A creative and tech savvy gamer answers the looming question: Can Nintendo’s Game Boy Camera accessory be turned into a webcam?
It seems that nowadays most people are striving to obtain the latest and most advanced computer hardware, shelling out hundreds and even thousands of dollars for the shiniest new gadgets. One gamer has decided to move in the opposite direction and use his tech skills to make a seemingly obsolete product work in today’s world.
A question recently posed on the Game Boy subreddit wondered if it were possible to transform the Game Boy Camera into a webcam and, not surprisingly, somebody stepped up to the task and found out the answer. Known on Twitter as only Bernard, the tech savvy gamer responded: “It was my destiny to answer this question in the nerdiest way possible.”
Bernard then posted a video of himself in a Zoom call using the Game Boy Camera, which was running off of a Super Game Boy 2, a peripheral released exclusively in Japan in 1998 that allows Game Boy cartridges to be played on a Super Nintendo console.
A string of tech lingo then went on to explain the intricacies of making the rig work, including the revelation that the brightness and contrast of the camera were being controlled using a wireless third-party Super Nintendo controller paired via Bluetooth to a receiver plugged into the console. An external microphone was also necessary to capture audio and, because the camera on its own doesn’t provide enough light, an external lighting source was used as well.
For gamers eager to try this project at home, the video concluded with the summation that, while it is entirely possible to use the Game Boy Camera as a webcam in 2020, it is far from practical and also very expensive, considering the adapters, capture card, and third-party peripherals required to pull it off. Bernard also had the experience required to make the setup work because one of his hobbies is modding Game Boys and selling them to raise funds for charity.
The Game Boy Camera made its debut in 1998 and was only manufactured for a brief four years. The intended purpose of the peripheral was to allow gamers to take grayscale photographs or create drawings, edit them, and then transfer the images between Game Boy consoles. In 1999, it was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s smallest digital camera, a record that has since been broken. The accessory was available in red, blue, yellow, green, clear purple, and a limited edition gold Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time version.
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