Alex Mitchell

GB Interceptor – Stream DMG Games Like a Webcam

Sebastian Staacks, the wild Game Boy hacker who was previously seen streaming Grand Theft Auto 5 over a WiFi DMG cartridge, has released another open source project that they’re calling the GB Interceptor. The project’s goals are simple: The GB Interceptor is an interposer cartridge that lives between your original Game Boy and your original Game Boy games, which is capable of generating its own video output over a USB connector. Once you connect the GB Interceptor to your computer and turn your Game Boy on, your computer should treat the GB Interceptor’s video output like a regular run-of-the-mill webcam feed.

The GB Interceptor works without any modifications to your original hardware and seems to have extremely high compatibility in spite of the fact that it is basically running a DMG emulator on a Raspberry Pi Pico in lock step with the DMG hardware. There are, however, several caveats that need to be kept in mind:

  • The GB Interceptor has only been tested to work properly on original DMG, GBC, and GBA hardware. As of this article, clone consoles—including the Analogue Pocket—are not supported or compatible. While it is technically real DMG hardware, I could not find word on whether or not the GB Interceptor is compatible with the Super Game Boy SNES cart.
  • You can only use original DMG games with the Interceptor. GBC and GBA games will not work, although I imagine that the black cartridge GBC releases should still work just fine in spite of not being explicitly mentioned by Sebastian.
  • While v1.0.1 firmware improved compatibility with MacOS, only Intel Macs seem to be compatible at this point; the Apple Silicon M2 MacBook Air Sebastian is testing with can’t get a stable image.
  • Because of how the Interceptor generates its video output, certain gameplay modes in some games may not be accurately represented on the Interceptor’s video output even if they’re working fine on the original hardware’s display. Sebastian covers some of these edge cases near the end of their presentation video.
  • There’s a few frames of latency on the Interceptor’s output, so you probably won’t want to use it to actually play your games. You should only really pick one up if your intention is to stream games with it.

Because the GB Interceptor is an open source project in a similar vein as BlueRetro, other creators in the space are beginning to offer GB Interceptor kits for sale. Qwertymodo, a developer known for their work with the Super Game Boy and MSU-1 scene, is going to be doing a run of these with a portion of the revenue going back to Sebastian:

Keep an eye on Qwerty’s Twitter profile and Tindie storefront for more info about the upcoming GB Interceptor run.