So…Funnyplaying is doing a thing. I think they probably do things pretty often, but this is a neat thing. You see, unfortunately as time goes on there are less and less working units of our favorite childhood handhelds. As time passes and scarcity of those devices increases, so too does the price. Now, emulation devices allow us to experience a plethora of games, but for many there’s an extra layer of nostalgia that comes from actually holding original device.

What Funnyplaying have done is provided a cheap and easy way to get that experience through the magic of FPGA emulation. Of course, FPGA emulation is a form of hardware emulation rather than the software emulation we are so used to. It attempts to physically mimic the functions of the original device, and in so doing it also often includes a way to play the original media format of that device. In this case, cartridges – it takes cartridges.

Funnyplaying has a kit they’re selling for right around 70 U.S. bucks, and it comes with a motherboard, shell, screen, buttons, speaker, and battery. No more AAs folks, this only uses a rechargeable battery. The display will be larger than even the modded IPS displays you can put in an original GBC. It will be backlit and come with a full OSD menu to adjust various parameters like brightness or scaling. The kit will be able to be fully assembled without the use of soldering tools, which is very nice.

Early reports have it that Funnyplaying still has some tweaking to do to get it fully up to snuff; gameplay not quite synchronizing to the right clock speed as original hardware, compatibility issues with certain flash carts and games, and just general bugginess with certain functionality. Thankfully the firmware is update-able, so hopefully Funnyplaying can sort out some of the bugs before we can get excited about it.

Either way, though, this is a positive step forward for the retro handheld community, as it means soon we may be seeing inexpensive DIY Gameboy Colors being affordable and easy-to-acquire means of reliving our childhoods. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for more updates to come, so stay tuned in for news here at Retro Handhelds. Stay hydrated, friends.

Purchase the kit directly from Funnyplaying.

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