Hackaday Prize Entry: WiFi Game Boy Cartridge

[DaveDarko] has entered a unique project into this years Hackaday Prize a WiFi Game Boy Cartridge. If you are active over at Hackaday.io I’m sure you’ll have run across Dave at some point or other, maybe we need to start charging him rent.

The aim of this project is to create a WiFi enabled Game Boy cartridge using an ESP32 which would then enable the user to do a number of different things. For example, it could be used as a portable war driving device. You could drive around scanning local WiFi networks all from the comfort of a classic Game Boy bringing back fond memories of your childhood.

This WiFi Game Boy cartridge may even be capable of some extremely light web browsing or be used as a unique controller for all your Internet connected things. Either way this project looks promising, We look forward to seeing how this progresses in the coming months.

30 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: WiFi Game Boy Cartridge

      1. SSH is perfectly doable but painful to use as there’s no hardware keyboard (yes, you could make an external one and connect it to the SPI link port, but that’s not the point). Unfortunately, the original Gameboy is too slow for image streaming and playing Minecraft remotely, but you can do that on a Gameboy Color using the DMA functions, like this cartridge that uses a microcontroller as a 3D accelerator: http://www.happydaze.se/wolf

  1. Charge me rent? I thought about asking for a salary by now – well not until the price is over ;) Anyway, thank you for sharing this project, although I must admit it is in a very early stage and there is a steep learning curve for me ahead.

    I will add a log soon, to share the latest state of the project.

    1. A lot of projects are at early stages it might get featured again depending on progress etc. I just liked the fact you had it open to a lot of possibilities, Sometimes it’s good to see a project at an earlier stage then see the finished project you get to see why decisions were made etc.

      1. I don’t think staff is allowed to do that? Or do you mean I was staff in the past? I once was asked to write for hackaday, but never did in fear of the grammar police and sparing me the embarrassment of admitting that I know nothing :D

        1. I’m not a good writer but HackaDay would prefer to employ people who are excited about the articles they write than pro journalists who know where to put a hyphen or capitalizing the correct words etc. I just laugh the comments off I know my grammar isn’t great but if HackaDay is OK with it then so am I, Although I will try and improve on that front. so far as for the grammar police go well they can complain all they want because I love trolling them.

  2. “war driving device. You could drive around scanning local WiFi networks all from the comfort of a classic Game Boy bringing back fond memories of your childhood.”

    You can’t do that on a $30AUD smart phone. (REALLY SARCASTIC TONE IMPLIED)

        1. Thrift stores. I have a Gameboy Color and GBA all bought for under $5 each.
          I used to volunteer at a thrift store and they gave me a TRS-80 because nobody knew what it was.

      1. So, this empty and uninspired project is accepted as a prize entry ? For now this is a just a vague but fancy BOM (please spare us your conveniently “lucky” price estimation that sounds like a RPi Zero gimmick, right now a *working* worn Game Boy commonly sells at least for 20$ on Ebay). And this gets an article ?!… Most probably only because : project hosted by the blog + ESP32 + Game Boy = clickbait article with sponsoring corporations logos.

        And what a mess if a project page or blog entry is created every time someone has an HackneyeD boring idea like : add wifi to XXXX with an ESP8266 (and get famous ?!) EDIT: someone is telling me that mass self-banality exhibitionism occurs everyday on what’s called the Social Networks, sorry.

        1. You’re probably on point with the price with 20 USD on the American market (I just assume that you live there). Here in Germany it is even a bit more (25 EUR), but I’ve also seen people that get lucky (as I got lucky with 7 RPI0 so far…). I’ve currently acquired 12-13 Game Boy Pockets, all in different shapes, states and colors – average price comes down to around 25 EUR, partly even modded with backlight and bivert mods.

          I was surprised myself that it got featured, but the rising interest through this article made me talk about the project and evaluate certain aspects of it. There was a lot of input through the community that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, so I’m thankful in the end. I’ve talked with Jack about that I felt a bit uncomfortable that this was shared in such an early and uncertain state, but he told me he liked the idea alone and wanted to write about it. The first part of the prize is about an idea only, so yeah, that sh_t got accepted ;)

          I would have started this project without the prize, but it was just to easy to get some funding money to pay for the ESP32s and level converters on breakout boards and single ones. That BOM doesn’t say much more, since it’s really all in the concept and prototype stage. Imagine an extra transistor to hold the gameboy in reset on startup and a 5v to 3.3v power converter on there as well.

          You gave some points about why, but I still don’t see how one can be so aggressively annoyed by something. Thanks for the downer, calling it empty and uninspired – man that stings, but you probably don’t care.

          1. I totally care, and thank you for your explanations, I really respect and appreciate that you took time to constructively share your sentiment about this. I didn’t know you could get funding money with such a vague idea, so I will probably submit many “dime a dozen” project’s ideas like this and stop buying electronic with my own money for personnal experimentations.

            Sorry if you find my message aggressive, it was not, as I didn’t attacked anyone or your motivations, only critizing the overall discourse and attitude, but you are right about my annoyement. Sure it is harsh critisism, with a tone and judgements meant to counterbalance the satisfied (auto-)complacency of this sort of poor blog entry (and it was following your previous “sarcastic” exchange about price). But my arguments stay valid, from my point of view anyway. And what annoys me more is that there are plenty more interesting and matured ongoing projects on HaD I/O to promote instead (although not necessarily based on hyped brands and products).

            Now Jack is free to publish what he wants and face public appreciation/critism, and good for you if you liked the generated input. I’m sure you will find an interesting idea and and I’ll probably enjoy reading your “journey” with it, but right now, it is empty and uninspired (portable terminal with wiifi… wardriving ? light web ? remote control ? And the required level converters are just common sense for 5V console port 3.3V chip communication, so not something to imagine…), no “downer” here, just an observation.

            I would have been a lot less unenthusiastic and more participative if the article was straightforward and honest, like “Dave wants to do something with the shiny new chip and his popular handeld console, but he still doesn’t know what that could be precisely, so let’s help him find out and talk about it.” perhaps with some condiderations about how many hackers have difficulties to find “out of the box” and original ideas beyond purely technical demonstrations of their powers with electronic toys ? :)

        2. > a *working* worn Game Boy commonly sells at least for 20$ on Ebay

          Did you know that eBay doesn’t set prices across the entire economy, and that people are free to exchange money for goods and services at any rate they choose?

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