YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming, best known for its insightful videos about gaming trivia, recently released a new video that looks specifically at the Game Boy Advance’s design and creation. Some interesting tidbits include how it was originally supposed to have cellphone connectivity and how Nintendo strived for backwards compatibility despite hurdles.
Announced in 1999 and originally codenamed Project Atlantis, the Game Boy Advance launched in 2001. Originally, Nintendo ambitiously wanted it to be like a handheld Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and early dev kits show a SNES controller attached to circuit boards. The team also experimented with cellphone connectivity, which they hoped would allow users to play multiplayer games, enter chatrooms, and read emails on the system.
These ideas didn’t come to fruition, but other innovations did. The team faced issues when wanting to incorporate backwards compatibility to the system, and research and engineering general manager Satoru Okada finally found a solution.
The video also looks at some peculiar but fascinating add-ons that were sold separately. For example, the GlucoBoy accessory could be used with the Game Boy Advance, which gave incentive to young gamers battling diabetes to check their glucose levels. Each time they took a measurement, the GlucoBoy would reward them with points that could be used to buy in-game content or unlock other games on the Game Boy Advance.
Another concept was a DVD player that can play Game Boy Advance games. Because it was a specialty item, it was only sold at car dealerships. Watch the video below to learn more.
You can check out other videos from the Did You Know Gaming channel covering Tingle, Super Smash Bros., Deus Ex, Shadow of the Colossus, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Super Mario Galaxy, Dark Souls, Metal Gear Solid 3, Super Mario RPG, Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Wario, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Batman: Arkham Asylum, the history of the Wii U, NES, PlayStation 2, Nintendo 64, the 3DS, DS, and two covering the Game Boy by hitting the links.