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Game Boy for Your TV

But No Game Boy Advance with Your Gamecube

By Chad Serrant

Staff Writer

Game Boy Player

Made by Nintendo for the Nintendo Gamecube

Nintendo is in an interesting spot. The Game Boy Advance is hailed as one of the best portable consoles to date, but some people don’t want to burn batteries. Others don’t really care about the fact that it’s portable; instead, people tend to like the way it’s so old-school. Still other people remember the Super Game Boy, a peripheral for the Super NES that could play Game Boy games. Well, it took them long enough -- including the delay in April -- but Nintendo’s Game Boy Player fulfills all of these needs on the Nintendo Gamecube.

There are control and connectivity issues, however. The Game Boy Player is a small black box that’s as wide as the Gamecube. The installation is painless and fast. After that, there’s a boot disk that the Gamecube needs to run. Once it’s in, the Gamecube reads the Game Boy cartridge inserted in the Game Boy Player and displays it on the TV.

Several control options and issues exist with the Game Boy Player. Gamecube controllers are compatible, but the analog control stick isn’t exact, and the Gamecube’s D-pad is out of reach. The other option is to use a Game Boy Advance (GBA) and a connector cable for the authentic feel. But then you need a GBA in the first place. There are other controllers that have larger D-pads, though.

The Game Boy Player is well equipped for TV. The GBA’s ratio is not the same as a television’s, so the Game Boy Player has several borders. Too bad there are no options for custom borders, though. There are filtering options, but most modern televisions have their own filtering ability. Finally, the Game Boy Player can ignore the GBA’s aspect ratio and take up the whole screen. It’s useful if you’re far away.

There is an extension port on the Game Boy Player that accepts link cables, so it can be used for multiplayer. Unfortunately, the Game Boy Player won’t split the screen. Player one can look at the television while the other players are still staring at their GBAs. Don’t try to use the GBA to Gamecube connector cable, either; it won’t work.

It seems unfortunate that the Game Boy Player can’t support the feature the Nintendo Gamecube desperately needs -- GBA to Gamecube connectivity. However, the Game Boy Player gets its primary job accomplished: it plays all Game Boy games. Nintendo claims that with this baby, its Gamecube library grows by 750%. They’re not lying.