Video game historian liam robertson Shared your search to find out what happened to this ad in a new game History Secrets Video on DidInquiring? And, not only did he track down the original creators behind Workboy, knowing the story behind why it was never released, he was able to get one of the only prototypes working in the world.
As you can see in the image below, Workboy was a keyboard that connected to the Game Boy via a link cable and would allow you to take advantage of 12 apps, including an address / phone book and appointment book.
Workboy was set as an officially licensed subsidiary for Game Boy which was designed by Source Research and Development and manufactured by Fabtech Inc. in close collaboration with Nintendo.
In January 1992, Workboy was officially trademarked by Nintendo of America and even made an appearance at CES 1992. It was profiled by various outlets, but after a brief swelling in coverage, it more-or-less disappeared.
Robertson was able to track down Workboy’s architect and founder of Source Research and Development, Eddie Gill, and they discussed that Workboy was originally planned to be released in late 1992 or early 1993 for $ 79 – $ 89 USD, but various issues prevent it from reaching the public.
Gill said that there were only two workboy prototypes left in the world that he knew of, and that one was probably “deep in Nintendo’s vaults”, while the other was in possession of FabTech founder Frank Balloz.
History of (almost) every Nintendo accessory
Robertson got in touch with Balluz and he actually had the workboy prototype. Ballouz did not, however, play a game boy to test it, so he sent Robertson, hoping he would be able to make it work.
When Robertson first connected the Workboy keyboard to the Gameboy, nothing but a short alarm beep occurred. It turns out that the workboy needed a cartridge to function perfectly, although none can be found.
As fate would have it, Robertson was able to find a ROM of the software in one of the big leaks that came after Nintendo Gigluck earlier this year. After burning an empty cartridge to Rome, Robertson got to work.
Seeing the workboy in action gives a glimpse of what could have happened. It is very interesting to see this in action in 2020, where many of the workboy workings are common. Back in 1992, it was ahead of its time.Because of that, it needs to carry a much higher price. This high price was one of the main reasons for the cancellation of the project, as the $ 89.99 USD Game Boy was scheduled to drop in price, meaning that Workboy most likely exceeded the system at $ 79– $ 89 USD. Will happen.
Additionally, a major explosion at a factory in Japan that was producing computer chips caused the price of D-RAM to climb, making it impossible to bring the workboy price down, it was released.
Even though Workboy never saw the light of day, Gill’s original design helped inspire a new device he patented for a personal communicator, complete with a keyboard and touch screen, which was later Licensed by Nokia in 1996 for its Nokia 9000 range of devices. .
Gill will then work with Nintendo and try to develop a new workboy for Game Boy Advance that will allow for e-mail, web browsing, and word processing. With the original, however, it never ended.
Nintendo Hardware History – Since 1977
For more information on the history of Nintendo, be sure to check out our Look That Help Build Nintendo and every (almost) Nintendo accessory.
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Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst And twitch.