Picture this: You've finally made it through the Hoenn Elite Four and are facing Steven to become the Pokémon Master. After almost losing to his Skarmory, you've somehow managed to whittle down his team. Just as your Groudon is about to annihilate his precious Metagross to win you the title, your Game Boy turns off.
Among the trials and tribulations of the Elite Four, you'd ignored the flashing red light of your Game Boy, costing you dearly in the last moment, dooming you once again to failure.
If this, or something similar, has ever happened to you while playing a game on a device that requires batteries (I'm looking at you, Xbox One!), then fear not! A team of researchers atTU Delft and Northwestern University in Illinois may have solved this issue forever. They have developed a Game Boy that doesn't need batteries, and won't run out of power.
A Game Boy that lasts forever?
To demonstrate their intermittent computing technology, a team of scientists created a battery-less clone of Nintendo's Game Boy console, fully emulating its processor to allow any cartridge-based Game Boy game to be played without batteries.
So how does the Game Boy work? The team attached solar panels to the front of the device, which will capture and convert sunlight into energy used to power the Game Boy. Aside from solar panels, the device will also convert the user's button presses into energy to power the console, finally giving you a reason to spam the B Button while trying to capture a Pokemon.
However, the technology does not come without its problems. The researchers found that when playing games that don't require too much user interaction (such as Solitaire or Chess) on a cloudy day, the user experience may be dampened by a lack of power. To save energy, the console also does not include any sound.
However, if your console does have a power failure, the researchers developed technology that prevents and data loss, creating save states that minimise the energy required to load in save data. Not only does this save energy but also allows for players continue their games from the exact moment they lost power.
What's the point of this Game Boy?
While this may seem a light-hearted creation, the battery-less Game Boy was designed by the researchers to raise awareness of the importance of their other work.
The team is working on intermittent computing - a form of technology that aims to help reduce the need and reliance on batteries, which pose an environmental threat, often ending up in landfills or releasing hazardous waste.
You can watch a full breakdown of the Game Boy here: