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News The founder of Oculus is releasing a $199 FPGA Game Boy system


Palmer Luckey is known for his pursuits into the world of virtual reality, having founded Oculus and designed the Rift VR headset. Prior to the $2 billion dollar buyout of Oculus, however, Luckey had a hobby of modding Game Boy handhelds and taking home consoles and turning them into portable devices. He's gone back to his roots, by announcing the ModRetro Chromatic--a competitor to the Analogue Pocket--which offers a pixel-perfect IPS display, a link cable port, support for AA batteries, a USB-C charging and display-out port, and more.

The Chromatic is an FPGA system, allowing for support to play original Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges, and will even ship with a new version of Tetris, for the extra nostalgia factor. Luckey claims that this hardware release is more of a passion project, in an attempt to create the perfect tribute to the Game Boy.

It'll be available in multiple colors, with matching 90s-aesthetic headphones from audio company Koss Headphones. The handheld is set to launch holiday 2024, with a limited supply. It's available to purchase for $199 exclusively online on Luckey's ModRetro website, or in-store at GameStop locations at some point closer to Christmas.

I have been working on making the ultimate Game Boy® inspired device off and on as a hobby for almost seventeen years now. Dozens of modified systems and clean-sheet prototypes later, it is finally here: The ModRetro Chromatic. It is, put simply, my ultimate tribute to the beautiful form, technical excellence, and cultural impact of the Nintendo® Game Boy®. Hundreds of irrational decisions made during the development of the Chromatic mean it will be remembered not as one of many Game Boy® clones, but as an uncompromisingly authentic celebration of everything that made the console special. The lab-grown synthetic sapphire screen cover, the fully-custom sunlight-viewable LCD underneath perfectly miming the size/resolution/subpixel structure/color balance of the Game Boy® Color so as to faithfully recreate painstaking pixel art, the magnesium-aluminum alloy shell, the PBT semi-crystalline polymer buttons and d-pad, the perfect compatibility with every known Game Boy® title, full link cable and IR transceiver implementation, and a dozen other superlative investments more typical of the world's largest technology companies than a hobby project ensure this is more than just a new way to play your Game Boy® games - it is the final form, the best way to play, the end of the line, a work of art designed to last for decades and evade obsolescence. Nobody will do better.

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