Game Boy Player
Game Boy Player under a GameCube
ManufacturerNintendo
Product familyGameCube
TypeVideo game console add-on
GenerationSixth generation era
Release date
  • JP: March 21, 2003
  • EU: June 20, 2003
  • NA: June 24, 2003
MediaROM cartridge
InputGame Boy Advance games
Backward
compatibility
Game Boy, Game Boy Color
PredecessorSuper Game Boy 2
RelatedGameCube

The Game Boy Player (ゲームボーイプレーヤー, Gēmu Bōi Purēyā) (DOL-017) is a GameCube peripheral developed by Nintendo which enables it to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance cartridges, allowing those games to be played on a television.

It connects via the high speed parallel port at the bottom of the GameCube and requires use of a boot disc to access the hardware. Rather than emulating a Game Boy system, the Game Boy Player uses physical hardware nearly identical to that of a Game Boy Advance. The device does not use the enhanced effects used by the Super Game Boy (a similar peripheral for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System).[1] The peripheral received mainly positive reviews from critics.

Design and features

Before the Game Boy Player, Nintendo's partner Intelligent Systems made the Wide Boy 64 AGB, a Game Boy Advance player that worked through a Nintendo 64. This developer tool was later turned into the Game Boy Player and sold to consumers.

The Game Boy Player is available in Indigo, Black, Spice, or Platinum in Japan; Black in North America and Europe[2] and Black and Indigo in Australia. A special Game Boy Player for the Panasonic Q (SH-GB10-H) was released because the Q's legs are oriented differently from the original GameCube's. All Game Boy Players have screws on the bottom to secure it to the bottom of the GameCube and also have an eject button on the right side of the unit for removing Game Boy Advance games. Game Boy and Game Boy Color games stick out from the unit, as with the Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Advance SP, so they can easily be taken out when the system is off or "Change Cartridge" has been selected from the menu.

Unlike some GameCube accessories, including the Advance Game Port,[3] Game Boy Player is not compatible with the Wii directly. The Wii lacks the hi-speed port of the GameCube into which the Game Boy Player fits; in addition, the Game Boy Player matches the GameCube's footprint. The Wii has a substantially different footprint, making direct compatibility too complicated to be included.

The Game Boy Player is region free, meaning the units will function on any GameCube system regardless of region, and like the Game Boy Advance, it will play cartridges of any region. However, the boot discs are region locked and must match the region of the GameCube system.

Controllers

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The Game Boy Player allows for control either through a GameCube controller or a Game Boy Advance or Game Boy Advance SP hooked up with a GameCube-Game Boy Advance Cable. When using a Game Boy Advance, the buttons are identical, but due to the GameCube controller's different layout, there are two different mappings players can use. Also, at least one GameCube controller must be plugged in for access to the Game Boy Player's internal menu, which can be accessed by pressing the Z button.

All controllers, Game Boy Advances, and Game Boy Advance SPs connected to the GameCube are recognized as the same player. This allows a sort of co-op mode for games that do not normally have it (this was most likely not intended by Nintendo). Furthermore, allowing for multiple controllers recognized as the same player allows for simpler and more comfortable play of single system multiplayer Game Boy Advance games, such as those found in Mario Party Advance, in lieu of up to four players holding one Game Boy Advance unit.

In order to link other hardware, players are required to connect to the extension port on the Game Boy Player with the proper cable, which depends on whether the game was designed for Game Boy Advance or a Game Boy system released before the Game Boy Advance.

GameCube Button GBA Equivalent - Map One GBA Equivalent - Map Two
Control Stick/Directional Pad Directional Pad Directional Pad
A/B Buttons A/B Buttons A/B Buttons
L/R Buttons L/R Buttons Select
X/Y Buttons Select L/R Buttons
Start/Pause Button Start Button Start Button
C Stick Not Used Directional Pad
Z Button Open Menu Open Menu

Map One is closer to the Game Boy Advance's normal layout, while Map Two makes it easier to play with one hand and also allows some SNES rereleases to control more like they may have with the SNES controller, as they often had the Y button mapped to L and the X button mapped to R.

