Everything We Know About The Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy Clone

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy

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Thanks to a recent video posted by Taki Udon, we now have some pretty solid information about the upcoming Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy Color clone.

This is not the first we have heard of this upcoming FPGA console. In fact, we had covered the Funnyplaying Game Boy Clone back in January, so it’s been almost one year since the first mention of this upcoming handheld.

But after the very rocky release of the Retro Pixel Pocket, we have approached all things Funnyplaying with strong caution.

So even though we’ve seen a few posts related to the new FPGA project, we’ve waited for some solid reviews from users that we trust.

Thanks to the thorough walkthrough by Taki, we are getting a clear idea of what to expect from Funnyplaying in the near future.

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy Color

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy
Image Source: Taki Udon

The device provided to Taki Udon for review purposes came unassembled, so he needed to build it himself before testing it.

What came with the kit were the display, outer shell, buttons, battery, and the FPGA board. Many of this parts are exactly what you would get if you purchase them to upgrade an existing Game Boy Color from Funnyplaying.

It is currently unknown if Funnyplaying will only sell DIY kits or will also offer pre-assembled consoles.

I don’t entirely hate the idea of them only selling the kit that you build yourself to help people have a better understanding of how an original Game Boy looked on the inside.

This also creates more of a sentimental connection to the handheld, since you made it with your own hands.

The assembly required no soldering; Just put the pieces together correctly and a few cables to plug in. Once complete, the Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy Color looks nearly identical to an original GBC.

The main physical difference at first glance will be the display, which outputs the image at a much larger size than an original Game Boy Color or even a modified Game Boy Color that uses Funnyplaying’s own IPS display kits.

Compared to a modified GBC IPS display, the output is about 115% sized. And the new display is approximately 125% of an original GBC screen. That’s a pretty massive upgrade to the original Game Boy’s output.

Like an original Game Boy, this device has an actual game cartridge slot. And it is only ever intended to play original game cartridges.

You will never be able to play ROM files on this console like you can on an emulation device or the Analogue Pocket.

FPGA Experience

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy
Image Source: Taki Udon

If we can use Take Udon’s video as an indication, it would seem that Funnyplaying’s new device still has some work to do to get the FPGA tuned properly.

Taki ran a few clock tests to check if the game play gets out of sync compared to real hardware. And the FPGA clone could not keep the same pace as an original Game Boy Color.

This does not mean that most users will notice a difference when playing their favorite games. But it is certainly not 100% accurate as you would hope that any FPGA would be.

There also seems to be quite a lot of game compatibility issues. There are many games that just will not load on your first attempt.

Swapping between the Game Boy and Game Boy Color core will sometimes help resolve this issue. But we really shouldn’t have to go in and change our settings for each and every game we want to play.

Even using the Game Boy link cable seems to cause graphical errors in some cases.

So using Taki’s experience as our measure, we think that the Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy Color clone is pretty far from achieving the same accurate results as something like the Analogue Pocket.

Early Impressions

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy
Image Source: Taki Udon

This is a great example of just how difficult it is to create a perfect handheld console.

We have so many incredible options on the market now, so we act entitled to perfection. And I am absolutely guilty of this entitlement behavior.

If we look at what happened with the release of Funnyplaying’s Retro Pixel Pocket, we can see what happens when an inexperienced company attempts to deliver a new handheld.

An emulator inside a Game Boy Pocket sounded like my perfect handheld emulator. And Funnyplaying totally missed the mark with that device. I have heard that they are hoping to do a V2 that will correct some of those mistakes, but I think it’s a lost cause.

They have been spending most of their time on this new FPGA Game Boy Color clone. So we can only hope that they continue to improve the software experience and nail it this time around.

Taki Udon mentions that Funnyplaying has told him their FPGA Game Boy will retail for around $69USD for the entire kit.

I find that hard to believe considering that if we purchase their IPS screen kit, an outer shell, buttons, and rechargeable battery, it would cost over $80usd (before shipping). And that does not include a custom built FPGA board.

Funnyplaying FPGA Game Boy

Only time will tell, but again – we are approaching this new device from Funnyplaying with caution.

If Funnyplaying can offer an FPGA Game Boy Color clone for under $100, this would absolutely be an incredible option for those interested in original hardware or what the Analogue Pocket is doing, but at a more affordable price.

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