I recently got my hands on the fantastic Gameboy Camera and I love it! But there where many problems and questions that popped up when i started using it, like how do I get the photos from my Gameboy Camera to my PC? Or why does the quality of the prints look like crap when i use the Gameboy Printer? Well all this is now solved and i will guide you through it!
Gameboy Camera, why? Lowres thats why!
So why would anyone want a Gameboy Camera today? Well I love low resolution cameras and pixelgraphics and when i found out that the Gameboy Camera was ultra lowres i just had to get my hands on it!
The Gameboy Camera was released back in 1998 and was featured in the 1999 edition of Guinness World Records for being the world’s smallest digital camera. It has a stunning 4-color (greyscale) palette with a wopping resolution at 160×144 pixels, now thats lowres!
What Gameboy model can i use?
The Gameboy Camera will work on all Gameboy models except the Gameboy Micro and DS.
The Camera will work great on the orignal Gameboy but it was actually marketed torwards the Gameboy Pocket. The Camera was released in several different colors so i recommend to match the colors of the Gameboy and Camera to make it look nice and to impress your friends 🙂 Gotta love the combination of the yellow Gameboy Pocket with a yellow Gameboy Camera 🙂
here is my Gameboy Camera collection perfectly stored inside a motherboard box:
How many photos can i store? And are there any other features?
You can store up to 30 photos to the camera’s memory. The software also have some “cool” features like, photo-timer, create a panorama images, create animations (like animated gifs), or the ability to combine and merge photos. You also have some editing tools where you can add captions or just “doodle” on your photos, add crazy stuff etc. Oh and there are four crappy minigames included where you can take a photo of your face and add it to the characters in the game, very amusing.
The Gui and the Music!
When you start up the Gameboy Camera you are presented with a really surrealistic title screen of a hideous animation showing a person dancing while wearing a Mario costume! And the music he is dancing to is really freaky, You really must listen to this track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAsUdmIqSc4
As a default userinterface for the Camera you assume that it would be a very minimalistic and user friendly look, but its not.. the menu screens are really wierd with freaky music and very scary pictures and animations!
What where the creators thinking about when they created this bizzare interface? Oh i also forgot the mention that the Gameboy Camera was developed by “Game Freak” the same company that brought us Pokémon 🙂
And when we are on the subject, and just to add a little fun fact, in the galleries section of all the international versions are various sprites directly from Pocket Monsters Red and Green, even though those sprites of Pokémon where never seen outside of Japan any other way.. thats right! The Gameboy Camera was released in the United States in June of 1998 witch was before the first Pokémon games where released. Therefore the GameBoy Camera was the first time gamers in the west were exposed to Pokémon 😛
Problem with your Gameboy Printer? Its not the printer, its the paper!
Got problems with bad results from the Game boy Printer? Its probably not the printer that is damaged as you first might think, its the thermal paper that is old!
So to clarify, its not an inc printer but a thermal printer! How does a thermal printer work? When the paper passes over the thermal print head the text or image gets “heated” on to the special thermal paper.. so you cant use regular paper in the printer. Thermal printers are used in almost every store, resturant etc for printing receipts.
I bought an unopened box of the official Nintendo thermal paper and the result was really bad. So my guess is that the paper has really passed its expire date witch caused the bad print, after all it was made in 1998!
So what you need to do is to go to a store, a supermarket or a restaurant, save the receipts and just try them in your Gameboy Printer. You need to cut the paper so it will fit in the printer, the size is 3,7cm
A little tip: You dont have to connect your gameboy camera to the printer to test it, all you have to do is hold the red “feed” button down and switch on the power to make it do a test print.
Transfer it to your computer!
There is only one “easy” way to transfer your Gameboy Camera photos to your computer, and thats done with the “Mad Catz GB to PC Camera Link Cable”. A simple little cable that you connect between your Gameboy and Pc.. sounds simple ey? Well no.. first you need to get the cable and its only avalabe on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mad-Catz-Camera-Link-Cable/dp/B00002AH2V ) When you have the cable you must have one of those old parallel ports that today are rare on new computers.. and also you need to have Windows 98 for it to work! (there is a little chance it might work on XP too) If you want more info Retrocollect have written a great guide here: http://www.retrocollect.com/Articles/guide-download-gameboy-camera-photos-ont…
Just got a tips from the Retro Collect forum on another method. Mega Memory Card http://www.amazon.com/Memory-Gameboy-Original-Color-Game-Boy/dp/B00002R108 is a cartridge that can transfer save files of a Gameboy game, or in this case the save file that contains the photos on the Gameboy Camera Cartridge. After you have transferred the savefiles you then need to send them to a Flashcart. Just insert the Flashcart to the Mega Memory Card, transfer them. Then eject the Flashcart, insert it to your pc, and with the help of a software you can then extract the photos from the save file.. There are many steps in this process and you need to purchase two products to do this.. but at least it works on modern pc:s with the latest Os:es. You can find a more detailed guide here with links and software etc: http://jamesumber.com/?p=23
And if you manage to transfer your little lowres black & white photos to your pc, then why not do a huge print of them and frame them on your wall, so you really can see the pixels! Then use this tool called “The Rasterbator” http://homokaasu.org/rasterbator/ where you can use your own printer to do prints up 20 meters in size 😀
Gameboy Camera on the iPhone!
Yes someone has “portered” the Gameboy Camera to the iPhone http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8-bit-pocket-camera/id422754031?mt=8 and it works really well! This is great for someone who dont have a Gameboy Camera.. or just want to take Gameboy Camera photos and sharing them on twitter or facebook quick and easy! I have written a review of it here: https://subretro.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/8-bit-pocket-camera-review-and-mod-2/
iPhone 8-Bit Pocket Camera app (shown on top) and the real Gameboy Camera (on the bottom)
Now go to eBay and get yourself a Gameboy and Gameboy camera and start to take some amazing low resolution photos! Enjoy! 🙂