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Video: Behold the Sheer Majesty Of The Backlit And Biverted Game Boy DMG-001

Posted by Damien McFerran

Now you can play anywhere, even in darkened rooms

Not so long ago, we spoke to Shaun Jones of about the services he offers to Game Boy owners looking to breathe some new life into their ageing handhelds.

Shaun was kind enough to perform some surgery on our trusty old DMG-001, and we thought you might like to see the results in motion.

The mod involves biverting the screen (no, we don't know what that means either, but it certainly works a dream) to ramp up the contrast of the Game Boy's monochrome display and then adding in LED backlights which illuminate things impressively. It's an incredible mod, delivering amazing clarity, superb contrast and a console which can finally be played indoors away from lamps or lightbulbs.

The original Game Boy recently hit its quarter century in North America, and we marked the grand occasion by listing ten games you need to play on your beloved handheld right now. Maybe you'd like to also treat your machine to this mod to really celebrate in style?

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User Comments (49)



IxC said:

Will Nintendolife be getting any more DMGs from Shaun? Or any more mods done to the one in the video?

I'd quite like to see what the silicone buttons are like. Get some opinions on them.

And I'd like to see some other backlight colours, preferably white and blue when they're biverted. One of my DMGs has a backlight that seems a bit dodgy. Would like to compare.



Kirk said:

Nice but I think I'd rather just look for a Game Boy Pocket Light on eBay or something:

Now; if they could mod an original Game Boy Pocket Light to maybe improve that screen even further then I think that might be the best overall solution using the superior Game Boy model (seeing that it's smaller and more portable/practical) and the newer improved backlit screen over the original Game Boy Pocket Light's screen (I would presume).

Also, they need to add the option to choose separate colours for the d-pad and buttons once you start picking custom colours.



Tsurii said:

ahh O___O
Just those first few notes at 1:47 bring back some childhood memories


I don't really see a differenece, but that might just be because it's been so long since I last used my GameBoy (obviously).
But the backlight alone would be more than worth getting one of those



Dogpigfish said:

I remember the Sega game gear commercial making fun of the green black screen showing some kid dazed and confused while playing native Indian music. It was hilarious and honestly I don't how we played on that thing. I absolutely love playing 6 golden coins on my 3DS. We sure have come a long way.



FragRed said:

I do want a Game Boy, but not sure if I should get a DMG or wait for them to start selling modded Game Boy Light.



FragRed said:

@Dogpigfish Can you imagine anyone trying to do a commercial the way Sega did in there early 90s? There'd be lawsuits all over the place lol



Asaki said:

Biverting means first, the image is inverted electronically (using an IC), and then the image is inverted again using a polarized film in the screen.

It creates much better contrast than backlighting alone, and is claimed to also reduce motion blur.



Gamerhenry said:

That looks amazing! I'd say a mod definitely worth investing in, as long as the battery life isn't compromised too much as you suggest.

A question though, If you buy the backlight mod from gameboymods, is the Biverting part of that or is it a separate mod?



FragRed said:

@gamerhenry As I have already been looking into getting a modded Game Boy from these people, I can tell you that it is a separate mod at £10 extra.



Anguspuss said:

ive watched the video the GB was one of my all time fav consoles. But can anyone help explain to me what the prosound is below for the GB. THanks

3.5mm Prosound Jack
RCA Prosound
PCB Prosound



IxC said:


Prosound is for chiptune muscians.

The original headphone jack on the gameboy is noisey. If you plug headphones in and turn the volume up, you will hear a hiss/buzz. This is because the sound goes from the soundchip through the entire circuit board to reach the headphone jack. This creates noise.

The prosound mod adds a second headphone jack, usually in the bottom left corner of the gameboy, with wires soldered directly to the sound chip. This removes the hiss.

It also offers slight improvement to the bass.

The silver headphone jacks on these gameboys are prosound mods:



WaveBoy said:

Must...Get...One. The gameboy pocket light holds zero nostalgia to me, so i'd much rather go for this.



Anguspuss said:

thanks IxC. I remember the headphone issue. After seeing the vid im def going to get one I remember the old lights magnifiers etc etc for it. Just wanted to know about the prosound stuff



Beau_Skunk said:

I don't know, the Gameboy was the first successful portable console. Before it, most game handhelds were just Game & Watches, or cheap Tiger handhelds... The Gameboy was a huge step up from them, and was basically like carrying an NES wherever you go. The green screen may be primitive by today's standards, but the first time I looked into it as a kid, I was amazed.

Also, the Game Gear was still blurry at times, used more batteries then a Gameboy, and only lasted 2 hours on said battery life, which is a tiny fraction of the ammount the Gameboy could last. So it honestly wasn't much better, even with color. (Even most of the Sonic games for it felt very watered-down for it compared to the console versions, while games like "Super Mario Land 2" were more comparible in quality to the console versions. In fact, I feel "Link's Awakening" had better graphics then the NES Zeldas, and it's gameplay quality was just as good as the SNES game.)

