This Game Boy can be played without a battery. How big is the brain hole of the handheld modification?

Ding, the phone has only 10% remaining battery power. Whether to turn on the power saving mode.

It is not the glare of the sun that makes people get up early on weekends, but the lack of battery power on the phone. In this era of increasing importance of mobile phones, battery anxiety has also become common.

Even if the fast charging has reached the height of 120W, fast charging is becoming more and more popular. Before the battery technology breaks through, you still have to worry about the insufficient battery power of the mobile phone. Most of the ways manufacturers increase the battery life are to increase the battery capacity.

▲The Mi 10 Extreme Commemorative Edition supports 120W wired fast charging

Computer scientist Winkel from Northwestern University and his partner recently proposed a new method. Since the battery is not environmentally friendly and is the biggest factor limiting battery life, it is better to remove the battery, so this Game Boy can run without a battery. born.

The Winkel team quickly released a live demonstration video of about 1 minute. This special Game Boy quickly attracted the interest of CNET and other media and reported.

"Game Boy" that runs without a battery

The device made by the Winkel team is called Engage, and it looks very similar in appearance to the Game Boy, with the same square shape, almost the same button layout, and classic elements such as the cross button.

Looking at the back of the Engage, the same card slot, the biggest difference between it and the Game Boy is the battery. Engage can run normally without a battery. From the demo video, the classic games "Tetris" and "Super Mario" can all run normally.

As for why I chose to imitate the Game Boy instead of other devices, I have to start with the team members.

In addition to Winkel, there are several Game Boy enthusiasts in the team. For them, Game Boy carries most of their childhood and is the source of childhood happiness.

Another member of the team, Josiah Hester, even said that he would bring a battery on every long-distance trip to prevent the Game Boy battery from running out of power.

The common interest made the team hit it off in an accidental brainstorm. Everyone started trying to make a Game Boy that can run without a battery, hoping that it can run for a long time.

At the same time, this is also conducive to protecting the environment. After all, waste batteries are not harmful to the ecological environment. They are extremely difficult to be decomposed by forests and other ecology, and batteries are often one of the main reasons for the scrap of electronic products.

In this way, everyone took the hot air gun and electric soldering iron to start the assembly development road. After a year of research and development, Engage was completed. After the Game Boy emulator is installed, it can run the game without a battery.

Why can an electronic product run without battery power?

The answer is the button of Engage and the circle of solar panels next to the screen. According to reports, the energy generated by the player pressing the button and the energy converted by the solar panels are the source of Engage's power.

▲ Picture from: scitechdaily

The energy required by different games is also different. A game with a simple screen like "Tetris" consumes less energy. Engage can continue to run under the right lighting conditions and keep pressing the button.

If it’s a game like "Super Mario" that has complex graphics and does not require quick button presses, the energy may be insufficient, causing Engage to shut down, but there is no need to worry too much. After pressing the button several times, wait a few seconds for Engage to obtain Enough energy will be awakened.

Of course, when Engage repeatedly jumps between the closed and open states, the game progress is also at risk of losing.

To this end, the Winkel team added a fast save technology to Engage. When it detects that Engage's energy is insufficient, the game progress is saved within a few milliseconds, and the game progress before closing can be continued when the energy is sufficient.

In addition, there is a pity that Engage does not produce sound effects, and the energy produced by solar energy and buttons is still a bit low.

From the perspective of the consumer market, Engage's product power is not strong, it is more like a concept product, a product that provides the industry with a new direction.

It can run without a battery, which means it is more environmentally friendly and has a longer lifespan. Related technologies are also useful for some products that consume less power and have low continuous power supply requirements.

The people who modified the Game Boy

Engage is not the first modified version of the Game Boy. There are many such cases. Some of them are more practical, some are purely for fun, and some are extensions of the Game Boy's capabilities.

Some time ago, a student named Cedrick Tan suddenly made a watermelon version of the Game Boy.

▲ Tan plays the Watermelon version of Game Boy on the subway

Compared with Engage, this watermelon version of the Game Boy looks a bit weird. Tan made a Game Boy emulator with Raspberry Pi and put it in a hollowed watermelon, plus buttons, display and other components. After that, it really got up and running and played "Pocket Monsters".

In the video posted by Tan, he walked around with this watermelon version of the Game Boy, which triggered a burst of laughter.

