Modder Creates Vertical Game Boy Advance SP

You know the doomsday clock is close to ticking over when people are making a vertical Game Boy Advance SP.

YouTuber Tito from Macho Nacho Productions showcases the blasphemous-but-boujee design of the Game Boy Slate mod in a recent video. The premise here is to take an original Game Boy Advance SP and turn it into something more akin to the original Game Boy. The result is, well, simply stunning. I’m guessing with the Aya Neo Air also being shown off this month, it must be the week for stunning console designs.

So, what are we looking at? In the video, Tito opts for the solid brass shell with custom brass buttons, though the original plastic Game Boy SP buttons will fit if you’re looking to keep costs down. They also use a custom laminated IPS display for the Slate, which interestingly helps to eliminate the air gap between the panel and the screen. That’s good, I’m told.

Game Boy Slate mod

Images Credit: Macho Nacho Productions / Hands Credit: Tito

Jokes aside, the screen does look super-crisp in action. Even with YouTube video compression the screen itself pops.

Slate also works with the original Game Boy SP plastic buttons but Macho Nacho opted for custom metal brass buttons to complete the aesthetic. I did say it’s boujee!

The original design itself for the Game Boy Slate mod was created by veteran Game Boy modder Makho, who has made a name for themselves by creating bespoke case mods, and is brought to retail by Retro Game Repair Shop.

How Hard Is It to Put Together?

This all depends on how comfortable you are with ripping things apart and soldering. Taking apart a Game Boy SP is much, much easier than taking apart a modern controller. Nintendo also labels motherboards in a way that’s easy to understand, which is great for schmucks like me.

In terms of soldering, there’s nothing too tricky here. There’s only the need to install three wires (so that’s six soldering points in total) and as shown in the video, it’s all fairly straightforward if you’ve got a steady hand and nerves of steel.

Slate Mod Comparison

Pricing and Availability

The Game Boy Slate mod is expected to ship at some point in Q2. Pre-orders are available now and as for pricing, case kits start from $94.99 and extend up to $204.99. The custom laminated IPS screen sits at $64.99 and you will need that as well due to the size and shape of the case mod.

Slate Case Kit includes:

  • CNC Anodized faceplate
  • CNC Anodized backplate
  • LED Pipe
  • Screw set
  • Smaller metal dowel for shoulder buttons

Also Required for the mod:

  • Game Boy Advance SP console
  • Laminated backlight IPS Screen
  • Custom Slate lens
  • Any bottom half of a Game Boy SP shell
  • Any regular Game Boy SP plastic buttons

Is It Worth It?

This all depends how much you love playing the Game Boy SP. The new design is, as I say, stunning. The upper end of the pricing may be a little too high for casual fans, but the lower end is perfect for those who enjoy tinkering around with retro consoles. Case mods are, after all, the next step when you tire of messing with a Raspberry Pi. If you’re after an entertaining afternoon project that isn’t too complex, or you’ve got a scratched-up Game Boy Advance SP that needs a new shell, this could be a lot of fun.

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.