Tech

The Game Boy now plays streaming movies (sort of)

The Original game boy It turns 32 this year, which is said soon. It was a simple console, with very limited capabilities, and where thanks to assembly language and the expertise of more than one developer, we were able to see games like Pokémon near the end of their useful lives, which are light years away from the capabilities that the console really offered. Well, some users are so fond of their console that they even do real atrocities as long as its precious 8-bit treasures are talked about. In today’s chapter, we present the Original Game Boy capable of playing Star Wars movies.

Star Wars on a Game Boy: to stay checked

A user named Sebastian staacks has managed to make it work movies on your 1989 Game Boy Original. Knowing this, you can already imagine that it will look really horrible, since it was already difficult to play more than one game on one of those machines due to the low contrast that the screen had. However, you may be wondering how he did it. The first time that video could be played natively on a Game Boy was on the Advance, with special cartridges from which chapters of animated series could be played. And it already looked bad at the time, even with a color screen and a resolution of 240 by 160 pixels.

How can such an old processor move video?

The classic Game Boy CPU was a sad 8-bit processor Sharp LR35902 created for the occasion with a clock frequency of 4.19 MHz. The RAM memory varied depending on the cartridge we put in it, and the capacity of the ROMs that it could handle was also extremely limited. With hardware like this, it is clear that Staacks has reached out to his console to have his moment of glory. And so it has been, more or less. Since the Game Boy is not powerful enough to decode and display video files in real time, Staacks you have created your own modified cartridge to achieve your goal. Thanks to the invention, your Game Boy now has the ability to connect to a Wi-Fi network thanks to the ESP8266 microchip that you have placed inside.

Thanks to the cartridge, and without the need to modify the console at any time, the modder has been able to broadcast the Star Wars movie at a resolution of 160 by 144 pixels, four contrast levels and 20 frames per second. The result is frankly bad, among other things, because the image suffers a crop to be able to be reproduced on the square screen of the console. But it is not without merit. And yes, we appreciate that you did not put the Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Regarding the process, Staacks himself has elaborated on his personal blog a guide teaching the Step by Step how to make the cartridge and perform the video streaming process. Even so, the video that he has uploaded to his YouTube channel is only a teaser, and promises to teach more information as soon as possible.

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