Hyperkin, the makers of the Retron, a device which plays SNES and NES cartridges among others, posted a fake Game Boy emulator device that uses the iPhone as an April Fool's joke, but now it appears it may become a real thing.
On March 31, Hyperkin posted the images you see here on its Facebook page alongside the following description:
the Smart Boy, an upcoming Game Boy-compatible device for the iPhone 6
Plus (with more compatible smartphones to follow). This concept art
shows that it will attach to the iPhone 6 Plus, turning the phone into a
handheld gaming device compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color
It will also feature an eight-way D-pad; two action
buttons; a start and select button; and an included battery that can be
charged through the phone itself providing 5 hours of gameplay. The
gameplay itself will output through the iPhone 6 Plus' own screen.
As this is only a conceptual design, features may be removed or added in its current development stage.
On April 1, Hyperkin followed up the post with the same image, except is had the word "CONFIRMED" written on it in red and all caps. In the posting Hyperkin wrote the following:
A lot of you were speculating that the Smart Boy is an April Fools' Joke. Well, it sort of was. We "leaked" it with the initial intent of testing the market, seeing whether or not it should be something we'd actually make, under the guise of an April Fools' Joke.
Looks like you awesome folks ACTUALLY WANT IT, so the Smart Boy is now in development! Thank you all for your enthusiastic responses!
Hyperkin treads in dangerous territory regarding Nintendo's licensing and trademarks, so it's unclear if this will ever truly become a real product, but according to Hyperkin, the demand definitely exists.
I really like this idea, a lot, and remember getting very excited about when I first saw the images start to float around the Internet. I would love to see it actually exist sometime in the near future.