Great as the Nintendo DS was (the Lite version, at least), many old-school Nintendo fans lament the loss of the Game Boy brand, which disappeared after the little-bought Game Boy Micro, a bite-sized Game Boy Advance spinoff. But one modder is intent on bringing it back - unofficially, of course.
The Game Boy Macro is his creation, and to be honest, it's just a Nintendo DS at its core - except the top half and screen have been severed off entirely while preserving its ability to run old Game Boy Advance games. Modder Anthony Thomas came up with the idea, which results in a device that looks a bit like the old Neo Geo Pocket Color.
Why modify a Nintendo DS to play older games? Well, as Thomas suggests, the larger screen is a perk, as is the roughly 10-hour battery when playing Game Boy Advance games on full brightness. Also, the form-factor looks really comfortable, and it's a handy way to reuse a Nintendo DS with a broken hinge or upper display.
Thomas will do the mod himself at a price of US$130 including original Nintendo DS hardware, or US$110 if you send in your DS to the United States. He can do the mods with an original Nintendo DS or DS Lite, plus there are optional tweaks: custom colours, or even a micro-USB port instead of Nintendo's proprietary one. Those cost more, of course. And international shipping is extra.
But you probably won't be able to get one for a while: Thomas does the mods as a side gig from his day job, and he's been inundated with requests since Macro units started shipping and earning raves from buyers. He's got a waitlist started, but there's no indication on how long you'll be sitting on your hands before a purchase option comes along.
There's good news for the more adventurous players out there, however: he has provided tutorials for turning both DS models into a Game Boy Macro, although it requires soldering, a hot glue gun, and some knowledge of the inner workings of gadgets. But if you're willing, his step-by-step, photo-heavy tutorials leave little to chance. Might be a fun weekend project.