Not everybody thinks the beauty of Nintendo’s Game Boy lies in its compact size. In fact, one 21-year old student and software developer in Belgium would argue the contrary: go big or go home. And that’s exactly what he did, setting the Guinness World Record today for the largest working Game Boy console, the XXL.
“The Game Boy was a huge part of many people’s childhood, including my own,” said Ilhan Ünal in a statement announcing the new record. “I was obsessed with my Game Boy as a kid, so I wanted to create something that would put a smile on little Ilhan’s face, and hopefully on the face of anyone who is a big kid at heart.”
Essentially, the XXL is a replica case with a big screen and giant working buttons. It stands 3.3-feet tall by 2-feet wide ⏤ almost seven times the size of a classic Game Boy ⏤ and houses a regular-sized handheld console inside connected to a Raspberry Pi computer. As such, you can easily swap out the cartridges and play any game from the original system. The only catch, says Ünal, is that buttons are harder to push and require an entire hand rather than just a thumb, so play can get exhausting. You can also plug in a second console if you want to play against a friend.
It took Ünal a week to design the oversized system and a month to build it using three laser cutters available in one of his school’s laboratories. His record-setting feat can be found in the just-released Guinness World Records 2018 Gamer’s Edition, where not surprisingly, there already exists a record for the world’s smallest fully functional Game Boy. That would be a 2.1-inch keychain-sized device created in 2016 by a Dutch software engineer. It’s probably not as exhausting to play.