Just when you think the Gameboy line can’t surprise us anymore, news reaches us about a cancelled peripheral called the Gameboy Color Pageboy…
… and believe me when I say that this little device could have totally change the 2000s!
That’s a bold statement, I know, but hear me out.
For reasons that’s we shall soon discover, Nintendo created and then shelved this nifty little add-on, an accessory that could have put them at the forefront of messaging in a time when texts were coming into their own.
Not only that, but this thing could have changed the way we viewed content and beaten Apple to the handheld information station game.
I’ll stop teasing now; let’s delve into what this thing can do and find out what we’ve been missing out on for all these years.
Featured Image Credit – Voice of Time Online/ign
Checking Out The Gameboy Color Pageboy
Here it is folks, the unreleased Gameboy Color Pageboy in all its glory. Just take a look at it for a second and imagine holding it in your hands…
… ok, fun’s over; time to move on.
Thank’s to video gamings most illustrious spy Liam Robertson, news of the Pageboy has reached the wider world, and gamers everywhere are cursing their rotten luck that they never got to use one.
Why Nintendo, whyyyy!
So just what is the Gameboy Color Pageboy?
Well, remember when pagers were all the rage (and did you ever get page rage when they didn’t work)? Well, the Pageboy was designed around the same two way frequencies that connected pagers together.
If you were born after the year 2010 and have no idea what pagers are, then imagine texting on small boxes clipped to your belt.
The Gameboy Color Pageboy would have allowed GBC users to send and receive messages and emails over long distances back in the late 90s and even today.
What’s more, we could have browsed web pages on it too and checked out Nintendo Direct-style announcements.
Bear in mind that this device was set to drop over two decades ago, and the Switch still can’t do any of those things…
Why Did the Pageboy Never Take Off?
Pitched back in 1999 by brothers Eddie and Christopher Gill, the Gameboy Color Pageboy received lots of praise from Nintendo.
Those names might sound familiar to any Nintendo historians out there, as Eddie Gill worked on an accessory called the Workboy which converted our favourite handheld into a mini PC with a keyboard.
Ok, so it’s not exactly the Creoqode Lyra, but it was a start… except that the Workboy was scrapped too…
… not a good record for the Gill bros so far…
Unfortunately, the world just wasn’t ready for the Pageboy, which meant that it slipped off the radar and never became a reality.
The reason; data networks across Europe and Japan being far too costly. That meant that it would only have ever received a release for NTSC gamers, and they just didn’t see the appeal.
Just imagine if this had actually have dropped; we could have been checking the weather on our GBCs and emailing clients while playing Zelda. That’s the dream!
The Pageboy’s Legacy
Of course, it wasn’t all bad news for the Pageboy in the end. A lot of the work that went into the programs on it were used in other Nintendo products instead.
The weather app shown in the feature image eventually went on to become the weather app on the Wii.
I guess the sun did shine on the Gill bros after all!
But the question still remains; will the Nintendo Switch Pro get some of the same features that the Gameboy Color Pageboy boasted back in 1999?
Would you like to send emails, browse the web, and text your friends from your Switch? Join the conversation over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.