This image has been going around Facebook lately. What is the answer?
Original Gameboy clones are a rarity. Whereas you can get clones of NES, SNES, Megadrive/Genesis and even Gameboy Advance with relative ease, Gameboy clones were made in small quantities back in the day, before the factories got shut down, and the few pieces that exist are now collecting dust in someone’s basement. Or so it seems.
I’ve been trying to get people to lend me one of these units for science, without success. So when a long-time member of #gbdev (on EFNet) informed the channel he had bought one from a local auction web site and wanted to pass it on, I happily accepted the offer. Here’s the result, hi-res photographs of the circuitry inside and comments on the design of the unit. If you have Gameboy clone that you want to lend me for a similar teardown please contact me.
So, the unit I was sent is of the brand Game Fighter. What’s unique about this unit, compared to other knockoffs, is that despite its horizontal layout, it follows the DMG (Dot Matrix Game; the product number prefix of the original Gameboy) design patterns relatively closely. Two such design patterns are the ridged pattern on the top and back of the unit, as well as the bevelling on the lower left and right corners.
It doesn’t look as tacky as, say, the Mega Duck or the Fortune Hand Game with its unibrow style select/start button. (See comparison.) If it wasn’t for the Street Fighter styled Game Fighter logo on the screen cover (which is missing on my unit) this could very well pass for an official Nintendo prototype.