Nintendo is the undisputed ruler of the handheld video game console market.
From the release of the original Game Boy back in 1989 to the success of the 3DS, the company has seen off competition from Sega and Sony, dominating portable gaming for almost 30 years (40, if you count the Game and Watch series).
With the recent launch of the Switch, Nintendo has blurred the line between handheld and home consoles, creating a machine that is effectively both.
Say what you will about the House of Mario, but it’s managed to create a device with the power of a modern home gaming machine that’s small enough to fit in your coat pocket (depending on the coat).
Imagine then, for a moment, that in this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, someone decided to do the exact opposite: make something that could only display four shades of grey but was also big enough to use as a coffee table?
Enter Belgian student Ilhan Unal, who has built a giant working Game Boy that would require its own airplane seat if you tried to take it on holiday with you.
Clocking in at 101 cm tall, 62 cm wide and 20 cm deep, Ilhan’s oversized love letter to the classic machine means the 21-year-old holds the Guinness World Record for the Largest Game Boy in the world.
Designed on a computer in one week and taking a month to build, the chunky bit of kit plays any original Game Boy title – though mercifully it uses normal GB cartridges, so you don’t have to cart around a cupboard door-sized copy of Super Mario Land in a suitcase.
It even uses System Link like the good old days, so you can use a cable to connect to a friend’s regular Game Boy for awkward multiplayer action. The buttons might be harder to press, but its intimidating size probably awards you a psychological edge over your opponent.
Describing his inspiration behind the project, the thoroughly chuffed Ilhan said: “People who are able to bring smiles to other people’s faces are generally happier than other people.”
Reconnecting 30 and 40-somethings with their greeny grey-tinged youth is a noble quest: “The Game Boy made other people happy. It brought back their childhood. When I was a kid, that was what I wanted to do.”
Those of us who grew up with the Game Boy first time around are likely marvelling at the prospect of being able to play Tetris without having to spend 20 minutes finding the exact lighting angle at which the screen wasn’t rendered unplayable from the slightest hint of glare or shadow.
Unfortunately, if you fancy picking one of these up for yourself and pretending to be one of the characters from Land of the Giants (Google it, kids) then you’re out of luck, as the humongous handheld won’t be in shops any time soon.
While it’s a bit unwieldy to bring on your bus ride to work (and using it for a Tetris session would quickly result in full upper body cramp) we can all agree that it would be a darn sight easier – and less embarrassing – to use in public than the Nokia N-Gage, the notoriously awful pitta bread-shaped phone/gaming chimera.
If you fancy checking out other exquisitely excessive electronic entertainment endeavours, check out the new Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition which is out now.
Which handheld console deserves a giant version?
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