What exactly is still stopping people from making a Gameboy Color backlit display?

Discussion in 'Other Handhelds' started by Drud1995, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Drud1995
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    Drud1995 GBAtemp Regular

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    There would certainly be a demand for it! Why not?
     
  2. HaloEffect17

    HaloEffect17 Splatoon Fan

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    It would have been a hit I suppose. I mean they could have done something akin to a GameBoy Light.
     
  3. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    They would have to develop a new display. I doubt larger businesses see much of a market for that and few smaller businesses have the needed equipment to make something like that. It's far easier to just install a frontlight.
     
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  4. zfreeman

    zfreeman GBAtemp Fan

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  5. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

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    Backlit = awful battery power. That's with the batteries of that time anyway. Plus you didn't really a backlit display in order to play GB and GBC games. It truly became a problem with the GBA.

    If you want to play GBC with a backlit display there are nodded consoles online.
     
  6. JoostinOnline

    JoostinOnline Certified Crash Test Dummy

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    I really don't think there would be a demand for it. You could just use a GBA SP.
     
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  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Demand, absolutely.
    Demand enough to reach a price point that will pay for R&D, manufacture/materials cost and something to make it worth the while of the ones doing it. That is a whole different ball game, especially as most game playing types are not a fan of spending real money which this would probably entail -- I have seen it time and time again when those with some engineering and electrical engineering skills think about putting together a kit and then realise they can have the same fun and actually make something by looking at basically any other hobby (vehicles, remote control devices, other areas of engineering, general computing, DIY....), it is one of the main reasons I tend not to bother with doing anything for games and tend to discourage others from doing the same.
     
  8. Muffins

    Muffins Banned

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    Indeed. If Nintendo's Yokoi-led handheld teams knew how to do one thing well, it was seamless backwards compatibility. The SP was an amazing piece of work- compact and foldable, amazing battery life, backlit AND with a rechargeable battery. I'm not sure if it was the first handheld console to feature one standard, but it certainly did start the trend.

    I loved my Game Boy Color, don't get me wrong, but it's my humble opinion that the GBA SP is an improvement over it in every way.
     
  9. BORTZ

    BORTZ You get a hat, and YOU get a hat!

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    I would guess that the GBC is long forgotten and dead. Use something newer or emulate.
     
  10. bitjacker

    bitjacker GBAtemp Disorderly

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    a frontlit bass modded gbc can handle almost anything you throw at it in lsdj. sp crashes and dmg says too busy. sounds way better too. however, a backlight will never happen, as the screen has foil on the back side. if you find a broken color, and can peel the foil off the back of the screen without breaking the glass. let me know. i dont know if it has even been attempted
     
    Last edited by bitjacker, Sep 24, 2015
  11. driverdis

    driverdis I am Justice

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    This discussion is about backlit GBC screens, not frontlit bass modded GBCs running lsdj.
     
  12. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Psycho!

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    maybe because almost all dveice stoday can emulate it an actually have a blackscreen ?
    Idk but I still dream about doing a backligth on my GBA , even not having much to do with it lol but it's never late to get new games or a flashcard :P just need money lolo
     
  13. rad3ds

    rad3ds GBAtemp Regular

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    I think it's easy to forget how incredibly simple and lucky all the mods we have for other gameboy models are.
    Take the GBA for instance, the AGS-101 screen is really insanely convenient. The way I would assume the mod developed was someone noticing the pinout of the 32 pin AGB was almost exactly the same as the the pinout for the AGS-101 screen, I believe the only difference was that the pins were in the exact reverse order, and you had to solder power into one of the pins to power the backlight. (i don't have one handy, I THINK its reversed and not completely 1:1, but that's beside the point). From there, you look at the 40 pin AGB and notice, that while the pins are a little more scrambled, you can do the same thing by knowing the pin layout, some tracks have to be flip flopped, and that's why the 40 pin ribbons aren't all straight tracks, some are flip flopped here and there. Still, it's quite lucky that it just works, and it's incredibly easy to implement. It also makes for a very thin part that's very easy to fit into the case with the new screen. Really, we have the hardware similarity and of the agb and ags to thank, nintendo didn't fundamentally change the signals output by the display, they just developed a better display that could accept more or less the same connection pin for pin as the 32 pin AGB, and the 32 pin AGB wasn't a big change from the original 40 pin AGB.

    If we lived in an alternate universe where nintendo just stuck to the AGB-001 for the entire run of the GBA, and never developed the AGS-101, we would be in EXACTLY the same position with the AGB as we are with the CGB-001. Front light kits would be the only choice.

