Nintendo’s Game Boy Color almost had the internet, live streaming, and email
An accessory was planned for Nintendo’s Game Boy Color that would have allowed consumers to surf the web, live stream and use email.
Nintendo’s Game Boy, and its semi-successor the Game Boy Color, released at a time when the internet was just starting to reach the masses and live streaming was something innovative minds couldn’t dream of. Years before the oldest smartphones hit the market and the idea of having endless information in the palm of your hand, Nintendo came up with a never-before-seen accessory called PageBoy. This unique add-on is said to have changed the landscape of gaming and allowed Internet access unprecedented at the time.
Video game historian Liam Robertson details the PageBoy in his latest video, uncovering lost footage and information about the all-new Game Boy Color add-on. Originally, the PageBoy was to use radio transmission technology to allow its users to access the web, read game magazines, weather reports, sports statistics, and even watch live TV. It would even allow its users to send messages and contact other people with a PageBoy, using the same type of technology as pagers, hence the name of the PageBoy.
Nintendo was excited about the technology at the time because it would really put it on the precipice of the tech world, essentially allowing its users to access the first smartphone without all of the phone look. In 1999, Nintendo worked with a newly formed group called the Wizard to help with the startup and management of the device, working to see if the Game Boy Color add-on could actually be created and if it would be profitable for the giant. video game.
In the end, the PageBoy’s reliance on radio transmission technology and its use of radio towers very widely present in the United States killed any chance of the device being created. While Nintendo was extremely impressed with the ability of users to send footage using the Game Boy camera and the company’s ability to send live video to PageBoy owners, the radio transmission was going to seriously limit the appeal of the add-on. Nintendo was adamant about the Game Boy’s universal appeal and simplicity, and the PageBoy would ultimately go against that philosophy.
The Big N ended up abandoning the development of the PageBoy in July 2002 after much deliberation. Of course, the many aspects of the device have become extremely prevalent in modern society and in many Nintendo devices that have followed. His idea of live video eventually developed into the Nintendo Directs that fans still receive today and the idea of sending messages and images to others would feature in the Nintendo DS ‘Pictochat feature and the Miiverse of the Wii U. Still, it’s very interesting that Nintendo envisioned a technology that is now taken for granted for the Game Boy Color in 1999. One wonders what other modern technology Nintendo left on the hall floor. cutting in recent years.
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