Guide: Download Gameboy Camera Photos onto your Computer

Gameboy-Camera-To-PC-TutorialUsing a special cable and software to simulate the Gameboy Printer, we will be explaining how to get those classic black and white photos from your Nintendo Gameboy Camera backed up onto your computer. 

As time goes on and technology advances, we begin to forget about our previous electronics that once served us well. The first mobile phone with Snake built into it, the fussy signal on a TV or even your first digital camera capable of producing 1 megapixel shots. It's only natural as our desire for pixel perfect photographs, 1080p video playback and ease of use mobile phones develops as time goes on.

Games as we know hold a much more nostalgic feel to them, a more finished product that doesn't need to be bettered as such (hence our love for the back catalogues we are slowly working our way through). But what about those that cross the thin line between games and technology such as the Gameboy Camera?

While the Gameboy Camera in 1998 was already was taking rather dated looking photos, they held a real charm to them. This retro charm was then strengthened with the addition of the Gameboy Printer. Loaded with heat sensitive sticky paper, the Printer would heat up the paper and slowly spit out the images you have taken. But as digital cameras began to rise and show that these pictures no longer needed to be printed in physical format, the Gameboy Camera was left behind with its library of shots forever trapped on its memory.

Until now...

How to Download Gameboy Camera Photographs to your Computer

There are a few methods to getting the digital images from the Gameboy Camera onto the PC. But it must be noted first, that all these techniques require old PC hardware. The key component required here is the fabled (and evil) Parallel Port. Should you not have a Parallel Port accessible, I advise you track down and old computer that does or leave this guide for another day.

What you need:
PC running Windows 95/98/XP
Parallel Port
Mad Catz GB to PC Camera Link Cable (Can be bought at Amazon)

What you need (Software)
Mad Catz Camera Link Application (On the CD provided with the cable)
GiveIO (Download

Although not in the list, patience is most likely the key requirement here! Be warned that the Parallel port does not always play nice.

Before taking these steps towards archiving your photographs, please note that RetroCollect holds no responsibility for damaged computers or corrupt system files as a result of this tutorial. While we are confident in our advice, we must put forward a warning before hand.

Step by step to downloading your Gameboy Camera photos

Mad-Catz-GB-to-PC-Camera-Link-CableFor those running on Windows XP, read below before heading onto step 5. The first four steps are very important to getting the Parallel Port to work under Windows XP. These steps should allow access to the port, but if not check your computer's BIOS settings and consult Google if problems persist.

  1. If you are running on Windows XP, extract GiveIO to a temporary directory.
  2. Copy GIVEIO.SYS from the extracted files into "C:\Windows\System32\Drivers"
  3. Open LOADDRV.EXE and type the full path to GIVEIO.SYS and click Install
  4. If the installation was successful, now click the Start button

Hopefully at this point your Parallel Port should be able to communicate with your Gameboy Camera. Let's find out. Windows 95/98 users may begin the tutorial from here.

  1. Turn off your computer and plug in the Link Cable to the Parallel Port and restore power.
  2. Install the Mad Catz Camera Link Software provided on the disc included with the cable.
  3. Open the Mad Catz PC Camera Link Software and connect the cable to the Gameboy's EXT port.
  4. Turn on your Gameboy with the Camera inserted and press start at the title screen.
  5. On the main menu select 'View', followed by 'Album'.
  6. Select the photograph you wish to download.
  7. Press the A Button when the photo has loaded, press up to select print and press the 'A Button' again.
  8. Press 'A' once more and the photograph should begin transferring to the PC via a simulated print.
  9. An on screen prompt should appear on your PC asking you to save your photograph to your hard drive.

And that is all you need to do. Once up and running, you should be able to backup your entire photo album with ease. But we do stress that if you are running Windows XP, it is very hit and miss with the Parallel Port. All we can say is that we wish you the best of luck and expect issues!

This method works by tricking the Gameboy Camera into think it is connected to the Gameboy Printer. While it is sending the data via the cable, the mad Catz software converts the incoming signal for the Gameboy Printer, into bitmap data ready to be saved onto your computer.

For those wanting to take this further, this method should be compatible with the Zelda DX photo booth album and the printable Pokedex in later Pokemon games on the Nintendo Gameboy should you want to download them.

Alternative Methods

There is one other way to extract your photographs from you Gameboy Camera to your PC should the above method not work. This will require a more advanced skill set and some more expensive hardware such as the Bung X-Changer. 

You will want to follow this guide on backing up your Gameboy cartridge save games to a .sav file. Once done, you can now open the Gameboy Camera sav file in software known as GBCameraDump. From here you can extract all your photographs in one go to a series of bitmaps for use later on.

      Last Updated ( 17 January 2013 )  


      Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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      (Link to this comment) Tyron 2010-12-12 16:05
      Excellent! Love this kinda stuff, always wondered how I could save my GB Camera prints!

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