LAS VEGAS — Want to play your old Game Boy games, but don’t feel like digging out your chunky, olive-tinted Game Boy to do so? Hyperkin has got a solution for you.

The retro console maker just debuted Project Ultra GB, a sleek take on Nintendo’s iconic handheld console. It plays all of your old cartridges with a few nifty extra features. I got my hands on an early build of the console at CES 2018, and I’m already eager to see more of it.

The first thing that stood out to me about the Ultra GB is its premium aluminum build, which has a nice shiny finish and feels more solid and substantial than Nintendo’s original plastic models. The console is tiny — more Game Boy Color than OG Game Boy — and should fit into your pocket without a problem.

But the biggest upgrade to Nintendo’s classic design is the Ultra GB’s built-in backlight, which should alleviate those painful memories of squinting to see your Tetris blocks in the backseat of your parents’ car at night. The model I saw had a teal backlight, though Hyperkin says the final model will have multiple color modes. (Speaking of color, the Ultra GB will play only cartridges compatible with the original Game Boy, and not Game Boy Color carts.)

The Ultra GB has the same contrast wheel as the original console, as well as a link cable port for multiplayer gaming. The unit I played with had a generic charging adapter, but Hyperkin says the final model will charge over USB-C.

I played a bit of Pokémon Blue on Hyperkin’s retro console, and everything looked and felt just as I remembered from the 90s — well, save for the fact that I could see things much better.

The Ultra GB doesn’t have a final price or release date, but Hyperkin is looking to keep the cost under $100. I look forward to digging through my old collection of carts on it once it eventually hits shelves.


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