We have seen Doom and Skyrim in a pregnancy test, the community of modders and engineers never ceases to amaze us and now it is the turn of the GTA V who, through a lot of work, have managed to make it work smoothly on a Game Boy. How have they done it?
Sebastian Staacks through his Twitter account, has told and taught how he has been able to make GTA V playable on a Game Boy, running at 20 FPS and on the classic monochrome screen of the Nintendo handheld console.
Game Boy running GTA V what witchcraft is this?
Today we have hundreds of emulators to be able to play classic games on our modern computers, whether from PSX or even from our own game boys, where it has been possible to emulate titles of all kinds to be able to continue enjoying these classics on our PC, laptop and even mobile phones. But what if it was the other way around? This approach has been carried out by the programmer Sebastian Staacks, and he has had to solve many technical difficulties until he came to design a device -and perfect it- that allows us to play these current games from our Game Boy.
Through his blog and YouTube account, the programmer tells us how he managed to make the game playable. GTA V on any Game Boy, this recreated a Nintendo Game Boy cartridge with Wifi, a concept in a simple form, but that until now no one had carried it out due to all the real difficulties that it brings with it. Thus, this developer has given life to a Game Boy cartridge that recreates a Cloud Gaming on your little 90s green screen console.
Wi-Fi Game Boy cartridge
One of the great limitations of the game boy to run any game that isn’t out of the era is obviously your gpu, which does not intervene in the image process that it shows on the screen. In this case, as Staacks teaches us, the person in charge of this process is the PPU (Image Processing Unit), which, like the current electronic ink screens, capture the images on the screen through sprites.
My WiFi cartridge on the @analogue Pocket.
It works right away, but with a small timing problem: Those horizontal glitches are not present on the original #gameboy. Still, I am very impressed that the Pocket is so close to the original.https://t.co/tBC05jGYBP pic.twitter.com/sU9B2BikO2
— Sebastian Staacks (@diconx) January 15, 2022
With this knowledge in mind, he was able to recreate the first images in his own game boy. As if it were a Cloud Gaming system, the Wi-Fi cartridge is connected to the device used a PlayStation -or PC- and collects the images sent and the samples on the screen. In this way the console itself does not have, nor should it, process anything, it is the cartridge itself that collects which video the image of the sender and displays it on the Game Boy screen.
The Wi-Fi cartridge system has been so refined that it has managed to link the buttons of the portable console itself to the transmitting device in order to control the game in real time while it is projected on the Game Boy itself, giving so foot not only to be able to play GTA V, but other titles. A true marvel.