A UI sample from the Page Boy

The Page Boy Accessory Would Put the Internet on The Game Boy Color

December 27, 2021

By: Brian Renadette

 
 

Back when the Game Boy Color was released in 1998, the Internet was still a fairly new concept. However, an unreleased Game Boy Color accessory called the Page Boy could have allowed users to email people, search the web, send photos, and stream live videos years before modern smartphones were a thing.

In a recent video by video game historian Liam Robertson, he covered the story of the Page Boy, an unreleased Game Boy Color accessory that would have used pager-esque radio transmissions (hence the name) to provide users a wide range of information on news such as weather reports, sports headlines, and even live TV. According to Liam, who met with some of the people who worked on the Page Boy, plans for the accessory started in 1999 when Nintendo of America met with Wizard, a spin-off from Source, who came up with the prototype for the Work Boy, and were on board with the possibilities it could provide.

However, the Page Boy never saw the light of day. Nintendo discovered that the radio transmission technology involved relied on radio networks that only existed in certain parts of the world. United States users would be able to use the accessory, but those in areas such as Japan or Europe would miss out. However, many of the ideas used in the Page Boy would become reality in the years to come. The idea to use Page Boy broadcasts to announce video games wound up turning into the Nintendo Directs, and the DS and Wii U would allow users to connect to send messages and pictures to each other. So in a way, the Page Boy managed to live on despite being ahead of its time.