The Internet Is Just Discovering That Game Boys Had Cameras and Printers

Almost 20 years after the company stopped making them, people online are just now discovering that Nintendo sold cameras for Game Boys.

A video uploaded to TikTok by user @unpacked1 showed him trying out the camera and printer. It has gained over 10 million views, but also been met with a lot of confusion.

In the clip, the TikTok user, whose content focuses heavily on vintage Nintendo, connected the camera to the Game Boy and used it to photograph his dog. It attaches to a cartridge that, like the games, simply slots into the back.

He then connected the Game Boy to a thermal printer with a wire and printed off the image. It produced a grey-toned picture of not quite the quality we're used to today.

"What is this and why did it not exist in my childhood?" asked one viewer. They weren't alone—there was an influx of comments from users who similarly didn't know the camera and printer existed.

Others added that it was probably because the tools cost a lot of money at the time, though they can now be bought online for around $20. "We were clearly not rich enough for this. I never knew that existed," wrote a TikTok user.


Reply to @falopioxxx Cant Believe it still works 😱 #nintendo #gameboy #nostalgia #trending #dog #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound - UnPacked

The Game Boy Camera was released in 1998, but stopped production in 2001. The Game Boy camera cartridge actually carries minigames on it too. They are based on some of Nintendo's early games, including Space Fever and Ball.

Long before the selfie was anywhere near as big as they are now, the camera actually featured a 180 degree swivel, allowing it to become a front facing camera too.

Reportedly, in the Japanese version of the camera, it could be connected to Mario Artist, where users could draw their pictures and insert them as characters.

Images could then be printed by an attachable thermal printer, as shown in the viral video. The Game Boy Printer stopped production in 2003, but used 38mm wide thermal paper with adhesive backing.

The paper was available in blue, cream and white rolls, but finding usable ones now is a tough mission, with most of them having suffered chemical reactions between the paper and adhesive backing while in storage.

For those who do want to try out the style though, Instagram filters exist on the social media platform, allowing users to make their images look like they've been printed from a Game Boy Camera. Simply search "Game Boy Camera" while browsing for filters.

Red Game Boy Color
A Game Boy Color at "The Nineties" at the Pier presented by CNN at Santa Monica Pier on July 9, 2017, in Santa Monica, California. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images