The GB Operator is a brand new cart dumper/flasher by Epilogue and they were kind enough to send us one for testing.
The GB Operator looks amazing! It comes in this nice packaging and the transparent enclosure and PC design will look great on just about anyone’s desk. In the short time I have had this on my own desk, quite a few people have asked about it. It really feels like a lot of work has been put into the design of the hardware.
The GB Operator software is currently in development (v0.7-beta at the time of writing this article) but, while it’s still in beta, it already has a tonne of nice features. It can run a game loaded on a cart by backing up the ROM and saving it, then running it from a built-in emulator. This takes about 46 seconds the first time (tested with official Pokemon Emerald) but subsequently only 2 seconds as it caches the ROM file and backs up the saves on next launch. Upon exiting the emulation it takes about 5 seconds to restore the save to the cart. The built-in emulator doesn’t have settings yet and its audio ignores windows sound settings but these are features coming in future releases.
Under the “data” tab in the software is where you can manually manage the data on your carts. You can download and upload your saves, or create a backup of your games ROM file to use on emulators, other devices or software. This is also where you can re-flash compatible carts or bootlegs.
As a result of testing, six of eight of my GBA re-flashable bootlegs were detected and flashed correctly. The other two were not detected at all by the Epilogue software. As for Game Boy carts, four of twelve carts were detected and only three of them flashed correctly. I have reached out to Epilogue to add support for the carts I have.
Finally there’s the Game Boy Camera functionality. The GB Operator can backup all your GB Camera photos. Sadly, there is no way to backup just some of your photos. It’s all or none. I would like to see the option to back up a portion of photos.
The GB Operator comes in at $49.99USD and has similar functionality to other cart dumpers and flashers on the market. While it looks great, flashable cart and bootleg support isn’t quite up to scratch just yet, but it looks like that is one of Epilogue’s goals considering the list of features on their road map. All in all, it looks very promising!
Game Boy Enthusiast, Hardware Fanatic, Mad Man. (he/him)