The Game Boy Player is a special peripheral for the Nintendo GameCube that attaches to the underside of the unit and allows for Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and original Game Boy games to be played on a television through the GameCube itself without an actual Game Boy Advance (much like the old Super Game Boy allowed classic Game Boy titles to play on a Super NES), although by using the GBA Link Cable players can use their GBAs as controllers. The unit will also support the usual GameCube controllers and the WaveBird as well (using either the Control Pad or Control Stick). The cable can also be used for multiplayer gaming and to trade data between players. However, the unit will not support any kind of split-screen multiplayer.

As for the gameplay experience itself, traditional Game Boy games can either be displayed onscreen surrounded by a border (much as the old Super Game Boy unit did with games) or can be stretched to fill the screen. The unit also features a sleep timer so parents can set the machine to turn itself off after a preset amount of time so that children can't surpass their scheduled playtime with "Aw, just one more level, mom!". The timer can count down from 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes before autoshutdown. As an added bonus some games (such as Super Mario Advance 4 and Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga) support rumble functionality when played on the Game Boy Player.

The unit was announced on November 19, 2002 at a special press conference by Nintendo with release dates of March 21, 2003 in Japan and June 2003 in the United States. It retails for an MSRP of $49.95 and will only be available in the "jet black" color in the USA. The Japanese release of the product will feature every color of GameCube available in that territory: silver, jet black, purple, etc. Nintendo also packs the player with new GameCubes at no extra charge in some bundles.

The technical specs:

  • Size: 150 mm x 57.3 mm x 155.1 mm
  • Attaches to the High Speed Port on the underside of the GameCube system
  • Weight: 370g
  • Available in four colors (Japan only; USA only gets black)
  • Uses GameCube power source: 0.8 W power consumption
  • Comes with a GameCube Player disk (device driver software)

References: and other IGN snippets
Thanks to generic-man for information on the rumble functionality.