G-PAD – Turn your iPhone into a clunky Game Boy

Do you ever feel like your iPhone is just too sleek and sophisticated? Do you long for the clunkier feel of an old Nintendo Game Boy? If you answered “Yes”, then you’re in luck. The new G-Pad device could be for you. It works on iPhone 5, 5S and 5C, as well as with the iPad mini and iPod touch.

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Video games today are immersive experiences with hyper realistic graphics and action sequences. It’s a far cry from the 1990s, when Game Boys were the hot new thing. Graphics and game play were both a lot more simplistic then, and the enormous selection of games we enjoy now did not yet exist. If you loved Game Boy and you’re the old-fashioned kind of person when it comes to gaming, you’ll surely adore the G-PAD.

Game Boy is back; on the iPhone

An inventor who’s an avid fan of retro-style gaming has created a device that will turn your iPhone into one of those old Game Boys. It is a sleeve made of silicone that you slide over your iPhone. It then gives you the same type of physical controls that the old Game Boy had.

The original handheld Game Boy consoles from Nintendo worked with game cartridges, which let you play 8-bit games on a screen with a black and white display. It had four buttons to operate it, labeled Select, A, B, and Start. There was also a simple directional pad. The unit had a volume control on one side, and a knob to adjust the contrast on the other side.

The Game Boy units were an enormous success when they hit the market. In the United States, the entire shipment of consoles was sold out in a few weeks. Between the black and white version and the later color model, about 119 million Game Boys were sold worldwide.

Let’s have a closer look at the G-Pad

Aws Jan, a designer based in London, came up with the idea of the G-Pad, and created the first prototypes. You slide the sleeve over your iPhone, and a Gameboy simulator app named GBA4iOS then lets you play the old Nintendo standards on your iPhone. The simulator normally has touch screen controls displayed on your phone. The sleeve positions silicone buttons over those touch screen controls, so that you can play with the physical buttons instead of the touch screen.

Jan stated that you do not need any additional software to use his device with your favorite Game Boy selections. It does not need Bluetooth connectivity, and there is a chance that the G-Pad could work with certain other games, too.

The designer created a few dozen prototypes of his device built using a 3D printer. He has listed the product on Indiegogo, a crowd funding site. He hopes to raise enough money through this means to begin production of the units. People can donate $13 to help kickstart the project, which will enable them to reserve a sleeve for themselves. When production is started, the estimated product cost will be about $33, so why not get is earlier for $13?

Aws Jan is not affiliated with Nintendo, and it is not clear if the company would raise any legal issues related to the device if and when production begins and the product is available for sale. Nintendo has a US patent for the Game Boy that dates from 1993, even though their earliest consoles came out in 1989. It looks like the G-PAD’s release date will be sometime in August this year, provided that the developers will raise enough money to have it mass-produced.

This article is being authored by an experienced writer and blogger Michael Clark. He runs a number of online gaming sites including Dirt Bike Games 365 where you can play all your favorite bike games.


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