Palmer Luckey unveils ModRetro Chromatic gaming handheld

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey unveiled the ModRetro Chromatic, a new handheld gaming device that is compatible with Game Boy cartridges.

The Southern California-based startup ModRetro said the Chromatic is the world’s only pixel-accurate Game Boy cartridge-compatible device. It’s the latest company founded by Luckey, who started the modern revival of virtual reality with Oculus and then moved on to defense contractor Anduril.

Combining nostalgic charm with modern construction, the Chromatic promises to redefine the retro gaming experience for enthusiasts and introduce a new generation to the joys of classic, simplified
gaming, ModRetro said.

“I have been working on making the ultimate Game Boy-inspired device off and on as a hobby for almost seventeen years now,” Luckey said in a blog post. “Dozens of modified systems and clean-sheet prototypes later, it is finally here: The ModRetro Chromatic. It is, put simply, my ultimate tribute to the beautiful form, technical excellence, and cultural impact of the Nintendo Game Boy. Hundreds of irrational decisions made during the development of the Chromatic mean it will be remembered not as one of many Game Boy clones, but as an uncompromisingly authentic celebration of everything that made the console special.”

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Display technology

Palmer Luckey is supporting ModRetro.

The Chromatic has a 160×144 pixel, 2.56-inch display behind a sapphire screen cover, offering crispness
and accuracy. Game art is shown as the creators originally intended and creates a time-machine-like experience.

ModRetro CEO Torin Herndon said in a statement, “Media has transformed dramatically over the past few decades. Though I am in my early thirties, I recall the days of rewinding cassettes and blowing dust out of game cartridges. Each device had a unique charm that made every interaction special. Today’s technology often lacks this sense of engagement and mystery. The Chromatic is our way of bringing back the intentional and memorable experiences of the past forward into the future.”

Luckey started the company in 2009 and Herndon is a cofounder.

Bringing back simplified gaming

ModRetro Chromatic is pixel accurate for Game Boy games.

The Chromatic appeals not only to retro gamers but also to a new generation seeking a stripped-down, simplified version of gaming. It harks back to an era without microtransactions, where games stood the test of time without daily updates.

This device offers a marketplace for indie developers to create and sell their games on cartridge-based media, ensuring they receive a fair share of the profits. ModRetro is committed to supporting indie developers, allowing them to apply to have their games manufactured and sold, fostering a new wave of creative and high-quality gaming content.

Exclusively launching at the Classic Tetris World Championship

The device will be unveiled in a livestream from the Pasadena Convention Center for a special Tetris tournament in collaboration with the Classic Tetris World Championships. You can watch top Tetris players compete alongside a mystery celebrity in the inaugural ModRetro Tetris Championship.

Tickets to attend this exclusive event are limited. Secure your tickets now by visiting this site.

If you cannot attend in person, the event will be livestreamed on the Classic Tetris World Championships’ YouTube and Twitch channels, starting at 6:30 PM Pacific time.

Experience the Chromatic at SoCal Gaming Expo

Gamers can purchase an event ticket and visit the booth at the SoCal Gaming Expo on June 8 and June 9 to be among the first to experience the Chromatic. Preorder at our booth to receive an exclusive
limited-edition shirt. Bring your Game Boy and Game Boy Color cartridges and rediscover the joy of retro gaming.