In the early 1990s, Nintendo wiped out the massive Game Boy’s success and thought, What if you could also work on this thing? Enter WorkBoy, an accessory that transformed Nintendo’s portable system into a kind of early PDA. But although there was plenty of evidence of WorkBoy’s existence, it disappeared before it reached the hands of productivity-conscious gamers. Now, a prototype has been discovered, which gave us An overview of all address books that can be.
during the Weekend, Liam Robertson, Video game historian, posted a Video It recounts his dive into the history of the WorkBoy and his search for the lost prototype. He found that despite persistent rumors in the old-school community claiming to sell WorkBoy in limited quantities, it never hit the market.
First trademarked in January of 1992, WorkBoy’s integrated keyboard terminal was connected to the standard green-screen Game Boy. Users have access to 12 apps that include a day notebook, currency converter, and calendar.
According to Robertson, a prototype was shown at CES in May of 1992. After the commercial show, the device received some press coverage with GameZone writing, “Nintendo’s success was visible by showing it at CES – it almost had a whole relationship to itself, full of its products. And developer products… but there were a few that were radically different – a few, except for WorkBoy. ” The Chicago Tribune was less kind and called the featured supplement “ridiculous”.
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In the course of his research, Robertson reached out to Eddie Gill, founder of Source Research and Development, the company that created WorkBoy for Nintendo. Jill was able to address some of the issues that prevented WorkBoy from reaching the market and said it is intended to retail somewhere between $ 79 and $ 89. A generation that had no unit in its possession, But Robertson referred to Frank Ballows, founder of the device’s producer, Fabtek, and owner of what he believed to be the only WorkBoy not locked into Nintendo lockers.
When Robertson finally got his hands on the machine, it didn’t turn on because he needed the accompanying cartridge to access the software. Thankfully, there were a lot of mysterious Nintendo Files this summer that went by the name Cegalec, And Robertson miraculously managed to find the WorkBoy program hidden in the leak.
While productivity peripherals may be impressive for their time, the limited memory and lack of an internet connection mean their utility is very limited. I must say, I love the phone book designed to allow the user to pick up a Game Boy handset to a landline phone receiver for automatic dialing to the intended number.
Robertson has been on this WorkBoy mission since 2019, And he did a great job in recovering the story of this lost device. Check out the full video below.