05 Jul Nintendo Flex Is The New Gameboy You’ve Been Waiting For
The Gameboy is without doubt the most recognised console of all time, so it’s about time a new gameboy concept was produced, just so we can tease our nostalgia nerves and internally cry on the inside knowing this thing will never truly exist. But it’s always nice to see what artists and graphic designers come up with.
The designer known as YJ Noon wanted to redesign the old classic into a metal Gameboy with a slight curve, using fresh metals, and modern day technology to transform it into something totally unique. There isn’t much detail or specifications on the new Gameboy itself, but we’ll take you through what could be its features.
What does the new Gameboy do exactly?
This new Gameboy handheld is no LDK Horizontal or Bittboy Pocket Go. This is a complete refresh of the original Gameboy, using very little plastic, fresh metal buttons and yes, wireless charging. First let’s start with the gorgeous display. Seeing as it’s sticking to the same width of it’s older brother, we can guess that this is going to be roughly a 3″-4″ display. It will of course be a touch display, allowing you too swipe to select games, and press with different amounts of force in games to do different things, because it has to have a touch pressure sensitive screen, right?
And while we are on the screen we can talk about why it’s called the Nintendo Flex. We’re certain it’s short for flexible, but we can’t see it being able to bend, or transform into some kind of Autobot. But if you look closely at the below pictures you will see that the screen actually bends with this smooth curvature, created to make your gaming experience that more immersive.
We’re not sure that would work well with a stylus, unless the handheld can actually bend, but it doesn’t look like so. The writing might get a little uncomfortable after a while, but it’s certainly able to partner with a stylus for some notes and a little bit of gameplay without wear on your fingers!
It’s a slight curve, nothing drastic. And that’s the look Mr Yoon is going for. A slight touch of modern technology with a smooth, curved, distinctive shell. Even the on/off button is minimalist. A simple circle lets you know what it is, and to the left of it are the high quality bass amplified speakers. Yoon mentions this:
“While playing a game, each players’ right palm would contact or completely cover the original GAME BOY’s corner, where the speaker was located. Taking this classic design element, yet user experience flaw into consideration, I have utilized the iconic detail while relocating the speaker to the top of the device, efficiently delivering sound from the closest point to the player.“
A simple change in speaker location will drastically change the sound experience received, and after pushing it to the top, we wonder, why the heck did Nintendo not do this in the first place?
Towards the front of the new Gameboy you can see everything is flush. None of the buttons, or even the screen for that matter is sticking out. Instead of helping the player feel the buttons with large, low quality plastic, Yoon has built them into the new Gameboy with a con-curved feel, and the same goes with the spaceship looking D-PAD.
Moving back to the top of the device, we mentioned the on/off switch, but there’s something special with this button. You can press it to turn on the new Gameboy, but if you ‘deep’ press it, it reveals what we can only explain is a stylus looking USB-C adapter that could also possibly be a tiny battery pack allowing you to charge your other technology on the go.
Once you to turn on the new Gameboy you are greeted with a neon light that sits on top of the device. This is to signal low battery, if it’s on or if something isn’t working on the inside. A neat, stealth feature that we really dig!
Towards the bottom of the new Gameboy, you get a better look at the slight flex throughout the device. Subtle, but it’s there. You’ll also see the USB-C port, a headphone jack, and towards the left hand side a touch sensitive contrast button, just like the Gameboy Pocket had.
The major down point to this new Gameboy is the lack of a cartridge slot, we want to play our cartridges, so what do we do!? Well, seeing as it is a modern Gameboy you can bet yourself you can download those games directly from the Nintendo Store, straight from the handheld. You won’t be able to download DS games obviously, but if developers created new games, and the old ones were available for cheap, this would be perfect, because let’s be honest, none of us like taking around 5 or more cartridges with us when we travel.!
Overall it looks like an incredible handheld that we would love to come true. Obviously, Yoon has no connection to Nintendo, but it’s always pleasant to see designers approaches to a new Gameboy. This one by far has to be our favourite, the modern use of metal, touch screens, a unique approach to its “flex” and the fact you can look at it and still see a Gameboy really makes us melt inside. Let’s hope Nintendo will one day renew the Gameboy.
Below are more pictures for you to enjoy.
A 26 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has a YouTube channel with 150,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.