Nintendo has released a number of unique peripherals for its systems over the years, but there are some that were canceled before they saw a full version, such as WorkBoy. The peripherals were meant to be released for the Game Boy in the 90s, and this would have turned the laptop into a functional PDA. While the WorkBoy was canceled before mass production began, DidYouKnowGaming’s Liam Robertson was able to track down a prototype provided by Frank Ballouz. Ballouz oversaw the production for the WorkBoy for Fabtek and happened to have the prototype for the keyboard. There was only one problem: it needed an accompanying pattern to work, which Ballouz did not have.
As luck would have it, however, a recent Nintendo leak provided the Internet with code for software and assets that have not yet been released. The code for the WorkBoy software was part of the leak, and Robertson was able to put the code on a cartridge to get the WorkBoy up and running! Robertson was then able to test the device and share his findings on YouTube! Robertson’s video on the peripherals can be found below.
The WorkBoy would be manufactured in a collaboration between Source Research and Development and Fabtek, and would be officially licensed by Nintendo. The peripherals would be released when personal computers were much more expensive, and long before the notoriety of cell phones. The WorkBoy would have sold for $ 79-89 dollars and had a number of features, such as a world clock, an address book, the ability to make currency conversions, and more. Since most of these features can be easily found on most modern cell phones, it looks like the WorkBoy was ahead of its time! Unfortunately, the edge device was scrapped after Nintendo revealed plans to lower the price of the Game Boy. As such, the WorkBoy would have been more expensive than the system itself, which would likely turn off potential buyers.
The video game industry has a number of stories, just like the WorkBoy. From completely finished games that were eventually scrapped without seeing release, to add-ons like the legendary “Nintendo Play Station”, the WorkBoy is in very good company. Thanks to Robertson’s tireless efforts, Nintendo fans and video game lovers can now get a glimpse of what was possible!
What do you think of the WorkBoy? Do you think the peripherals would have been successful? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to play all games!