Every culture has a different benchmark for when a boy becomes a man. But for handheld consoles, it apparently happens somewhere around the time that they’re upgraded with a colour screen and the ability to play NES games. But despite the status update, the Grumpy Modeler’s Nintendo Game Man still isn’t allowed to vote.
By today’s standards, the 5.8-inch tall original Game Boy was by no means a tiny handheld, but instead of taking advantage of modern electronics to miniaturise it like the people behind the FunKey S did, the Grumpy Modeler has gone the other direction and supersized it to create the beastly Game Man that just barely qualifies as a handheld. But it leaves plenty of room for a generously sized 5.6-inch full colour 640×480 LCD display which is a welcome upgrade to the original Game Boy’s 1.9-inch screen that boasted just 160×144 pixels.
The Game Man was created using a combination of a custom 3D-printed enclosure, a sacrificed NES and gamepad, and various third-party components that allow all the retro hardware inside to play nice together. But whereas many Game Boy mods look like a Frankenstein’s monster console that’s been hacked together in someone’s basement, the Grumpy Modeler’s creation has the polished finish of a legit Nintendo product, including custom labels on all the buttons.
There’s zero chance Nintendo is going to turn a hacker’s functional sight gag into a real product, so the Grumpy Modeler has shared not only all of their 3D printer source files for download but a long shopping list of all the components one would need to build their own, as well as random tips on how to put it all together. All you need to provide is the retro hardware that powers it and a fairly robust understanding of electronics and soldering.