The Game Boy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused -

The Game Boy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused

Stuff We Play
Views: 69962
Like: 1728
The Game Boy Color was a good system. There’s no denying that.

But, it was also arguably just a stopgap between the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Advance. That said, it still had some neat tricks up its sleeve. One of the coolest (and most under-utilized) of these was the IR Sensor, a feature that was built into every single GBC and allowed for wireless communication between systems, pre-dating the Nintendo DS by five years!

Thus, let’s take a look at the GBC Infrared Sensor and go over how it works, before diving into all 29 games (that I know of at the time of making this video) that support IR stuff on the GameBoy Color! Today on Stuff We Play: The GameBoy Color IR Sensor Was Weird and Underused!

Time Stamps:

Intro and Background Info: 00:00​
How the IR Sensor Works: 01:53​
Robopon: 03:18​
Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal Versions: 04:25​
Bomberman MAX: 06:36​
Chee Chai Alien: 07:29​
Donkey Kong Country for GameBoy Color: 09:01​
Mission Impossible’s Weird GBC Game: 09:17​
Rare’s Racing Games: 09:30​
Ubi Key Games: 09:44​
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe: 11:07​
Pokémon Pinball: 11:32​
The Final GBC Game and the IR Sensor: 11:42​
Warlocked: 12:08​
Pokémon Trading Card Game/TCG GB2: 12:25​
Extra Bits: 13:45​
Conclusion: 14:32​

Correction: One game that I failed to mention in this video was Dancing Furby, a Japanese-exclusive title that communicates over IR with actual Furby toys! Legit, I might have to track that down for a video of its own someday!

In addition, both the Xena: Warrior Princess GBC game and the GBC port of Lego Island 2 apparently have basic IR support, though I have yet to test this.

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Additional Music and Sound Clips from ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency’ and ‘Streets of Rage 2’.

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  1. There is a reason why it was underused tho. IR is slow and is a bad way of transfering data

  2. Such a well-made video!
    How could I not subscribe?!

  3. I loved using Mission Impossible for GBC to change TV channels at school and McDonald’s

  4. In a few years you’ll be making a video like this for the switch. Remember during the switch announcement trailer the host shook the joy on and it sounded/felt like there were ice cubes inside? I can’t remember the name of it, but that piece of hardware is incredibly underutilized.

  5. you should check out the mission impossible game it has the ability to control a tv

  6. I love my Gameboy Color, currently playing through War Locked (a RTS!)
    Oh wait..its mentioned in the video haha I didn't know about the IR feature tho

  7. ummm… I VIVIDLY remember using the IR to trade pokemon on BLUE!
    I still have my gbc I got on easter 1998. i will be double checking this later.

  8. I bought a kit that made my gameboy color have a back lit lcd screen and my infrared sensor is now a touch sensor to adjust brightness. Find it more useful that way….the sensor and the gameboy. Otherwise I'd have to be playing it under a lamp, and be struggling to use lsdj and audrinoboy to make electronic music with it.

  9. The Japanese furby game actually communicated with a furby through IR

  10. There really should've been like a Hardware mode like Sony did with the CD playing ability Boot Up without a game and have at least a TV remote. Apparently I had the wrong games apart from Mario brothers that was the only thing that I really had to take vantage of the functions. I always wished as a kid it had some capability to interact with Computer like hey why wouldn't you be able to transfer your score data to the computer?

  11. Chamber of Secrets was pretty solid, I thought. About a 7.9/10 as far as gbc rpg's go. Easily an 8.5/10 if you're a Harry Potter fan.

  12. THANK YOU…..Why Harry Potter hasn't been shunned because of JK i do not know.

  13. I have the Mary Kate and Ashley cart in my collection because… it has printer support. (have all the printer games)

  14. About IR sensor, you could also make a videos of the IR sensor of 3ds, wii/u, switch. It's not that extent, but something could be said.

  15. Unlocking levels with the IR sensor is a neat feature, how? That's just putting an artificial lock on content that have no reason not to be accessible through other means, It's like those Dreamcast games where you have to log in to Seganet to unlock levels even though they can be played offline just fine, so part of them are inaccessible today unless you find a way to hack the game (and, coincidence or not, one of them is Pod speedzone by Ubisoft). Quite honestly the use on Super Mario Bros is pretty interesting, if you had the game back then along a few friends you could sync up every once in a while so that you challenge each others' scores
    It's quite a shame they didn't implement trading pokémons through the IR sensor; in fact it would be perfectly possible to battle using it as the game being turn-based it isn't a big issue to have a protocol with low bandwidth.