As for a backlit Gameboy, while that sounds nice for indoor/night-time play, that also means you can't play it on roadtrips in the car, because the daylight being brighter then the screen makes the screen impossible to see.
I love my 3DS XL, but find it annoying I can't play it in the car during the day when riding on long trips with others... (Even on the brightest setting it still looks quite dark in the car sometimes unless it's a cloudier day, or when the sun sets.)



Manaphy2007 said:

this is neat and all but you can play gb/gbc games on a gba sp and also ds fat. i might have revealed a terrible dark secret....hope no one notices.



FragRed said:

@Gamerhenry You looking to buy a modded Game Boy from these guys or just have one you own modded? If you're buying, I am curious as to which backlight you are thinking of getting.



Big_Sexy said:

Actually, you can't play GB/GBC games on DS or DSLite (the only ones originally sporting GBA slots). This is because the DS is actually made up of GBA hardware mashed onto the DS hardware. The GBA is designed the same way - it's actually GBC hardware mashed onto the GBA. If you look at the slot on the GBA, it's got a trigger inside that notifies the system which hardware it needs to utilize. That's why the GBA carts have a notch, to prevent it from activating the wrong mode!
Conversely, the DS models don't have the trigger (since it's not the complete GBA suite) and thus can't actually house any GB/GBC games.



Fandabidozi said:

Just ordered one!
I've had money set aside for something like this after narrowly missing out on a custom GBA earlier in the month. The Game Boy anniversary has had me feeling all nostalgic. Next goal is a SNES for Xmas...



Dreamz said:

It's not just backlighting - it also noticably increases the contrast, which I could tell even in the video.



Damo said:

@IxC We have a GBC that he did for us with a new case, we'll be covering that in the future.



Damo said:

@Kirk I have a GB Light and the difference between that and this mod is like night and day, so you'd definitely want to mod the Light...which rather defeats the object of spending so much on it in the first place (Lights are expensive). The Light's screen is a lot duller than this modded version:

Also, call me stupid, but I prefer the size and ergonomics of the original GB to the Light. I just find that the smaller GB models give me cramp after a while, but the original is the perfect size.



Kirk said:


Ok, I actually thought the newer modded backlit screen might be better than the Light but I wasn't sure. Good to hear it's a genuine and clear step up. I never knew the Light was expensive online and I've not used either the Light or original Game Boy in quite some time so I can't really remember how they both feel in the hand. I just presumed the Light would have been a bit better to hold but I guess maybe not. Sounds to me then that this is an all-round pretty good solution

PS. On a SLIGHTLY related note: I just spent about 12 hours straight the other day playing Warlocked for the GBC and it's still a brilliant little RTS game. It's amazing how you can still pick up some of these old games years later and they're often more fun than half of these big AAA modern games imo.


Well just based on the Nintendo Life article images/footage and the images of the Light that I found online I figured they two solutions looked pretty similar but obviously in real life there's quite a bit of difference between the old Light solution and the new GB mod solution.



Fandabidozi said:

I'll leave a comment here when I get it, just to say what I think of it when it arrives. Must. Remain. Calm.
Thanks for the Warlocked recommendation I'll check it out. Still got all my old GB games but will def buy a few more.
Anyone interested in hidden GB gems, I'd highly recommend Monster Max.



Sato said:

@IxC I have silicone buttons from Kitsch-Bent in my DMG, they really aren't fantastic, and it can be hard to tell if you've pushed the button all the way or not. I'd describe them as "resistive" which isn't particularly comfortable...



Kirk said:


Well just to be clear; Warlocked is for Game Boy Color or whatever machines after that which support GBC games.



FabioSMASH said:

As a hopeless Game Boy fanatic, I'll be purchasing one of these beauties.

Also, kudos on your excellent taste in games. Some fine selections on display there.



Fandabidozi said:

Hey thanks for the heads up. I still have my original Game Boy Color, so I'll def check it out. It's nice to have a mix of genres on any system.
I got classic with red and black buttons, backlit in white with Bivert. Only opted for RCA Prosound cos at the time I didn't know what the options meant



Anguspuss said:

Fandabidozi id give shaun an email if you want to change the prosound connection. You might still be able to change it. Im going on hollidat next month so will let my wife little one play Kindle fire hdx while I play the GB



bngrybt said:

This article inspired me to get a backlight kit. Installed it myself yesterday and it's amazing. Even better than the video and really not that hard to install. It's amazing how much the blur is reduced. Hard to believe it's the same screen I'm looking at.



Anguspuss said:

Big Thanks to Shaun at Gameboy Mods UK. Got my Yellow Play it Loud DMG with Backlight the bivert & pro sound 3.5mm jack.
Tried it out with Blues Brothers & the retro sound is just great & the screen is amazing, Even better than a front lit gameboy color



Fandabidozi said:

Hey glad to hear your Gameboy purchase was a success. Mines a work in progress still. Part of the inside became unstuck, so I've asked a responsible adult to open it up and fix it once I get the correct screw driver ordered. I've got no confidence with electronics

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