Second party controllers

Hori manufactured a controller similar to the Super Famicom/Super NES for use with the Game Boy Player.

Japanese hardware manufacturer Hori created for the Japanese market a special digital-only controller designed for use with the Game Boy Player. The design of the controller is similar to the design of the SNES controller, but with the GameCube's face button layout. In addition, there is a Select button on the controller mapped to the Y button internally.

On-screen menu

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The menu has six options to choose from:

Compatibility

The Game Boy Player supports the following:

The Wireless Adapter plugged in to a Game Boy Player

Compatibility issues

The instruction manual for the Game Boy Player specifically mentions that "A few original Game Boy Game Paks may have display or sound problems," and that "Motion sensor [...], rumble feature and infrared feature Game Paks will not work with the Game Boy Player."[4] The following list concerns Game Boy Advance games and accessories that have compatibility issues, be they software or physical hardware, with the Game Boy Player:

Rumble enabled

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The Game Boy Player added a rumble feature to certain Game Boy Advance games when played with a GameCube controller. Those games included:

Reception

Reception was mainly positive — many review sites cited how Nintendo effectively increased the GameCube's library by hundreds of games with the Game Boy Player, something that some reviewers praised[8] and others mocked as a cheap ploy.[9]

IGN mentioned that the filtering that the Game Boy Player uses (to relieve strobe effect on games using a flicker trick to make sprites seem transparent) "muddies" some of the graphics.[10]

Advance Game Port

Datel's version of the Game Boy Player was released in 2003.[11] This dongle connects to Memory Card Slot B and can be booted up with the included boot disc. Later models have code generators for built in cheat devices.[12] The advantage is that no removal of plates on the bottom, nor tools, are needed to install it. Unlike the Game Boy Player, the Advance Game Port utilizes software emulation, causing numerous audio and video issues in many games.[13]

Up until System Menu 3.0's release, and later the dawn of Wii homebrew, this was also the only way of running Game Boy Advance games on the Wii — because, as the Wii lacks the correct port, the Game Boy Player cannot be used. Before System Menu 3.0, the Wii allowed unofficial GameCube software, such as this and Action Replay. As the dongle plugs into the Memory Card Slot, it was fully compatible with the Wii.[3] System Menu 3.0 prevented unofficial GameCube software from running, rendering this unusable. With the dawn of Wii homebrew, it is now possible to run the Game Boy lineup of games via an emulator.

See also

References

  1. ^ Frear, Dave (October 8, 2011). "Remembering the Super Game Boy". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020.
  2. ^ "IGN Game Boy Q&A". IGN. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  3. ^ a b Kuefler (2007-06-03). "What Happened to Datel's Advance Game Port?". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
  4. ^ a b c d "Nintendo.com - Game Boy Player Instruction Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-12-21. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  5. ^ Nintendo - Customer Service Game Boy Advance - Game Boy Advance Video FAQ Retrieved 2011-11-05
  6. ^ Doolan, Liam (20 October 2021). "Random: VTuber Korone Plays Gyro-Enabled GBA Title WarioWare Twisted! With A GameCube". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 26 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Game Boy micro Accessories". Nintendo Support. Nintendo of America. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  8. ^ Liu, Johnny (July 2003). "Game Boy Player - Gamecube Hardware Review". GameRevolution. Archived from the original on March 3, 2004.
  9. ^ "Firing Squad review of Game Boy Player". July 4, 2003. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  10. ^ Harris, Craig (June 13, 2003). "IGN.com Game Boy Player review". IGN. Archived from the original on Jan 14, 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  11. ^ Bramwell, Tom (16 October 2003). "Datel to launch portable GB Player alternative". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020.
  12. ^ Bramwell, Tom (6 July 2004). "Advance Game Port gets cheat code support". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on May 28, 2020.
  13. ^ RedboX (Nov 11, 2003). "Advance Game Port - www.64scener.com". Archived from the original on May 28, 2020.