With the help of an adapter and an app, Valve’s Steam Deck now plays official Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance cartridges.
A Game Boy cartridge PC adapter and emulation tool has confirmed full compatibility with Valve’s Steam Deck handheld platform. Steam Deck has been heavily promoted as an emulation tool since its release. Valve even accidentally released a promotional video showing an emulator for Nintendo Switch games. Having the Steam Deck play official cartridges for platforms that haven’t been sold in decades is an impressive feat that many people may not have known about.
The company that created the adapter is called Epilogue, and its mission is described as follows: “Preserving the history of video games. Without compromises.” It is an independent company that has been selling PC adapters through its own website for a while now Official Game Boy , for Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance cartridges. To run these, users download Epilogue’s software, which includes mGBA emulation to run classic Game Boy games directly from the cartridge.
In an announcement on Epilogue’s official Twitter account, the company confirmed that the GB Operator adapter and accompanying Operator app are now compatible with the Steam Deck. This means that Steam Deck users can connect the adapter directly to the Steam Deck via the Steam Deck’s USB-C port and play their collection of Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games on the go. The adapter itself hangs over the USB-C cable, but it’s small and light.
It’s official – enjoy your childhood cartridges, now on SteamDeck! Today we validated at the office that GB Operator and the Operator app are fully compatible with Steam OS and run impeccably on SteamDeck. This makes the experience fun and portable, we're happy to support it 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/Ik4Pc6xPny
— Epilogue (@meet_epilogue) October 13, 2022
Of course, the adapter is not free. Epilogue currently sells the GB Operator adapter on its website for $49.99 plus shipping. They have confirmed that the adapter is currently in stock and orders are being shipped quickly for those who do purchase one. It’s also clear that the GB Operator won’t work alongside the Steam Deck’s dock, as both require the single Steam Deck USB-C port. If Game Boy cartridges weren’t enough, Epilogue has also confirmed that it is currently working on an adapter for Super Nintendo cartridges. More information on this is expected through Epilogue’s social media channels.
Some may be concerned about the legality of the GB Operator adapter. Since Epilogue makes the adapters themselves and uses legitimate emulation software to run the games through Windows or Linux, there’s no reason to believe that the GB Adapter is anything but legit. In addition, the adapter has been available for some time. As we know that Nintendo is very protective and litigious, if the GB adapter had crossed any line, a lawsuit would probably have already been filed.
What makes the GB adapter’s compatibility with Steam Deck so exciting is that the handheld platform offers new archiving options. There are plenty of Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance fans out there who have either sold their old device, or the device broke down as they aged. Now they have the opportunity to play the games in their collection again or get more Game Boy cartridges for the Steam Deck. Hopefully, more adapters specifically for the Steam Deck for other platforms will follow.
Our test of the Steam Deck you can read it here.