The GB Operator is an adapter that allows you to play Game Boy cartridges on your PC.
Developer Epilogue (via Nintendo Life) bills the GB Operator as “a cartridge slot for your computer.” The device acts via the mGBA emulator, and supports Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, and Game Boy Advance cartridges. Since it’s running via your PC, however, you’ll have built-in controller and cheat support, as well as the ability to update your save files no matter which platform you’re playing on.
Speaking of saves, the pain of losing a corrupted file is all too real, so Epilogue says that it’s “simplified the process of backing up and restoring your saves” so that you never lose a beloved Pokemon team again. You’ll also be able to trigger specific limited-time events in-game, so if you missed out when the game was first available, you’ll get another chance.
And if your retro development fingers are twitching, the GB Operator also offers its own tools to make classic Game Boy games. GB Studio lets you make your own titles and write them onto blank cartridges to take with you wherever you go.
Emulation can be a legally tricky area, and Nintendo has proven to be quite strict when it comes to protecting its assets that find their way onto emulation sites in the past. It seems, however, that GB Operator protects against that, as while you’re still running the games via an emulator, you do need to actually own a physical version of a title in order to run it. What’s more, the system has built-in counterfeit detection, letting you know if the cartridge you’ve been looking after all these years is legit or not.
The GB Operator is available to buy right now for $49.99, and is set to ship this August. There’s no word on exactly how many will be available, however, so if you’re interested it might be worth getting in there sooner rather than later.
If you’ve lost your old cartridges, or you just want to check out some of Nintendo’s more recent hits, here’s our list of the best Switch games you can play right now.