  16. Who else was kind of gutted that the IR feature only worked for the Pokémon TCG Card Pop feature once in it's lifetime meaning you could never card pop with the same cart that was already done before, not even giving you 24hrs till you could do it again with the same one… worst off the sequel used the same gimmick that made it fail bad on these games. I could only imagine if it was locked on the G/S games where you could mystery gift every day and get something new but thankfully this wasn't the case which is where the next gen Pokémon games back then had a better IR feature that could be used once per day if I recall so you could get stuff like Pokedolls and wallpapers and stuff… if the TCG allowed you to card pop again after 24hrs of doing it before then I think the IR would have worked so much better for the spin off game too!

  17. the GBC 007 james bond game had a feature you can program the GBC to function as a remote control. it was quite weird though it was very directional in aiming.

  18. Wow, the IR feature (as UNDERutilised) was laaaaaaaaaaaame!!

  19. Most Gameboy Color games could not be played on a regular Gameboy, and Pokemon Yellow is not a Gameboy Color game.

  20. Not lately you cant. The Nintendo switch is only, all about money and not anything else.

  21. Owned multiple game boy colors, and that function NEVER worked on anything.

  22. Why not use underutilized instead of underused?

  23. Just found this channel. You're gaining a sub because I liked the video, but mostly because I wanna see that Pokemon TCG deep dive. Loved those games soooo much. The music is **chef's kiss**

  24. I think I only used it a couple times for a pokemon transfer or two.

  25. 9:43 lol why's Mickey so big compared to the house and so well animated

  26. I don’t think I ever used the Game Boy Color IR sensor once, back in the day. I did occasionally transfer contacts from my laptop to my Nokia with IR. That was as slow and flaky as you’d expect!

  27. The pokemon trading card game was very amazing. I made a BS deck of articunos and was unbeatable.

  28. It really warms my heart how many retro YouTube channels are trans friendly 💖

  29. I really liked the Harry Potter GBC games.

  30. I'd say the reason Pokémon didn't support IR is simply to sell more link cables. No technical reason it couldn't be done, simply a profit decision.

  31. ubisoft made great platformers on the GBC, the donald duck one is S-Tier in gameplay in graphics IMO

  32. Forgot to include Austin Powers: Welcome to My Underground Lair and Austin Powers: Oh, Behave.

  33. as much as i no longer like the franchise due to it's creator's horrible views, i do have to point out that the first GBC Harry Potter game also had IR card trading, i definitely did it as a kid. there was also essentially a New Game+ that you could access via the wizard cards system.

  34. IR is just a wavelength of light we can't see

  35. little correction for the harry potter game, the TWO harry potter games on gbc let you trade the cards with the IR sensor. and they even let you trade with each other since they had the same cards.

  36. The IR Sensor sucked hard… We used link cables because they were so much more reliable. GBC has not the only thing to use an IR interface at the time I remember it on a few toys like those Digimon Tamagotchi things and mobile phones had it too but it always sucked hard… Lets just say we thanked our appropriate deities the day Bluetooth arrived on the scene!

  37. Me and my friend accidentally swapped our data on Super Mario Bros Deluxe and I was pretty salty about it ha but you unlock an image for doing it

  38. The 3DS also had an infrared port. To my knowledge, its only use was communication with the Circle Pad Pro accessory, but the new!3DS still kept it!

    The Wii U gamepad also had IR for universal remote functionality, which I used a LOT

  39. I don't know much about how the IR sensor on this works, but if I had to guess, it probably didn't allow wireless Pokemon trading bc of how huge Pokemon data is compared to the other wireless trading examples here.
    You'd basically have to create a system that can send through ALL of the pokemon's data (name, OT, moveset, exp, stat exp, IVs, and so on) without messing up a single byte of data, that's also able to double and triple check with the other console for a successful trade (dont want pokemon cloning!) AND can do this all in a reasonable timeframe.
    Battling is a similar problem, as in order for a pokemon battle to work correctly you need to first receive the data for all 6 opposing pokemon, meaning its about 6x the data transfer.
    Very interesting video btw! I always find niche console stuff like this to be very interesting :3

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