22

I recently found a discussion on Twitter where a user claims to have bought a power adapter for her Gameboy, and many people criticizing her because the Gameboy used AA batteries.

Now, I'm too young to have used the console (my first console was a Gameboy Advance), so I have this question.

Is it possible to use a Gameboy with an AC/DC adapter? If so, was the adapter used to charge batteries or only to power the console itself?

  • 2
    Can you link the thread? – Ave Jan 27 '18 at 19:17
  • 2
    I can confirm that the Gameboy could be used without AA batteries using an AC/DC adapter. Whether it could be used to charge batteries, though, I don't know. – Nolonar Jan 27 '18 at 19:56
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    @Nolonar It definitely would not recharge batteries, since it had no way of knowing if the batteries in it were rechargeable (attempting to recharge non-rechargeable batteries can make them explode) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 28 '18 at 5:23
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft It definitely should not, but it wouldn’t really surprise me if there was some leakage into the batteries. Per some of the answers, the official recommendation seems to have been to not have batteries in it while it was plugged in. – KRyan Jan 28 '18 at 19:53
  • It had, I owned at least two third-party AC adaptors for the original Game Boy, one was for it specifically and the other one I used that happened to work as had right connector, voltage and polarity – RoguePlanetoid Jan 29 '18 at 13:34
35

As Wikipedia clearly states, the original Gameboy can be used with an AC/DC adapter:

The Game Boy also contains optional input and/or output connectors. On the left side of the system is an external 3.5mm × 1.35mm DC power supply jack that allows users to use an external rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (sold separately) instead of four AA batteries.

Here's an image of the official power supply sold for the system:

Official nintendo gameboy power supply box
image source

  • 1
    I used to own one of those adapters, though I remember them looking different. It's possible the adapter I owned was some 3rd party accessory, though. – Nolonar Jan 27 '18 at 20:00
  • Are you sure that's the original power supply? It looks more like a powerbank type of deal from the text on the package, and looks distinctly different from the more conventional adapter I remember, but perhaps it's because I had the European model? – Cronax Jan 29 '18 at 9:13
  • @Cronax as seen in the image, it does both. And that plug is US one. – Ave Jan 29 '18 at 10:41
  • @Ave I wasn't challenging the existence of this appliance or its ability to charge the gameboy, I was challenging whether or not it's the original power supply as came packaged with the original gameboy unit. – Cronax Feb 20 '18 at 12:51
  • @Cronax the answer includes your answer: "sold separately" – Ave Feb 20 '18 at 21:50
11

Yes, the Gameboy has a DC jack:

Gameboy DC jack

However, it is one with a built-in switch to switch between the batteries and the DC input. This switch isn't perfect and the Gameboy has very small (nonexistent?) supply buffer caps, so plugging/unplugging the adapter during a game usually crashes or resets the game.

It is not used to recharge the batteries. (The Gameboy can be powered from non-rechargeable batteries.)

6

I can confirm that I had a Gameboy (Pocket, but my brother had a normal one) and an adaptor for it.

I think you were technically meant to use it on a Gameboy without any batteries in, but we frequently used it with batteries and it did charge them to an extent, though I couldn't recommend you did so.
I believe it could also be used with proper rechargeable batteries to recharge them too.

  • While I see the attempt to be helpful, advocating even the possibility of charging non-rechargeable batteries (which is how this is worded) is a recipe for destroying an electronic device. If the instructions say remove the batteries, do it. If the instructions say it can be used to charge installed rechargeables (unlikely), that's a different matter. In any case, the casual way this answer is worded makes it dangerous. – T.J.L. Apr 11 '18 at 19:32
  • @T.J.L. As I say in the answer, I wouldn't recommend it but we did it for years as kids and nothing bad ever happened. Knowing what I know now about electronics I wouldn't even think of attempting it. – adaliabooks Apr 11 '18 at 19:48

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