Monday, May 23rd, 2022

Pageboy would have brought messaging, the early forms of Nintendo Direct, etc. to Game Boy Color.

A Page Boy, a canceled Game Boy Color add-on, has been discovered. If released, it would bring messaging, web browsing, and even early Nintendo Direct to Nintendo’s beloved handheld.

Video game historian Liam Robertson I shared the details of this lost Game Boy Color add-on with a new one DidYouKnowGaming Game History Secret Video? He then revealed a story about how it has become and, ultimately, how it was shelved in 2002.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Following his work on another lost and unreleased GameBoy add-on known as WorkBoy, it would have brought PDA-like features such as rosters, calculators, and booking books to Nintendo’s handhelds-Source Research and Development. Eddie Gil started looking for new ideas.

Gil still believes in many of the features that will exist in Workboy and has begun to work towards building a Game Boy Color “workboy spiritual continuation with its own new ideas.”

Work began in earnest in 1997, and Gil brought in his brother Christopher Gill to support the technical aspects of things.

Gil’s dream for Page Boy is to allow Game Boy Color owners to view the Internet, get news updates, and communicate with each other over long distances by sending messages, photos, and emails. did.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Communication works using radio waves that use the same frequencies used by most bidirectional pagers at the time. From this technical aspect, it was named Page Boy and a company called Wizard was founded.

Early on, Gil knew that Nintendo needed full support to make this dream come true, so he focused on that mission. Gil had no “formal invasion” with Nintendo at the time, but he was still in contact with former Nintendo executive Frank Burrows as they were working on WorkBoy together.

Ballouz arrived and was able to meet Wizards in 1999 in Nintendo’s United States with “high officials” including NOA President Minoru Arakawa, Chairman Howard Lincoln, and Engineering Director Wayne Alan Shark.

Next, Gil announced the pageboy pitch. It included a technical breakdown of how it worked and a concept art image of both hardware and software. The wizard also commissioned a physical model of the device to show what it would look like when connected to Game Boy Color.

Robertson was able to get this visual presentation, the software was deeply themed around Mario, and “the wizard himself took in even the music and voice acting from Mario’s games.” Even shows.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

One of Mario’s looks is the “Ask Mario” feature, which acts like a search engine that users can use to search for “various queries such as items for sale.” Mario even spoke to users throughout the experience and even whistled Super Mario Bros.’s iconic theme song as the page loaded.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Another recommended use for Page Boy is to allow Game Boy Color owners to read the latest issue of Nintendo Power on their devices. Even more ambitious, I dreamed of building a “Game Boy” Live TV “” feature that would allow Pageboy to receive “live broadcasts from Nintendo that display exclusive information about future products in real time.”

Yes, Gill and Wizard have been trying to spread Nintendo Direct to the world for over a decade before it was officially introduced. And you may have a segment that shows the high score submitted by the player.

In addition to game previews and reviews, Page Boy provides users with access to world news, sports scores and weather. In particular, the weather characteristics were similar to those found on the Wii Weather Channel.

As for the message, the user should have been able to enter the message in Game Boy Color and “choose pre-installed animations, music and themes to bring them to life”. In addition, the device connects with existing Game Boy accessories such as Game Boy cameras to allow users to send photos to each other and Game Boy printers to print users’ messages.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

There were even plans to implement a telephone system that would allow users to send email. This was the only surcharge paid to the Page Boy owner and the user had to call the number and compose an email with the help of the operator.

They could choose a style, dictate a message, and give the operator the recipient’s pageboy address to send it.

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Image Credit: Liam Robertson-DidYouKnowGaming? -The secret of game history

Nintendo’s reaction to this presentation was “one of the immediate attractions.” Arakawa believes that there is a chance of commercial success, and has illuminated an internal investigation into how Nintendo can bring it to market with a green light.

Nintendo then agreed to work with the Wizard on this project (coded by Cheetah), and after Gil signed on as Nintendo’s design consultant in 1999, “Page Boy was an in-house created first party. Was seen as an addition to-for the Game Boy line of the system. “

As development progressed, Nintendo was looking for the idea of ​​having PageBoy unlock limited in-game items, unlike what Nintendo’s amiibo is currently doing. It also incorporated some of WorkBoy’s features like a watch display, and would have had a belt clip and vibration feature for those who want to wear it like a cell phone or pager.

Nintendo liked the idea of ​​Page Boy, but really wanted it to appeal to the world. “The possibilities weren’t as strong as initially believed,” so this will eventually be undone.

History of (almost) all Nintendo accessories so far

PageBoy should be limited to the North American market as there is no cost-effective duplex wireless data network covering Japan and Europe. This resulted in “Nintendo’s management returning to its headquarters in Japan, which was seen as contrary to the core appeal of the device.”

“Nintendo wanted it to be widely available and functional around the world, and they believed that this was the key to success,” Robertson said.

After Nintendo reached this conclusion, it decided in 2002 to permanently shelve Page Boy.

Although Pageboy never reached the finish line, many of the ideas sought for Pageboy were used in future Nintendo products and marketing campaigns.

No actual PageBoy prototype has been created so far, and in addition to the possibility that Nintendo holds some of the physical models shared on the first pitch, it’s the only one ahead of the era of this device. Records are these stories and presentations that are thankfully preserved. Something like Liam Robertson.

Do you have a hint? Want to discuss a possible story?Please send an email to [email protected]..

Adam Bankhurst is an IGN news writer. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst from Cramps.