Ultra Game Boy from Hyperkin puts Nintendo on notice

When you consider the success of the NES Classic and SNES Classic, it stands to reason that Nintendo would want to re-release all of its old consoles and handhelds under "Classic" branding. Rumors of a Game Boy Classic have been making the rounds for some time now, but if Nintendo is going to release such a product, it might want to hurry up, because Hyperkin might just beat it to the punch when it comes to tapping into Game Boy nostalgia.Gizmodo reports on a Hyperkin-made product tentatively called the Ultra Game Boy. Hyperkin has a prototype of this device on hand at CES 2018, showing off a handheld that looks somewhat similar to the Game Boy Pockets of the past. However, a Game Boy Pocket this is not, as it offers a number of improvements over the handhelds we carried around as kids.

For starters, the Ultra Game Boy comes with a built-in backlight, something we didn't get in the original Game Boy line until the Game Boy Advance SP. It's powered by an internal lithium ion battery that's recharged via USB-C, so there'll be no need to keep a stockpile of AA batteries nearby. It's also housed in an aluminum casing, giving it far more durability than the plastic Game Boy shells we're all used to.

There might be one detail that prevents people from buying up the Ultra Game Boy with the fervor we saw with the SNES Classic: Gizmodo points out that it won't feature pre-installed games. Still, it can play your old Game Boy carts, so for anyone looking for a modern spin on classic gaming hardware, this could end up being a good buy.

Hyperkin wants to have this product on shelves by the end of summer, with a price point south of $100. We'll probably see the name change before launch, and who knows what changes Hyperkin will make to the device while it remains in development. Would you buy something like this, or are you going to hold out and wait for Nintendo to announce the Game Boy Classic instead?