We all remember Nintendo’s classic GameBoy as one of, if not the best, handheld gaming devices that was ever made at the turn of the 20th century. But did you know that it could have doubled up as a productivity tool as well?
A long-lost add-on called the WorkBoy could have transformed the GameBoy into a PDA-like device that provided functions like an address book, calculator, appointment book. However, the accessory never made it past the prototype stage and was never produced for the mass market.
After 28 long years, The so-called WorkBoy has resurfaced thanks to video game historian Liam Robertson, who chronicle his journey to uncover the fate of the WorkBoy in the newest episode of Game History Secrets video on DidYouKnowGaming?
In the show, Robertson managed to not only track down the creators of WorkBoy but also get his hands on one of the only prototypes in the world that still works. Many of the WorkBoy’s features are commonplace today, but in 1992, the device would have been considered state-of-the-art.
Naturally, this meant that the WorkBoy would be very expensive — even more pricey than the actual GameBoy — which is one of the reasons why the project was ultimately shelved.
Interestingly, the creator of WorkBoy went on to create a more advanced device complete with a keyboard and touchscreen, which was later licensed by Nokia for its Nokia 9000 series of phones in 1996.
He then returned to Nintendo to develop a second-generation WorkBoy for the Game Boy Advance that would have allow users to send emails, browse the web, and create word documents. However, that project never came to pass, either.