Nintendo DS Transformed Into Gameboy Macro

Nintendo’s Game Boy line were the world’s most popular handheld gaming systems, but did have their drawbacks. Most notably, the Game Boy didn’t receive a backlit color LCD until the Game Boy Advance SP launched in 2003. Of course, you can always build your own Game Boy that rectifies this and other shortcomings, and that’s what [JoshuaGuess] did with this Gameboy Macro build.

The build ends up like a bigger version of the Game Boy Micro, the final release in the Game Boy line.

The build is based around a Nintendo DS Lite, one of Nintendo’s later handhelds featuring dual screens. In this build, the top screen is removed and discarded entirely. The motherboard is then hacked with a resistor on some test points to allow it to still boot with the top missing. The shell of the bottom half is then cleverly modified with epoxy clay and paint in order to hide the original hinge and give a clean finished aesthetic.

The final result is essentially a larger version of the Game Boy Micro, the final handheld in the Game Boy line. It also has the benefit of a bigger, brighter screen compared to virtually any Game Boy ever made. The only thing to note is that the DS hardware can only play Game Boy Advance games, not the earlier 8-bit titles.

It’s a fun build, and one that goes to show you don’t have to throw a Raspberry Pi in everything to have a good time. That can be fun too, though. If you end up building the Game Boy Nano or Game Boy Giga, please let us know. Be sure to include measurements to indicate how it’s scaled in SI units relative to the Game Boy Micro itself.

7 thoughts on “Nintendo DS Transformed Into Gameboy Macro

  1. There is a way to play titles from Game Boy Color and earlier ones by using a flashcart. All it takes is to use Goomba Color emulator that converts GB/GBC LEGALLY acquired ROMS by embedding them in a container that is essentially a GBA ROM with built in emulator.
    The performance is very much fine and user has the option to add customised borders to the displayed game, the GB/GBC games have a smaller resolution so it needs to be filled with a border t(think 4:3 movie on a widescreen).

  2. It’s okay to use Raspberry Pis.
    It’s okay to use Arduinos.
    It’s okay to use 555 timers.
    It’s okay to use Legos.
    It’s okay to use whatever you have handy and whatever you’re comfortable using.


  3. I did this last month XD. Also it is possible to use a DSi or DSi XL, but the info is a little harder to come by.

    I would try it, but I haven’t played enough of the Descent port on the DSi I purchased broken for this, it sadly wasn’t broken.

  4. I made this mod with a DS with a broken hinge, the Helder Flex Amp, and the Boxy Pixel front shell. Kinda loving it and appreciate that someone already figured out all the hard stuff.

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