridges with a new level of convenience, but the Smart Boy doesn't really fall into that category. As far as I can tell, it doesn't improve on the Game Boy's functionality in any way.
What do you think? Are you going to pick up a Smart Boy?