Game Boy Player

Game Boy Player

Infobox CVG system
title = "Game Boy Player"
logo =

caption=Game Boy Player usage sample: Controller and GBA are equivalent, GBA SP is recognized as another player
manufacturer = Nintendo
type = Accessory
generation = Sixth generation
lifespan = JP Mar 20, 2003
EU June 20, 2003
NA June 24, 2003
media = Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance cartridges
onlineservice =
unitssold =
topgame =
backwards =
predecessor = Super Game Boy
successor =
The Game Boy Player is a device made by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube which enables Game Boy (although Super Game Boy enhancements are ignored), Game Boy Color, or Game Boy Advance cartridges 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. The hardware in the "Game Boy Player" is the same as a Game Boy Advance without the screen or batteries. The "Game Boy Player" plays "most" GB, GBA and GBC games (see Compatibility).

Design and features

The "Game Boy Player" is available in Indigo, Black, Spice, or Platinum in Japan; Black in North America and Europe cite web |url= |title=IGN Game Boy Q&A |accessdate=2007-03-06] and Black and Indigo in Australia. A special "Game Boy Player" for the Panasonic Q was released because the Q's legs are oriented differently than 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 just be pulled out when the system is off or Change Cartridge has been selected from the menu. Prototypes have featured a storage compartment on the left side of the "Game Boy Player",Fact|date=June 2008 but it is not featured in the retail product.

One interesting feature of the "Game Boy Player" is that of being able to set a timer from one to sixty minutes. Unlike some Nintendo GameCube accessories including Advance Game Port cite web |url= |title=What Happened to Datel’s Advance Game Port|accessdate=2007-07-24] , "Game Boy Player" is not compatible with the Wii. 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 compatibility too complicated to be included.


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 you can use. Also, at least one GameCube controller must be plugged in for access 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 don't normally have it (most likely this was 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". This is in lieu of up to four players wrapping their hands around one Game Boy Advance unit.

If players want to link other hardware, they'll need 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.

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 R and the X button mapped to L.

Third party controllers

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

The menu has six options to choose from:
*Frame: changes the colored border around the game "screen" to one of twenty different patterns. Super Game Boy borders are not supported.
*Size: changes the size that the GBA screen takes up on the TV (Normal is about 80% and appears sharper on some sets, while Full enlarges the image to the left and right edges of the TV)
*Controller: switches between the two controller mappings
*Screen: controls a motion blur effect to reduce potential flicker from programming tricks designed for a GBA screen. Can be set to "sharp" (no blurring), "normal" (some blurring), or "soft" (more blurring).
*Timer: set an alarm for one to sixty minutes
*Change Cartridge: stops the game so cartridges can be swapped safely, without having to turn the GameCube off (it is best to save game data before doing so)


The "Game Boy Player" supports the following:

*Game Boy Game Paks: compatible with most Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. Exceptions below.

*E-Reader: compatible with the E-Reader accessory, as well as all "Mario Party-e", "", "Animal Crossing-e", Classic games, and "Pokémon Battle-e" cards.

*Nintendo GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable: can be used to connect a GBA or GBA SP to a GBP to use as a controller, and to play games with 2-4 players.

*Wireless Adapter: the GBP fully supports the use of a Wireless Adapter, and will work with all games compatible with the accessory.

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"."cite web|url=| - Game Boy Player Instruction Manual|accessdate=2008-09-19] The following list concerns Game Boy Advance gamesaccessories that have compatibility issues, be they software or physical hardware, with the "Game Boy Player":

*GBA Video: For copyright reasons, the GBA Video series is incompatible with the "Game Boy Player" (those involved feared that users could use a television recording device to copy the shows off the cartridge).Fact|date=March 2008 The "Game Boy Player" detects the GBA Video carts and refuses to boot them giving an error message. Even if the carts were playable on the Player (which they are through the use of flash carts and Action Replay), the resolution was greatly reduced for the GBA medium, causing pixelation and sound pops that a large screen with louder speakers would pick up.

*Action Replay/Gameshark: Most models of the Action Replay or Gameshark for the GBA or GBC are too wide to fit into the GBPs cartridge slot and often curl underneath the "Game Boy Player" system. This problem can be averted by modifying the device or through use of a ledge.

