Palmer Luckey Wants To Sell You The 'World’s Best Tribute' To Game Boy For $200

Image: ModRetro
Image: ModRetro

The ModRetro Chromatic is the latest attempt to cash in on retro nostalgia. It’s a slick-looking Game Boy Color knockoff that competes with the bespoke and perennially out-of-stock Analogue Pocket by playing all of your original Game Boy cartridges. The main difference is that the ModRetro Chromatic is being sold and marketed by Oculus Rift co-founder, and diehard Donald Trump booster, Palmer Luckey.

The ModRetro Chromatic comes in a variety of colors and launches later this year for $200. While it plays old Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges via an FPGA circuit, it also comes with a new version of Tetris pre-installed. It has a port for an original Link Cable to play multiplayer, as well as a USB-C port and headphone jack. Each handheld runs off three AA batteries, and appears designed to mimic the form factor of Nintendo’s devices as much as possible.

The real selling point of the ModRetro Chromatic is its precision. “The color temps are actually right, the clock rate isn’t slightly off, the pixel structure isn’t totally wrong in a way that ruins subpixel aware sprites, etc.” Luckey told The Verge when comparing his handheld to the $220 Analogue Pocket. That’s due to a custom 160x144 pixel, 2.56-inch pixel-perfect IPS display.

The ModRetro will seemingly be built to order with GameStop also getting a certain amount of inventory. “None of it makes any business sense at all,” he told The Verge. “I don’t see this as a way to make money, I see it as the way to make the world’s best tribute to the Game Boy, something that I’ll be proud of for a very long time.”

Luckey previously worked for Meta, which bought Oculus back in 2014 for $2 billion, before getting fired in 2016 amid his vocal support for Trump. He now runs Anduril Industries, a defense contractor that supplies killer drones and spy towers to the U.S. government. He’s currently set to throw a $100,000-a-head fundraiser for the ex-President, who was recently convicted on 34 felony counts in a New York hush money trial, in California later this week.

“Despite my work in virtual reality and defense technology, my roots are in retro gaming,” Luckey said in a press release. “The Chromatic brings back the simplicity and joy of classic gaming.” It’s unclear if Trump, who was also recently accused of using the n-word while hosting The Apprentice, will be one of the first to receive the ModRetro Chromatic when it launches later this year.

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