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The story of Nintendo almost being the first to make a smartphone


 The smartphone concept has been around long before Apple launched the iPhone. Previously, many people used PDA devices which were almost considered the predecessors of smartphones. But apparently, Nintendo never thought one step further.

According to Liam Robertson, a video game historian, researcher, and journalist, he came across a Nintendo ad from the 1990s that revealed that the company was then working on additional accessories for the Game Boy Color.


This accessory is known as the PageBoy and when used with the Game Boy Color, gives it the capabilities of a smartphone.


According to Kotaku, the Game Boy Color was released in 1998 a few years before the earliest smartphones hit the market.


At the time the internet was still fairly new and the idea of ​​bringing a single device that could send email, browse the web, send photos, and stream live video was years away.



However, if Nintendo releases PageBoy, then chances are you will be able to do all these activities while playing the Mario Bros. game.


In a video, Roberston reveals a large number of details and images of the proposed PageBoy for the first time.


The device is planned to use radio transmission technology to allow Game Boy Color owners to find information and read international news, gaming magazines, weather reports, sports scores, and even the most ambitious watch live television.



This technology also allows users to contact and send messages to other PageBoy owners. Radio transmission technology at that time was widely used in pagers, which is actually the origin of the name PageBoy.


Roberston spoke to several people working on the PageBoy project about how the device came into existence and what 'killed it' before it appeared.


According to those involved, after a meeting with Nintendo of America in 1999 the company was very enthusiastic about PageBoy's potential.


And for the next three years, Nintendo worked with Wizard, a group created to help manage the device to see if this accessory could actually be made and profitable from a business standpoint.


Unfortunately, with the many features of PageBoy such as the ability to send pictures using the Game Boy camera and send video directly to PageBoy owners via radio transmission technology, this is a big obstacle.



Devices that rely on radio networks exist only in certain parts of the country, such as the United States where they severely limit the subscriber base of the device.


According to Robertson, he was told that Nintendo believed the key to GameBoy's success was how universal the hardware was that it allowed users around the world to play the same game with similar features.


And in the end, Nintendo reportedly canceled the project in July 2002. However, as stated by Roberston, many of the ideas that Wizard put forward for PageBoy ended up becoming a reality in the following years.


The idea of ​​using live video to announce a game to its fan base was essentially Nintendo Directs and the idea of ​​sending people funny messages and pictures would become a feature on the Wii U and 3DS consoles.

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