*Motion sensors: "Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble" for Game Boy Color, and "Yoshi's Universal Gravitation" ("Yoshi Topsy-Turvy" in North America), "", and the Japan-only Koro Koro Puzzle Happy Panechu! for Game Boy Advance, all use motion sensors. While they are all able to be displayed on-screen, they cannot be controlled properly due to the motion-sensing being designed with a Game Boy unit in mindcite web|url=| - Game Boy Player Instruction Manual|accessdate=2008-09-19] and tilting the GameCube itself would be completely impractical. There are motion sensing patches for some of the ROM images of the Game Boy Advance games to allow for use on the "Game Boy Player" cite web |url= |title=PocketHaven ROM Patches |accessdate=2006-12-17] , but these methods are neither legal, nor possible without a flash cart.

*Flash Cartridges: Some flash carts will not work on the "Game Boy Player", possibly because they are not condoned, or even licensed by Nintendo themselves.

*"Boktai cartridges": Both game cartridges are shaped so that they do not fit into the "Game Boy Player" properly; they raise the console off the ground. Since the games are equipped with light sensors, use on the "Game Boy Player" is impractical.cite web|url=| - Game Boy Player Instruction Manual|accessdate=2008-09-19]

*Game Boy micro: A "Game Boy micro" cannot be connected to the "Game Boy Player" via link cable. The equipment required for a link-up is a Game Boy micro Link Cable and a Game Boy micro Converter Connector, along with a Game Boy micro and "Game Boy Player". The Converter Connector is built in such a way that the protruding piece of plastic on top prevents it from being inserted into the "Game Boy Player" all the way. It is interesting to note that Nintendo explicitly mentions on their [ website] the possibility of such a linkup: " [The Converter Connector] is required to link a Game Boy micro to a Game Boy Advance system (including the "Game Boy Player") for multiplayer action." However, by separating the two pieces of plastic on the end of the Converter Connector that connects to a Game Boy Advance, a linkup between a "Game Boy micro" and "Game Boy Player" becomes possible. This, of course, voids any and all warranties on the Converter Connector.

*Games with Integrated Rumble for Game Boy Color: If inserted into the "Game Boy Player", games like Pokémon Pinball will display the game properly and are completely playable, but there are two issues with these carts: First, the carts do not fit into the player as easily as most other carts do, and second, that the rumble feature is not accessible to the player when played on the "Game Boy Player" since the cart is intended to provide haptic feedback through the Game Pak itself, not a GameCube controller.cite web|url=| - Game Boy Player Instruction Manual|accessdate=2008-09-19]

*Action PadBeat Pad - Sensitivity and time sync issues interfere with proper control of the 5 games in the DDR GB series.

*Pocket Music - The Game Boy Color version is not compatible with the "Game Boy Player". Instead an error message is displayed saying that it is designed for use with the Game Boy Color "only".

*Game Boy Camera - The camera itself would be in a fixed position (facing up or down) making its use impractical.

Rumble enabled

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

*Drill Dozer

In addition, the homebrew Game Boy emulator for Game Boy Advance called Goomba has rumble when used with the "Game Boy Player" while emulating Game Boy Color games that support rumble.


Reception was mainly positivecite web|url=|title=IGN: Game Boy Player Preview|accessdate=2008-09-19] - many review sites cited how Nintendo effectively increased the Game Cube's library by hundreds of games with the "Game Boy Player", something that was praisedcite web|url=| Game Boy Player review|accessdate=2008-09-19] and even mocked as a cheap ploycite web|url=|title=Firing Squad review of Game Boy Player|accessdate=2008-09-19] by reviewers.

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.cite web|url=| Game Boy Player review|accessdate=2008-09-19]

Advance Game Port

Datel's version of the "Game Boy Player", released in 2003. This dongle connects to memory card slot B and can be booted up with the included boot disc. Some models have code generators for built in cheat devices. The advantage is that no removal of plates on the bottom, nor tools, are needed to install it. Unlike the "Game Boy Player", however, there are a few problems with the audio and video framerate, therefore it is not 100% compatible with Game Boy Advance games. cite web |url= |title=What Happened to Datel’s Advance Game Port |accessdate=2007-07-24]

See also

* Super Game Boy
* Nintendo system emulators


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