The past two holiday seasons have seen a significant increase in the amount of remodeled classic video game consoles. Nintendo has taken the forefront up until now, but other companies have been working on their own Modern retro releases, taking advantage of gamers' nostalgia in order to revisit the tech specs and designs of some of the old classics.

The rising popularity of 'Classic' consoles

The past two years have heralded an unexpected boom for revamped retro video game consoles; when Nintendo first released their NES Classic in late 2016, the console completely sold out within weeks, with sales for the unit ultimately totaling around 2.3 million.

The SNES—released just a few months ago—was met with similar enthusiasm from fans, with lines stretching out the door just for the chance to purchase it. Nintendo, however, has expressed little to no interest in increasing supply to meet this major demand, leaving old-school fans in the lurch.

It was video game peripheral developer Hyperkin that picked up the slack, offering the more-widely available SupaRetroN HD.

Hyperkin has an extensive history in the retro console business, being well-known for the SmartBoy, a detachable mobile console that’s compatible with most Android phones and capable of playing actual GameBoy cartridges.

The company announced further plans for a modern GameBoy experience at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where they added their tentatively-named Ultra Game Boy to their 2018 retro line-up.

The Ultra Game Boy

The Ultra Game Boy closely resembles Nintendo’s Game Boy Color at first glance, sharing similar general shapes, button layouts, and volume sliders, but there are a few notable differences.

Hyperkin’s prototype is cased in aluminum, making for a significantly sturdier look and feel to the device, and it's also reportedly much slimmer than the original. The finished product will also feature a backlit LCD display that can be toggled on or off depending on player preference and nostalgia levels.

The most interesting change is definitely the Ultra Game Boy’s audio system, which has been upgraded to include a pair of stereo speakers so that artists and musicians—known as chiptune musicians—can better experiment with interesting retro sounds.

The console will—unlike Nintendo’s modernized retro consoles—be devoid of built-in games, instead requiring owners to actually own the physical Game Boy cartridges of whatever games they want to play. Collectors will be thrilled, but not all fans might have thought to hold on to all of their old favorite Game Boy games, potentially making the price of enjoying the console a lot larger than Hyperkin’s tentative $100 price point.

The console is set to release in late summer this year, however, so interested parties have plenty of time to save up the cash to buy at least one or two classic games on eBay. In the meantime, perhaps Nintendo will release their own Classic Game Boy with built-in games, providing a fair solution for more digitally-oriented gamers.