Nintendo’s Game Boy official peripherals have also become a source of inspiration for the transformation. In 1998, Nintendo launched a monochrome camera peripheral, which can be inserted into the handheld slot like a game cassette, and the Game Boy screen becomes The viewfinder, the picture taken is probably like this.

▲Picture from: WULFF DEN

The photographer Bastiaan Ekeler went even more crazy to add an adapter ring to this peripheral, so that it can switch the lens, in order to take better pictures.

Pixel-style photos taken with Game Boy have once become an aesthetic style, and you can see it on Instagram and other social media.

There is also an ultra-small Game Boy, only the size of a keychain, and the 1.5-inch screen can still run games normally.

Most of these products have been modified with a fun mentality, and the final effect is indeed more weird. In Game Boy handheld modification, the more common ones are function expansion or product repair.

GingerOfMods will plug Nintendo’s Wii game console into the same body of the Game Boy. In the demo video he uploaded, this device is called WiiBOY COLOR. It’s no problem to run Mario and other games. The number has greatly increased, and the same buttons of the Game Boy can also be used.

As a product launched in 1989, although the popularity of the Game Boy is not as good as it was when it was released, many retro console fans still pay attention to it. Before this, some players shared their own production for the Game Boy on the Gamasutra website. Jumping game "Sheep It Up! 》, and there is a matching physical cassette.

Some people made and repaired the Game Boy out of pure interest, and some people slowly made the Game Boy modified into a career.

When interest becomes career

Due to the powerful battery life and durability of the Game Boy, its life cycle is also at the forefront of a series of consoles. It has become a childhood memory of generations after generations. Whoever can take out a Game Boy when he is a child will definitely become a class. In the focus.

But more are children who can't afford a Game Boy. When they grow up and have the ability to live independently and make money, it is normal to buy a retro Game Boy handheld to satisfy themselves.

Therefore, the content of the Game Boy modification has received a lot of attention. We have reported on the open source retro game console before. Searching for the retro handheld in the e-commerce app, you can often see various products on sale. Most of them are 300-400. And installed a large number of game simulators.

In addition to Game Boy, it also supports SFC games, FC games, SNS games, etc. A retro console can play nearly a hundred games.

On YouTube, there are many content authors who specialize in making Game Boy modification and repair videos, and the playback volume is often not low. Nearly a million people watch a person soldering wires and screwing screws with an electric soldering iron.

It sounds like a large-scale "performance art", but it's actually just because you like it.

Eillot, who runs the The Retro future video channel, is a very famous Game Boy modifier. Although he has only 280,000 fans, which is not very large in the entire YouTube ecosystem, his channel has accumulated close to 40 million views.

The reason for refitting the Game Boy is nothing more than damage to the game console, replacement of better parts for a better operating experience, changing the color of the Game Boy, buttons, etc., Eillot once repaired a Game Boy of "battle damage" quality , The display on this handheld looks like it’s burned out.

After disassembling it, Eliot replaced the screen and other parts, cleaned the circuit board, and replaced it with a new battery. This Game Boy came back to life. For those who love handhelds, this is not a "brave save the princess" romantic story.

▲ The top is before repair, and the bottom is after repair. Picture from: The Retro future video screenshot

At the beginning of the 21st century, there were companies specializing in the production of Game Boy modified parts. Most of them provided different buttons and different colored plastic panels. Eillot also launched a lot of modified panel videos. However, this is not what Nintendo officially hopes. You must know that Nintendo itself has also launched a handheld with custom panels.

For Game Boy players, collecting different handhelds is also a pleasure. As an old player, Eillot owns many Game Boy handhelds. He also showed his favorite handhelds on Instagram.

Continued love has also made Game Boy modification an important business for Eillot.

According to Eillot's content subscription community, operating a video channel has become one of his main tasks, and he is happy with it. This is something he has always loved.

▲Game Boy posted by Eliot on Instagram

In addition to the YouTube channel, Eillot has also established a Facebook community, discussion channel, etc., so that more people can discuss the repair and transformation of Game Boy consoles in the community and share the fun of playing the console.

Of course, for life, Eillot also accepts donations from members, you can subscribe to his exclusive video tutorials for $5, and also sell various interesting channel peripherals and recommended modification tools.

In this way, there are many YouTubers, such as Retro Dodo . You can also see a lot of Game Boy modifications or retro game consoles on this channel. Like The Retro future, he is not very well-known in the entire YouTube ecosystem.

But their love for retro consoles such as Game Boy has gained them support, and this has become their business.

The title picture comes from: scitechdaily

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