Handheld games consoles are more than just a means of playing things on the move – as objects we hold and stare at for hours on end, they need to be aesthetically pleasing as well as comfortable to use, and that can certainly be said of the Game Boy line.
We've always felt that the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance are some of the most visually appealing portable games systems ever made, and now we can gaze at their beauty from the comfort of our office wall, thanks to the efforts of Grid, a studio which takes old pieces of technology and places them in attractive frames, ready to be mounted wherever you fancy.
Everything from smartphones to MP3 players is on offer, but Grid doesn't just take the device itself and frame it – that would be too easy. Instead, Grid's artists take the device apart and tastefully lay out its innards within the frame, so you can see exactly what made the magic happen inside some of your most beloved pieces of consumer technology.
Grid kindly sent us samples you see on this page, and they're pretty stunning. Each console is deconstructed in incredible detail, highlighting various parts such as motherboards, volume dials and buttons. The effect is remarkably pleasing on a visual level, and these do look really nice on your wall. We've had plenty of admiring comments since we popped them up in the office.
The catch? At around $200, Grid's framed consoles aren't cheap. It's also fair to question the wisdom of taking these consoles out of active circulation by tearing them apart and putting them in a frame (we'd imagine they can be reassembled if need be, but the point stands). While all of these systems are available in abundant numbers right now – Nintendo sold millions of these things, after all – there may come a time when they're in shorter supply; certainly, the price of second-hand Game Boy systems is rising all of the time. We'd imagine Grid is making these framed systems in relatively small batches, but we can totally see why some people might feel this is an unwise use of otherwise valuable consoles.
(UPDATE: We've since spoken to Grid and it has confirmed that the units it uses in these products are faulty and not working consoles. Phew!)
Despite such concerns, there's no denying the fact that these framed Game Boys look gorgeous. When you consider that many people will happily spend thousands of dollars on artwork for their wall, we'd like to think that these offer a much more appealing alternative to gamers and geeks all over the world.