Nintendo has released a number of unique peripherals for its systems over the years, but some were canceled before they saw a full version, such as WorkBoy. The peripherals were meant to be released for the Game Boy back in the 90’s, and that would have made the handheld a working PDA. While 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 of WorkBoy for Fabtek, and happened to have the prototype of the keyboard. There was only one problem: it required an associated cartridge to function, something Ballouz did not have.
However, as luck would have it, a recent Nintendo leak provided the internet with code for unreleased software and assets. The code for the WorkBoy software was part of the leak, and Robertson was able to put that code on a cassette to get WorkBoy up and running! Robertson could then test the device and share his findings on YouTube! Robertson̵
WorkBoy would be produced in a collaboration between Source Research and Development and Fabtek, and would be officially licensed by Nintendo. Peripherals would have released when personal computers were far more expensive, and long before the prominent place of the mobile phone. WorkBoy would have retailed for $ 79-89 dollars, and would have had a number of features, such as a world clock, an address book, the ability to do currency conversion and more. Given how easily most of these features are found on most modern mobile phones, it seems that WorkBoy was ahead of its time! Unfortunately, the peripherals were scrapped after Nintendo revealed plans to cut the price of the Game Boy. As such, WorkBoy would be more expensive than the system itself, which would probably have turned off potential buyers.
The video game industry has a number of stories just like WorkBoy. From completely finished games that ended up being scrapped without seeing releases, to additions like the legendary “Nintendo Play Station”, WorkBoy is in very good company. But thanks to Robertson’s tireless efforts, Nintendo fans and video game enthusiasts can now catch a glimpse of what may have been!
What do you think of WorkBoy? Do you think the periphery would be successful? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all about games!