Nintendo has been developing an expansion for the Game Boy Color between 1999 and 2002 that would make it possible to communicate via radio signals. This Page Boy would enable the handheld to use the internet and send e-mails, among other things.
The Page Boy has not been released on the market and to our knowledge no working prototype has been made, but extensive details have emerged about the accessory and its development. Game historian Liam Robertson talks about it in a new episode on his YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming.
The accessory was conceived by the Wizard company in 1999. The company approached Nintendo and the two sides worked on the Page Boy for three years. It was an accessory that can be clicked on the back of the Game Boy Color, in the slot for the cartridges. The Page Boy itself also has a slot for cartridges, so that games or other accessories can be inserted.
According to Wizard and Nintendo’s plans, the Page Boy should make it possible with the Game Boy Color to visit websites, check the weather and see sports scores. Nintendo also had plans to give users access to digital versions of the Nintendo Power magazine.
Sending messages went beyond just text. For example, the Vmail was conceived for the Page Boy; an email where users could add animations and sounds, for example to send a birthday message with the accompanying melody. Users could also take and send selfies with the optional Game Boy Camera. There was also an ambitious plan for Game Boy TV, where Nintendo could broadcast live information about new games.
It was intended that the Page Boy would work with the same radio frequencies that were used for pagers at the time. That was ultimately the technique that failed the concept. Nintendo envisioned that users could communicate with each other worldwide, but there was no cost-effective network for use in Japan or Europe. The technique used was only suitable for North America. Nintendo scrapped the project sometime in the year 2002.