    One could imagine, and it's technically possible, that an LCD screen could be developed for the CGB in much the way it was for the AGS. That's where demand would become an issue though. I'm not quite sure what it would cost to develop a prototype screen from the ground up and make the first one, but the complexity and cost of that development is NOT trivial. I'll use like, the early models of Oculus Rift as a comparative example, they very much have piggy backed on already existing screens and with good reason. I'm like breaking into a cold sweat even thinking of mentioning it, and I hope I don't set anyone's mental disorder off by saying this, but regardless of how you feel about the facebook acquisition, one of the good items on the "pros vs cons" of that aquisition is that it's really at THAT point where phrases like "oh, money, now we can develop a purpose made screen that's exactly what we want" was even on the table.

    Demand is another huge huge hurdle, like lets say you even have the exact manufacturing process and specifications nailed down, ready to go to the factory. Who is going to manufacture it? I have no idea what the minimum order size a plant in china would want to see, but I think they'd scoff at stopping to manufacuture 100,000 of a completely unique LCD. Say you did do, I seriously doubt that you could sell 100,000 of them profitably. The demand is not there. Reality check is that we're talking about a mod for diehard enthusiasts. Practically speaking, I don't see such a part ever being made unless there's some whacky star-trek-replicator-level technology somewhere in the future. It's completely non viable on so many levels trying to go at it the way products are currently manufactured.

    Another somewhat exotic possibility would be a custom driver board for an already existing display. For examples of that kind of mod, look into current mods that exist for adapting modern LCD screens into a Sega Game Gear. They basically found a screen that they wanted to make work, then made a custom pcb that goes between that screen and the system itself, it's a video converter board. Said video board costs like in the neighborhood of $100 I think (don't quote me on that, I'm just going off memory, and it's hard to actually find pricing info publicly posted at all), and is made by some guy on I think atari age forums who goes by the name McWill. It's kind of crazy that he went to the trouble, but admirable. Some other similar Game Gear mods exist I think, but that's for you to research if you care to learn more, just using it as an example. The Game Gear does have an advantage when it comes to space to do that kind of crazyness though. The CGB is much much tighter. Does an LCD exist that is the exact size and resolution for the gameboy color? Of those potential screens is any of them thin enough to accomodate an entire PCB behind it? Doubtful, so you'd be looking to stuff the board elsewhere in the CGB and I kinda doubt it's physically possible to do, you'd be under really crazy spatial constraints, and in the end, you're going to probably be adapting to a screen that's just a little bit wrong aspect ratio or some other little picky detail like that, and you're just going to a ton of trouble for a result that's going to have the same kind of minor problems that the Kong Feng GB Boy Color thing mentioned above has.

    So, sorry for writing a book, but that's my take on it. It's not like, against the laws of physics to have a CGB with a nice backlit LCD, but it's so unlikely to ever happen that I wouldn't hold my breath. It's not even that the work is just sitting there waiting to be done, it's like building a 7-11 on the moon for no real reason other than it would be cool. We can only be grateful that the AGS-101 came along and gave enthusiasts the option of playing the entire gameboy catalog on a nice first party, purpose built screen.
     
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  14. Muffins

    Muffins Banned

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    I think when you mentioned demand you may have hit the nail on the head there.

    Nintendo did test market a backlit monochrome Game Boy in Japan but apparently felt that there just wasn't enough demand for it the feature be included in the GBC.
     
    Last edited by Muffins, Sep 25, 2015
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  15. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Psycho!

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    or mabe for the production become cheaper ... I don't know how someone could choose use one without front/back light ... like.. why do GBA SP and DS have option to turn the light off ? do someone really played these with ligh off (Unless needed to save batery :v )
     
  16. Muffins

    Muffins Banned

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    Battery life.

    Battery life was the Achilles heel of Nintendo's competitors in the 90s- they had big, bright colorful screens, but at the immense cost of usually requiring six AAs. Those six AAs would usually last barely four hours. This was a big deal back before rechargeable batteries were a standard.

    Nintendo wanted to make sure that didn't happen when they made their systems.
     
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  17. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    Yeah, that's what you get for shoving a full on fluorescent lightbulb in your handheld for a frontlight.
     
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  18. Snugglevixen

    Snugglevixen Fox Princess

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    SP has no headphone jack and infra red port and it messed up the controls for Kirby Tilt in Tumble
     
  19. bitjacker

    bitjacker GBAtemp Disorderly

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    im running a frontlight from a sp in my color and it doesnt suck up batteries.
     
  20. sj33

    sj33 GBAtemp Addict

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    There's a places that will install a new LCD screen inside a Game Gear and even a Sega Nomad. Surely these are more niche than what the OP is suggesting?

    It's strange that such a mod doesn't exist given that similar aftermarket mods exist for most other handhelds.