Nintendo launched its original Game Boy in 1989, pushing portable gaming consoles into their next phase. It was considered a gaming marvel at that time and it continues to impress to date. Now, hardware engineers have successfully hacked the handheld to allow them to play a game of Tetris against another player over an internet connection.
Hardware engineers running the YouTube channel stacksmashing in a video explained how they used the console’s native local multiplayer support via the proprietary link cable to trick it into playing a game of Tetris over the internet.
How did they do it?
The engineers used a Raspberry Pi connector to feed the data sent by the Game Boy via the link cable into a custom PC client. The custom PC client then sent the data into a dedicated web server, which fed that data to another Game Boy, thus allowing them to get an online multiplayer experience.
According to a report by Tech Crunch Nintendo‘s link cable interface protocol isn’t generic. This means that each game would have to have the protocol adapted to get it to work with the webserver in a similar fashion to stacksmashing’s Tetris. However, stacksmashing does state that this modded Raspberry Pi would work with any Game Boy game that utilizes the link cable for local multiplayer.
Stacksmashing has open-sourced the code they used for the chip, which means people can pick it up and make their custom boards to do the same. Also people have also started work on custom boards with a better interface of the link cable to the Raspberry Pi. This means that in the future you will be able to get to see boards that can interface with the Game Boy without the need to strip open the cable and connect the wiring to the board yourself.