The folks at Neowin made an exciting discovery at E3 this week. Originally teased as an April Fools’ joke over a year ago, Hyperkin’s Smart Boy was not only on the show floor with an updated design this year, it was also fully-functional, with a possible official release closer to December.
Designed to be a better way to play retro games on your smartphone without having to resort to awful on-screen touchscreen controls, the Smart Boy has a button layout, and color scheme, reminiscent of Nintendo’s original Game Boy. It even accepts classic Game Boy cartridges via a slot on the back, presumably via emulation hardware inside, and using a smartphone as just a display.
The only catch? Originally the Smart Boy was designed to be both an iPhone or Android smartphone accessory, but at E3 the hardware was only shown working with the latter. It’s not terribly surprising, though, given the abundance of Game Boy emulators available on the Google Play Store, versus the hurdles one has to jump through to play the games on iOS. Disappointing, but this is as good a reason as any for iOS devotees to jump ship to Android.