Tech

This modder turned the Game Boy Advance into a portable game emulator for SNES, PS and Mega Drive.

In short: A youtuber and modder named Rodrigo Alfonso used his impressive modding and hacking skills to get the Game Boy Advance to run Mega Drive, PlayStation, and SNES games. To do this, he used custom cartridges with a Raspberry Pi 3 emulator.

Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance has always been one of the most customizable consoles out there. From speakers and displays to chassis and board, there are many customizable components to choose from if you’re looking to upgrade your portable console. However, none of these updates are in line with what modder Rodrigo Alfonso did.

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Alfonso quickly passing how he modified the cartridge and its GBA to run non-Game Boy games. He also published by a showcase of some games running on a modified console, including PlayStation’s Crash Bandicoot: Warped and Spyro: Year of the Dragon; Battletoads and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for SNES; and Snow Bros.

In short, Alfonso upgraded a 20-year-old 16-bit GBA to a 32-bit console using supercharged cartridges. For the most part, GBA was out of stock, so for that the modder made highly customized 3D print cartridges and installed them with a Raspberry Pi 3 with Retropie

Games are rendered at a maximum resolution of 240×160, but users can reduce it to 120×80 to increase the frame rate. To fill the GBA screen when displaying games at half resolution, users can use the double mosaic technique or play with black borders around. Alfonso also states that those who like the look of older CRT monitors can use scan lines to create artificial black lines between each line of frames. The video stream is sent through the Game Boy Advance communications port.

For those interested in technical details, Alfonso explains his impressive feat is detailed on GitHub.

Credit to masthead: Jose Vicente


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