The Game Boy had several peripherals in its life cycle, including a camera and a mini printer that were attached to the top of the notebook. With so many strange equipment launched, it is even wondered if there were even more bizarre projects that never saw the light of day.
The WorkBoy seems to be exactly the proof of this, since it is a peripheral never launched, but which had its prototype created almost three decades ago. He was recently remembered by the video game historian known as Liam Robertson.
The accessory looks a lot like a small keyboard, as it follows the same visual pattern as the Game Boy and its other peripherals. Like so many others, it connects to the console via the famous Link cable. Exactly that one allowed us to exchange Pokémon with our friends.
According to Robertson, the accessory was created by Source Research and Development and produced by Fabtek Inc. in collaboration with Nintendo and was even shown briefly during the Consumer Electronic Show in 1992. Only for some reason, the keyboard simply disappeared and was soon forgotten.
There were even plans for a launch in late 1992 or early 1993 for $ 89, but that was never concluded due to the high cost of production and a base price that Nintendo found very expensive for consumers. Only Robertson was able to get in touch with Eddie Gill, the man who worked directly on the creation of the WorkBoy.
According to Gill, there are only two models of the accessory left in the world, one of which should be in possession of Nintendo and the other with Frank Ballouz, the founder of Fabtek. As it is obvious that Nintendo would never give up the prototype it has, Robertson contacted Ballouz and convinced him to lend the peripheral for a test.
When Robertson connected the keyboard to the Game Boy, he realized that it would not show its full capacity without a specific cartridge. Unfortunately, such a cartridge was not found, but a ROM of its contents had leaked exactly in early 2020. With that, he managed to make the WorkBoy work perfectly.
The whole journey can be seen in the video above with Liam himself narrating the events in more detail. It’s also your chance to see the peripheral working and get a sense of what it might have been like if it had hit stores.