The Super Game Boy accessory might seem a little pointless to modern gamers who are used to playing retro titles in a wide range of ways on various systems, but back in the early '90s it was a wise investment for the typical Nintendo fan.
On the surface, the selling point was simple - you can play your portable Game Boy games on the big screen via your trusty SNES console. However, there's a lot more to the Super Game Boy than that, as this excellent video review from Pug Hoof Gaming proves.
If the host strikes you as familiar, that's because he is - Lee Garbutt is a former Nintendo Life video contributor and now does his own thing on YouTube, aided by some of his four-legged friends.
As the title suggests, this is the first of a trilogy of videos devoted to the Super Game Boy, so keep your eye on Pug Hoof for parts 2 and 3, which deal with the Japan-only Super Game Boy 2 and Hori's Super Game Boy Commander controller respectively.
I have been living in a constant state of fear, hiding my Super Gameboy questions all these years. Thank you so much for this.
Ha. "Afraid". Interesting choice of words for the title I guess
i saw the article title in my twitter feed and mistakenly thought that it was the next in the classic line. d'oh!
What kind of monster says SNES like that?
I still have mine, but I don't use it anymore (Super NES is basically back in the box with the games, awaiting a return later on). It was great when it came out...even making Sega make the Sonic And Knuckles game, which kind-of copied the idea! Weird that they didn't make something like it for N64, but glad they make something like it for Gamecube (which I also own).
Nintendo (Intelligent Systems) actually made the Wideboy 64 for the N64. It was only sold to gaming magazines and others in the industry so they could easily capture footage/screenshots though.
That doesn't mean others didn't also try, however. (<--Headphone users beware!)
If you already owned a SNES anyways, then the Super Game Boy paid for itself when it came to single player and hot seat multiplayer games. Unfortunately, linked multiplayer modes were impossible to play, but it was a fair trade off. There weren't any (good) rechargeable AA or AAA batteries back then, so alkaline battery expenses piled up over time for portable consoles. The closest thing to an answer for that at the time was the Sega Nomad's proprietary rechargeable NiMH battery pack.
The customizable color palettes and borders were a very nice bonus, too! For example, you could make the sky level in Kirby's Dreamland white, pink, and black, which gave the level a sort of cotton candy appearance. Or, in the final castle level of Wario Land 1, you could use gold, black, and white, to make Captain Syrup's palace look like it's constructed out of gold bricks. Changing an appropriate color palette for each part of each game helped to impart more personality than the bland green/black or white/black of the Game Boy.
Buzzfeed? Is that you?
I was on my way to buy the Super Game Boy at super retailer when I was faced with a huge box. I could only afford that huge box or the Super Game Boy and I was truly divided but in the end... I took the huge box home instead. Many years later I did end buying a Super Game Boy cheap at local Cash Converters.
Oh, the huge box? The PAL version of "Super Metroid" with German walktrought book inside. Even back then, I was a smart kid...
Thanks for sharing guys! And @Tardirk - The monsters that say SNES like that, are British
@LeeGarbutt Huh, so that was the reason why the U.S. seceded from the Union Jack...
It's still a crying shame that the GB(C) Virtual Console wasn't based on the SGB versions, or at least added them as an option. Many of the colour palettes were superior to the largely ugly primary colors of the Color. And that's saying nothing of the unique borders that added a nice arcade cabinet vibe.
N3DS should've been able to process both emulation processes required with some work. I realize it's a waste pointing out yet another missed opportunity for the N, but this one is sorely missed.
Afraid to ask ayy?
I still have mine I'm proud to say. Nice to see love for this old now obscure accessory. I always liked the art for the custom background boarders for GB games, and other features.
Boy, Mario's Picross has some cool boarders.
I also like the SGB's credit music.
@Taedirk Huh? How else should it be pronounced? It's spelled S-N-E-S, so logically it's pronounced 'SNES'. It's the only pronounciation that makes sense.
My whole life I called it 'SNES' or 'Super Nintendo'
I want this. The Switch should have a "Super 3DS", allowing you to play 3DS games on the Switch, but with upgrades or whatever. That peripheral would sell SO many units.
@PlywoodStick - There was an official battery pack for the Gameboy, available pretty much from launch. I got mine early on on and used it constantly. Saved me a lot of money until rechargeable AAs become a better option.
@shani - Well... if a name is an abbreviation, then you generally pronounce the initials, S-N-E-S, I-B-M, T-H-Q. Technically, saying "Sness" is incorrect. Did you used to call the PSX a Pissex?
@Prizm Well what about id software (pronounced 'id')? Or acronyms like A.R.G.U.S.? Or POTUS, AWOL, SNAFU? Or LASER, TASER and SCUBA diving? SIM card and PIN? AIDS? ZIP code? RADAR and SONAR? Or Humvee? CAPTCHA, RAM, ROM and GIF? Or NATO, GESTAPO and INTERPOL?
All of them are abbreviations (acronyms are abbreviations, too).
@Prizm Wow, I missed out on that... I never knew, despite looking around for such a thing back then.
@shani - You're right, it can easily go both ways. I stand corrected. It seem a lot of it depends on culture. The UK and Australia got in this habit of calling the SNES "Sness", and I always found that irritating as hell (aussies also called Sega "Seega", which is like nails on a chalkboard).
One thing I noticed with Chinese people is that they call a phone app an "A-P-P".
As for id Software, it's actually not an acronym, it's a word, taken from old psychology I think.
I loved playing Pokemon Red & Blue on my Super Gameboy.
@Prizm I've always referred to N-E-S/S-N-E-S as En-Ee-Ess, and Super-En-Ee-Es or Ess-En-Ee-Ess, and it always grinds my gears when people pronounce it phonetically, ie Ness, Sness or Snez...
And quite frankly I don't care if the lead character of Earthbound was "Ness"; that is a misnomer as Earthbound came out in Japan. Last I checked, the main character was not named "Fami"...
@Prizm Yeah that - different cultural habits - is exactly what I wanted to point out first, before I went ahead and searched for abbreviations that are actually pronounced like words.
As far as I know, pronouncing it 'snes' isn't that common in Germany, because most people just call it 'Super Nintendo'. But in those rare cases where someone spells the abbreviation, it's always 'snes', not 'S-N-E-S'.
At the same time, the NES is mostly called/pronounced 'N-E-S' here (probably because 'Nintendo' would be too general and could be confused with the company), so it's not even consistent. ^^
And regarding id software: I thought the exact same thing! Until I looked it up on Wikipedia for my previous post. Apparently (at least at some point in their history), it also stands/stood for "'ideas from the deep" and "in demand".
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