Take a ride with I4U down the memory lane of video game flops. Each week we take a look at a (not so) memorable video game, accessory, or console that, though interesting in concept, never really caught on.
The year was 1998. Pokemon was sweeping the nation. The Game Boy was king, and could do no wrong. Or so it seemed. However, not everything that Nintendo released for the Game Boy was met with unbridled enthusiasm, and a shining example of that is the ill-fated Game Boy Printer.
Created to complement the launch of the Game Boy Camera, the GB Printer was actually marketed as a widely usable peripheral. Indeed, it was the first time that a portable printer had been designed specifically for a video game system. Of course, it's also the last time.While support for the printer spanned 3 years over nearly 30 titles, including wide-spread interest from third-party developers, few people ever realized that. Yes, even though Pokemon Gold & Silver were top sellers for the Game Boy Color, you can bet that an incredibly small number of gamers even knew that you could link the game up to the low-quality black-and-white thermal printer.
Personally, I was a fanatic when it came to the Game Boy Printer, and I'm sure I'm the only one who has actually said that. With the right games, I could actually print out my own artistic creations, digital photos, Notepad-esque files, and physical copies of awards I won in the games. I thought it was a cool idea.
Of course, the problems were evident even at the time. The printer was expensive for its audience, $60, the quality of the prints is terrible, and not many people had any interest at all in having to deal with all the extra effort involved (6 AA batteries, a proprietary link cable, the cost of the paper, the over-the-top procedure for inserting the paper into the printer, etc).
The Game Boy Printer may not have won its place in many people's hearts, but it has won a place in the pages of obscure gaming history, and that's why we've created our own Game Boy Printer masterpiece.
Feature Published by: Mark Raby