As beloved as the Game Boy Camera remains decades after its 1998 debut, it’s still saddled with a big technological hurdle: getting the photos off the device for archival and sharing purposes. A myriad of solutions have been created over the years, from cables to cartridge adapters, but none as simple to use as Matt Gray’s wireless adapter.
When it first debuted, the only way to really preserve the black and white, pixelated, 128x112-pixel images the Game Boy Camera snapped (it could only hold 30 shots before you needed to permanently delete them) was through the Game Boy Printer accessory, which created hard copies on thermal paper that doesn’t exactly stand the test of time. Companies like Mad Catz created special link cables and Windows apps that could pull images off the console, but they’re extremely hard to come by now, and who wants to run to their laptop to dump photos when we all carry around extremely sophisticated pocket computers?
Gray’s Game Boy Camera Fast Wifi Adapter is powered by two specific pieces of hardware hidden away inside a custom 3D-printed enclosure: a Raspberry Pi Zero W and a GBxCart RW which is a device that emulates the original Game Boy’s cartridge slot allowing ROM files, save games, and other data stored on game carts—like photographs—to be backed up to a computer.
Using the adapter looks incredibly easy, and it doesn’t even require the Game Boy hardware. The camera simply slots into the top of the adapter which pulls the images from the camera roll and makes them available over wifi on a website that can be accessed from a smartphone’s web browser, or really any device imaginable that can join a wireless network and load a web page.
Although Gray could easily make a small fortune mass-producing their wireless Game Boy Camera adapter, they don’t appear to have any plans to put them into production, unfortunately. They have, however, shared a thorough breakdown of how it was built on GitHub, including downloads for the custom software they wrote, and even the model files for the 3D-printed enclosure.