You Can Now Build Your Own Game Boy Camera — If You Dare
This ingenious cartridge-shaped mod takes some serious DIY know-how, though.
The Game Boy Camera is back and better than ever, that is, if you think you can put this DIY build together. Christopher Graves, known as a Game Boy modder, released the entire blueprint for the Game Boy Mini Camera on their website. That means anyone can try to build one, but whether you can actually do it is another story.
Just looking at the list of materials and instructions, you’re going to need some heavy DIY experience since it requires advanced soldering and specific tools. If you do succeed in getting everything to work, you’ll get a cartridge-shaped Game Boy Camera capable of taking cool, stylized 8-bit photos. Just take a look at some of Graves’ shots on their website for inspiration.
DIFFICULTY SETTING: EXPERT
Considering the DIY nature of this build, it’s no surprise the mod is a Frankenstein of original parts, an iPhone camera’s lens and array, and 3D printed parts. Don’t expect superior quality here, since this is more about modernizing the profile while staying true to the original Game Boy Camera that produces 0.014-megapixel photos in varying shades of gray. It’s a much more slimmed-down version with a shell that’s the size of a cartridge, instead of that classic bulky shape that sticks out.
Graves’ design also adds a switch to the cartridge that lets you bounce between the original program for the Game Boy Camera and an easier-to-use camera ROM. It can even load non-saving games like Tetris as the other switch mode. The modder sent The Verge one of the pre-built cartridges, which was loaded into an Analogue Pocket for the ultimate modernized Game Boy Camera experience.
DO IT YOURSELF OR WAIT
If the DIY part of the project looks way too daunting, we’re right there with you. Graves does offer a commission option ($179) where they will build one for you, though. However, the demand is real since all of the slots are already filled up and won’t be opening up again until early 2024. You could always just find an OG Game Boy Camera on eBay though. It just won’t be as stealthy in your Game Boy.