You can think of Page Boy as a kind of gaming smartphone from 25 years ago.
Nintendo has issued a plethora of attachments for its platforms, both canceled and legally launched. The Game Boy was one of the handhelds that saw a plethora of accessories.
Within this category of accessories, Nintendo had a revolutionary project for the time. However, it never made it to market. It’s called the Page Boy, a supplement to transform the portable into an online device that could easily be considered the forerunner of mobile phones, as it allowed sending emails, searching the Internet, and sending photos and streaming videos over the Internet.
A gaming smartphone of the 90s
According to data provided by video game writer Liam Robertson, development of the Page Boy project began in 1998. The prototype at the time aimed to provide customers with a wide range of internet services available on the Game Boy Color, such as searching for news, weather, or viewing live TV.
The Page Boy was clearly influenced by pagers, which were popular paging devices that utilized a wireless communication service. Although Nintendo kept the Page Boy as an internal development for four years and made progress in the systems for sending images from the device’s camera, Nintendo decided to cancel the Page Boy in July 2002 as the service used radio networks that only existed in the United States, complicating the expansion of this accessory in other markets, which was quickly falling behind with the advances of the time.
It’s remarkable to think that firms were already banking on the technology that we now use on a daily basis with innovative devices 25 years ago. This could have been the 1990s version of an iPhone.