hardware previews

Genius GB Back-Up Station

New from Genius is the GB Back-Up Station. Unlike Bung's well known GB Xchanger, however, the Station doesn't require the use of a PC, cables or separate software.

The Station is a self contained unit that will not only back-up your GameBoy cartridges, but their saved games as well. It doesn't even need an external power supply, as the Station is powered by the GameBoy's own batteries. It is also equipped with Rumble circuitry and will support Rumble game back-up and play on its 16M re-writeable Flash RAM.
It works on all versions of the GameBoy, although for maximum back-up reliability, Genius recommends that you use Alkaline batteries when backing-up your cartridges. This is particularly important for those using the Station with the GameBoy Pocket since it uses the smaller capacity "AAA" batteries.

GB Back-Up Station

Side View

Top View

The Station is very easy to use. You only need to insert the game that you want to back-up into the Station and pop the whole thing into your GameBoy. As soon as you turn on your GameBoy, you will see the Genius menu system which is pretty much self-explanatory.

The Station's 16M cartridge is divided into four slots, which will allow you to pack 4 games and 4 saved games (SRAM) into it. Of course, this will depend on the size of the game. For example, Pokemon, an 8M game, will take up 2 slots when backed-up.

As soon as you've backed-up your game, you only need to select the "Play Game" menu and choose title of the game that you want to play. You can of course safely remove the original game cartridge and put it somewhere for safe keeping.

All in all, the Genius Back-Up Station is an excellent choice for those that want a simple and hassle free solution for backing-up their GameBoy games. Instead of lugging around 4 separate game cartridges, you can simply dump them all into the Station and just carry one cartridge, which is especially useful for those long out-door trips. You can also use it to immediately test out games that you friends might have before deciding to buy it.

The best feature, however, is the back-up SRAM utility. This is a definite boon for Pokemon players, since you can now transfer or back-up an entire Pokedex almost instantly - sacrificing a Pokemon while trading will no longer be a problem!

While Bung's GB Xchanger has been lambasted as an instrument for playing illegally donwloaded ROMs, the Genius GB Back-Up Station is a little more "copyright" friendly, since it will only back-up games from a physical cartridge. Although it might not be the instrument of choice for GameBoy game programers, it is a definite must have for younger players with a large library of GameBoy games.

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