Articles workboy

Published on May 13th, 2011 | by Jasmine


Leave Luck to Heaven #16: A Look at an Unusual Peripheral

Nintendo systems have had some amazing peripherals. On the flip side they have also had some bizarre and ridiculous peripherals. Some examples of these ridiculous peripherals are the 3D glasses for the original Famicom or any of those sports/sword/fishing reel attachments for the Wii remote. The original Game Boy had some of the best bizarre peripherals however, such as the Pocket Sonar.  The Pocket Sonar was literally a peripheral that plugged into the system and made it so you could use it as a fishing sonar. Unfortunately this peripheral didn’t make it out of Japan, however the equally bizarre Work Boy did.

The Work Boy was a keyboard and stand that could be attached to the Game Boy.  Some of the basic functions included were a clock, calendar, calculator, and a map that would give you basic info for major areas. Then the more pointless ones are the conversion calculators for things like temperature or currency.  There is also an app to keep track of your bank account, because that is what handheld game systems are for.

The most ridiculous application however is the ability to make phone calls.  Well not to the extent that the system itself makes them.  Instead you dial the phone number on the system then hold the speaker to a phone and it will autodial a number based on the sounds that a telephone actually picks up and translates.  I’m not entirely sure how this option is any better than just dialing but I guess if you couldn’t remember the number it would be good to put the number somewhere for preparation.

The only thing that seems like it would be useful, and use the full keyboard, is the day planner.  The day planner works pretty much as a text editor. Yet, even with an actual usable application this peripheral didn’t sell well.  This is probably due to the target audience of the Game Boy being the exact opposite of the Work Boy.  Now versus the other pocket organizers available in 1992 it really isn’t much worse or better.  In fact looking back a pen and some paper were probably the best thing to carry around.

It is interesting to look back on these peripherals and realize that there have always been stupid ones and companies will make more and more of these. Maybe Nintendo can release their Vitality Sensor to add to the list.

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