Since the SNES Classic was announced, there's been a lot of speculation about the possibility of Nintendo also releasing an "N64 Classic" next year. I've been doubtful of that for a number of reasons -- the limited third-party lineup, Rare's IP going to Microsoft, rights issues with titles like Goldeneye, the hardware needed for reliable emulation, how they'd handle the controller situation. Ultimately, I don't see it happening, and I think N64 games will just end up on the inevitable Switch Virtual Console and whatever subscription service they have next year.
But the Game Boy? I see that as a very real possibility. The 3DS will be winding down in 2018, we'll likely still be another year off from a "Switch Mini", and you could emulate anything in the Game Boy catalog with the most inexpensive of mobile hardware. And the nostalgia factor alone? The ability to sell a relatively inexpensive device with the Game Boy name on it to both kids and nostalgia seeking adults? I'm confident it'd do gangbusters.
So! While the rest of the world is freaking out over getting their hands on the limited-run SNES Classic, I'm gonna get way ahead of myself here and start speculating about a hypothetical Game Boy Classic. Because this is what the Cblogs are for, right?
This would be a pretty straight forward device to make. A small low-res display, budget processor, mono speaker, small amount of memory to hold a collection of tiny Game Boy ROMs. Wouldn't need a touch panel, an accelerometer, rumble, or most of the bells and whistles required for a modern smartphone. The only real addition would be some form of wireless for multiplayer in lieu of a link cable. Wi-Fi, BT, IR, RF -- whatever's cheapest to implement.
In terms of the design, the Game Boy Color was plenty portable and screams '90s nostalgia. No need to fix what isn't broken here. Take the original design and throw it in the colors everyone loves -- clear purple, neon green, bright yellow, berry red, etc. You'd keep the standard d-pad, A, B, Start, and Select, and could even carry over the volume spinner and the power switch. Finally, the headphone jack and... it shouldn't run on AAs, right? How far down this nostalgia rabbit hole do we want to go?
Now the fun part! What's the collection of games gonna look like?
ZELDA: I know there's a ton of folks who love the Oracle games, but Link's Awakening sold far better and the DX version still gives you GBC support. Would also only need to include one game instead of two, so this was the easy pick here.
POKEMON: Gen I has been milked to death at this point, and Gen II was far superior in every way. I know Gold and Silver are coming to 3DS VC but I'd still include G/S/C over R/B/Y. I'd also throw in Pokemon Pinball and Puzzle Challenge, both of which were great.
MARIO & WARIO: The original Super Mario Land hasn't aged well. 6 Golden Coins is a much better game, owed in part to the SMB3/SMW inspiration. As for his archrival, Super Mario Land 3 is the best-selling of the Wario games so I'd go with that one. Mario Golf, Tennis, and Picross would be solid additions as well.
MISC NINTENDO: Metroid II is obvious, even if it's getting remade this year. The original Donkey Kong Land would also be a solid addition. Kid Icarus has got its cult following so that would probably get an inclusion. As for Kirby, Dream Land 2 established what the franchise would become and is better than its admittedly rough predecessor.
CAPCOM: Both Bionic Commando titles on Game Boy are comparable, so I'd go with Elite Forces for the GBC support. The Mega Man lineup is in a similar boat -- the six (!) NES inspired titles are all memorable, but Xtreme gets the edge since it's in color.
KONAMI: Remember when these guys were awesome? Metal Gear Solid: Ghost Babel is arguably on par with the MSX originals, Operation C made great use of the original GB hardware, and for Castlevania we've got another "the sequel was better" situation with Belmont's Revenge. Three very easy picks.
SQUARE ENIX: While they abandoned the N64 with most of Japan, their Game Boy support was still strong. Both Final Fantasy Legend (the first SaGa game) and Final Fantasy Adventure (the first Mana game) would be givens. With Enix's library, Dragon Quest Monsters could be included as well.
MISC THIRD PARTY: There's gotta be a Tetris game, right? It helped define the Game Boy launch, so this is a must have. And if I'm just throwing out games for the hell of it, Oddworld Adventures and Shantae are two out of left field ones.
Would you guys buy one of these? How much would you be willing to spend on it? Any games I missed which you'd want included? Let me know!