Atlantis Dreams

by Shawn Sullivan - August 30, 1999, 12:33 am PDT

Shawn Sullivan gives us his thoughts about the new Game Boy, how it might connect to the Dolphin and what we can expect.

With all this news about a new 32 bit Game Boy in the making, I've decided to write an article about how I think the next version of the Game Boy should be and how it will hook up to the Dolphin. I'll also talk about some future games that should come out for it and really take us to the next level with portable gaming.

Many people would say that the GBC is too new and that the next portable system wont release for a long while. Personally, I feel that it will release about a year after the Dolphin. The Dolphin and this next generation Game Boy (NGGB we'll call it for short), will work together a lot more than the current GB and the Nintendo 64 does right now. I also think Nintendo can't really afford to wait too awful long. Although none of the portables right now really threaten the Game Boy's monopoly over the portable market right now, who knows what we'll see happening in the next year or so. I believe Nintendo should keep the price rather low. If it takes, say $70 to make, then Nintendo would try to release it for right around $70. I believe Nintendo wants to try to make the portable market a software driven market, and not a hardware market, as it has been. Meaning in short, Nintendo wants to start making more money of software instead of hardware. I believe the NGGB should also come with a four player link cable. Multiplayer will be huge this time around. Especially with games like Pokemon. I believe Nintendo should stay true to the regular line up of colors. Namely: Red, Black, Yellow, Green, Blue, and of course, Nintendo gray. An Ice Blue NGGB would be nice also.

Now about the system's size and shape. I believe that the system should be 3" long by 7" in tall and 1" wide. This would make it the largest GB yet. This is the only way to fit a larger screen in though. I think a 3" by 3" screen would be just about perfect. I still believe that Nintendo should keep the vertical design of the Game Boy also. I think the sides of the NGGB should be shaped to either fit your hands, or have some leather grip on the sides. I think that would be cool. This version of the GB would of course have to have more buttons. I believe 4 main buttons on the front of the Game Boy would do. Not including the Start and Select buttons that would of course be there. Coloring the buttons like the Super Famicom controller buttons would be a nice touch. Also, I think a trigger button should be placed on the back. Closer to the right hand side so the right pointer finger would be able to reach it easily. As for the type of control pad, I think a analog joystick is a must. A little bit shorter and flatter than the N64 analog. The D Pad would be nice to include, but the issue of space on the front of the NGGB might keep it off. Now, as in the Game Boy Color, the on and off switch to on the right hand side. With the NGGB though, a back-lit option is almost a must. It could be right below On on the right hand side. Sound of course would be on the left hand side as in all Game Boys. The speaks would be right in the center of the NGGB. I've had my hand cover up the speaker and muffle it on other Game Boys because it's on the right hand side. At the top, there would be a link port. Through this you can connect the NGGB to other NGGBs, TVs, and most importantly, your Dolphin.

Batteries life is always a big issue when your talking about portable gaming. Since this is a 32bit portable, it might eat batteries just a tad faster than GBC. I think for this reason the NGGB would need to have four AA batteries like the original. This would give an estimated 10 to 20 hours of play without the back lit on. With the light on, batteries would last 5-10 hours. Sound, I have found out with GBC, can drain your batteries too. For sound, I believe Factor 5 is the right company for the job. Imagine CD quality sound on your next Game Boy. The NGGB would of course use some IBM tech to put it ahead of the other consoles.

There will most likely be many things that will work with the NGGB that didn't with GBC. For instance, I believe that the NGGB will hook up to your TV so you'll be able to play it in almost full screen. I think there would be a black boarder or a custom boarder, or even ones you've downloaded off line (visa Dolphin) that will go around the playing screen. Much like Super Game Boy. I think they'd do this so it wouldn't look so big and blocky. Going from a 3" screen to something at least 4 times that size always will have a few problems. Any other thing the NGGB will focus on more than any other Game Boys is multiplayer I believe. Just think of hooking up like 4(or maybe more) 32bit Game Boys from some multiplayer in Goldeneye or a Super Smash Brothers game. This Especially excites me because they'd be no split screen playing for first person shooters, racers, and such. I think Nintendo will stick with the link cable rather than going cordless too. Unless they find something super cheap, and super great in the next couple of years. Third, and maybe most important of all is how the next Game Boy will, of course, hook up to the Dolphin. Hooking it up to the Dolphin for say, sports games, so people don't see what plays you pick sounds cool. Or have the NGGB show your hand to only you, so your opponent can't see your hand. This of course opens up a lot. We'll most likely see some of this with DC, and we already have with Pocket Station. Another thing I think Nintendo should go with is blank NGGB carts. Since I suppose they'll be at least as big as some of the N64 carts space wise, it would be possible to download things off line visa the Dolphin and store them on blank Game Boy carts. You could even buy games this way. So, your NGGB might end up being your next generation memory card too. One of the last possible things I can think of would be what is happening right now with the Nintendo 64, is transferring data from the Game Boy version of the game, to the console system version, and visversa.

Launching is so important to a system's success, I can't stress it enough. Personally, I feel what needs to be out for NGGB at launch would be a Wario Land game, and a Kirby game most important of all. A 3D Wario Land game, that would be similar to Mario 64 could really stun people. Don't underestimate the pink puff either. The line was longer to play Kirby 64 than any other game at Spaceworld. It just shows you how popular he is. Of course I want a game to really show developers that multiplayer is coming into the popular market in a bigger way then ever before. A Pokemon game would be nice, and a first person shooter from Rare would make it a success in the American market. Super Smash Brothers Pocket or something like that that would connect to the Dolphin version or the N64 versions would be a killer also.

Remember, none of this in written in stone. The only that is in stone is that the next Game Boy is coming, and that it will be 32bits. These are just my feelings of how some of the things should, or might come along. With Nintendo and of course IBM working on this, we're likely to get a great system that carries on the great Game Boy name that is so greatly respected in all of the world.

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