iPhone 6 Plus gets a case of retro gaming love

Hyperkin Smart Boy Game Boy iPhone 6 Plus

Sometimes an April Fool's prank is such a good idea that it turns into an actual thing. OK, normally that doesn't actually happen, but in the case of the Smart Boy it's really the only way things could have shaken out.

The Smart Boy, from gaming hardware maker Hyperkin, is a plastic case that combines new and retro tech into something wonderful: it lets your iPhone 6 Plus play actual Game Boy game cartridges.

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The bulky case looks like the bottom half of the original grey Game Boy, including physical buttons and a rechargeable battery, with the top half of your phone acting as the display.

Old Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges - for those who have some lying around still - slot into the back just like a real Game Boy.

Very funny

It began as a joke on Reddit, but Hyperkin announced today that it's turning it into an actual product - although the current image is only a concept, and features might be removed or changed, the company notes. Future versions may support other phones as well.

Hyperkin is responsible for lots of the coolest retro gaming hardware on the market, including a portable Super Nintendo called the Supaboy and a combo SNES/NES/Game Boy Advance/Sega Genesis called the Retron 5.

This is all OK because Hyperkin's hardware plays actual cartridges - rather than ripped "ROMs" of games, which are a legal grey area at best - and because lots of Nintendo's and Sega's old patents have run out, according to some.

Nintendo so far hasn't done anything to stop Hyperkin and other console clone makers from making new spins on classic hardware, but that doesn't mean the company won't suddenly start to care, especially as Nintendo gets into smartphone gaming itself.

We reached out to Hyperkin to find out exactly how they play to skirt Nintendo's potential ire with the Smart Boy, and we'll update you if we find out.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for Playboy.com, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.