Rare Playboy console
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Rare’s Scrapped Game Boy Competitor Rediscovered After 30 Years

Last Updated on June 3, 2023

When considering retro portable consoles, the first one that usually comes to mind is the Nintendo Game Boy. It’s no surprise given that it had sold over 118 million units worldwide and allowed gamers to take iconic games on the go. There wasn’t anything that could beat it at the time, not even the Sega Game Gear.

As explained by RedBull, Rare had a go at developing their own portable gaming system known strangely yet deliberately as “The Playboy”. Being responsible for renowned games like Banjo Kazooie and Battle Toads, Rare were more focused on game development for the likes of Xbox and later Nintendo, as opposed to creating their own original consoles.

That was not until Rare arranged to share their new prototype with Nintendo, only to have it scrapped when the Game Boy was introduced at the same event. Unlike the Game Boy, only requiring two AA batteries to function, the Playboy needed six of these! After disassembling its casing, it was discovered that it runs on a RAZZ arcade board (another scrapped Rare console) of a smaller scale. Paul Machacek of Rare, explained that its graphics displayed better than the NES.

However, this does not mean it was completely lost forever, never to be seen in the public eye again. According to a report by Time Extension, the device found its way to the Retro Computer Museum in Leicester.

Sadly, it’s not in working condition, meaning that we won’t be able to witness its graphics at this time. There’s a glimmer of hope though, as the museum have reportedly been given permission to attempt to fix The Playboy. We may be able to get a glimpse of this missing piece of gaming history after all!

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