Przemyslaw Pawelczak
Rapid-Fire

Battery-Free Game Boy Powered by Force of Mashing Buttons

byDan Robitzski
9. 4. 20
Przemyslaw Pawelczak

Finally, a console fueled by your heated gamer moments.

Button Masher

A team of computer scientists have spent their year working on the world’s first battery-free Game Boy.

The device, CNET reports, is a faithful recreation of the 1989 Nintendo Game Boy, with one key difference: Instead of AA batteries, the handheld gaming system is powered entirely by tiny solar panels and the force of a heated gamer mashing the buttons. Just like the Game Boy was a breakthrough in mobile gaming, the scientists hope that they too can spark a revolution in battery-free technology.

Gamer Fuel

Playing the device — called the Engage — isn’t quite up to the standard of an authentic Game Boy, even though it can play the classic console’s entire library of games. That’s because its very limited power necessitates a tiny screen, no speakers, and just a few seconds of life without constant button-mashing.

“We’re really making a huge leap towards useful and usable systems that are built upon this foundation of intermittent computing,” Delft University of Technology computer scientist Przemyslaw Pawelczak told CNET.

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Save States Enabled

Those limitations are by design, CNET reports, and the team found a way to make the console autosave your progress at the exact moment before it dies. Press a few buttons and the game springs back to life at the exact moment you left it. That’s great for games like Tetris, but more of a disruption for games like the Pokémon series that don’t require button mashing.

What remains to be seen, however, is how the notoriously-litigious Nintendo will react after the team presents the Engage at a research conference next week.

READ MORE: The first battery-free Game Boy wants to power a gaming revolution [CNET]

More on gaming: Putting Pokémon On The Blockchain Takes Microtransactions To Their Inevitable, Insufferable End

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