In this thesis we have created two solutions to a prototype implementing Bluetooth communications for a Gameboy. By making two games, we have shown that it is possible to make games that can be played over Bluetooth and GSM networks. If a future product would be made based on the results on this report, it should be made for the Gameboy Advance.
The experiences gained during this thesis were tremendous, it introduce us to the real art of engineering, which is more than just theories and theoretical calculations. The feeling of giving life to dead components it is what this art is all about.
We chose to develop the concept for Nintendo Gameboy because it was the Best Console available. It is the most popular system, has quite good performance and there has been a lot of experimenting with it by hobbyists, making it ideal for our project. Nintendo is continuously developing their Gameboy hardware. During our thesis Nintendo presented a new Gameboy with more powerful hardware, on which a future product based on our thesis could be developed very quickly.
The technology we used was Bluetooth, which is an advance wireless communication standard based on the idea that it should replace all wires used for short range communication. Bluetooth is a stack based model, which provides the flexibility of both having a simple solution when both sides of the communication is controlled or in other end having the entire stack, which is more complex, but which allows the ability to connect to other standardized Bluetooth devices.
During the thesis work we developed two solutions for connecting a Bluetooth module to the Gameboy. One connects to the cartridge port of the Gameboy, and one connects to the serial port of the Gameboy. The cartridge solution is the best but it turned out to be a little bit too complicated, so we used the serial solution for the final prototype.
If a product should be developed from this concept, it would be made for the Gameboy Advance as it has better performance. Gameboy Advance will quickly become the dominant handheld game console, thanks to its backwards compatibility with the older Gameboys, making it possible to play hundreds of old Gameboy and Gameboy Color games. To develop a product for this system would be quite easy thanks to the built-in UART in the serial port of the Gameboy Advance.
The idea of keeping the phone and the game console apart, instead of merging them to a super-multifunction product, is one of the corner stones in our concept. If a game console is merged with a phone the result is a clumsy phone or a game console with inferior performance compared to a dedicated game console like the Gameboy Advance. Another problem with the combination is entering a new product market. In the case of connecting two established products, there is a possibility of cooperation and using existing products. Thus with our concept we combine one of the best game consoles with any communication hardware available (Bluetooth, GSM, GPRS, WCDMA etc.)