33 Years Later, There’s Finally a Capture Card for Recording Game Boy Gameplay

33 Years Later, There’s Finally a Capture Card for Recording Game Boy Gameplay

If you needed any more proof that the 33-year-old Nintendo Game Boy still has a devoted fan base, Sebastian Staacks has created a simple plug-and-play device that allows gameplay from the handheld to be streamed to a computer over USB and recorded, without requiring any modifications to the console.

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered Staacks’ prowess with making the Game Boy do things it’s never done before. Earlier this year, they created a custom cartridge that allowed the handheld to stream video wirelessly, which they demonstrated by showing Star Wars playing on the Game Boy’s ugly green and grey screen. That was followed up with a hack that turned the classic Nintendo handheld into a game streaming device capable of playing modern titles like Grand Theft Auto V.

Those hacks eventually gave Staacks the idea for a device that Game Boy fans probably didn’t realise they needed. Although it wasn’t a feature at launch, there are now a few ways to capture Game Boy gameplay footage. The original console can be modded with a video out connection, or gamers can opt for modern alternatives, like the Analogue Pocket, which can connect to a capture card over HDMI. The easiest solution is to just play classic Game Boy titles through a software emulator running natively on a PC, but for competitive players or speed runners hoping to set official records, the original Game Boy hardware is a must.

The GB Interceptor is reminiscent of the Game Shark and Game Genie devices of yesteryear, which interfaced between a console and a game cartridge to facilitate cheating or other game modifications. You insert the GB Interceptor into a Game Boy’s cartridge slot, insert a game cartridge into the GB Interceptor, and then connect it to a PC with a USB-C cable. The PC treats the signal from the GB Interceptor like a signal from a webcam, allowing Game Boy gameplay to be recorded or even streamed across the internet. Yes, that means you can use the Game Boy Camera as your webcam for Zoom meetings, if you so choose.

For those not familiar with the inner workings of the Game Boy, there is no video information passed between the game cart and the console for the GB Interceptor to… intercept. Instead, what it’s essentially doing is intercepting game play commands entered through the Game Boy’s controls, then replicating them perfectly through a custom Game Boy emulator Staacks created. So what’s being streamed over USB-C is a perfect real-time copy of what the player sees on the Game Boy’s native screen.

In its current form, the GB Interceptor does have a couple of limitations. It only works with original Game Boy games, although the custom cartridge can be used on the Game Boy Colour or Game Boy Advance devices — just with OG games. It also can’t recreate a game’s audio, so that would need to be separately captured using the Game Boy’s headphone jack. If that’s not a dealbreaker, Staacks has provided all of the necessary code and source files to make your own on GitHub (plus a detailed build video shared on YouTube), but unfortunately doesn’t seem to have any plans to manufacture and sell these en masse.