Original Post

I’m just wondering if it is possible, and of course, if anyone is interested in such a project.

The GBA already has quite a few capable emulators for it including an NES one which seems to have excellent compatibility. Heck, theres even a SNES emulator that can run quite a few games at a playable level. And from what I can tell from the tech specs the Virtual Boy is just a tad bit more powerful than the GBA, so the way I see it it should be able to run emulators just as well.

I’d definitely love to see a Gameboy emulator for the VB or maybe even an NES one, though the color palette might prove to be a problem.

So before I go on any longer is there any technical limitation that would prevent the VB from running emulators such as insufficient memory or something else I wouldn’t know much about?

EDIT: Oh, I just now noticed a single post about porting a GB emulator to the virtual boy, but it had no replies…
Post Edited (09-23-04 02:36)

3 Replies

DogP was porting a GameBoy emulator (GNUboy, I think?) to Virtual Boy. The problem with that is how dreadfully slow it runs. It’s also running very short on available memory, since VB only has a mere 64KB RAM.

It’s best to write emulators for Virtual Boy in 100% assembly. That way, you can get as much speed from it as possible. An emulator written in C just won’t do.

any way you think to up the mem on VB? of course there will be a buttload of technical problems but is it possible?

any way you think to up the mem on VB? of course there will be a buttload of technical problems but is it possible?

Sure. You could always build a cart that has SRAM as part of the ROM space, RAM space or expansion space. Just map it to an area that the cart uses, but isn’t necessary for ROM execution. eg: IIRC the VB uses the last 512 bytes or so to hold the ROM header and interrupt addresses. This means that you should be able to wire up RAM to the lower addresses if absolutely necessary. This means that you could have up to 8MB ROM and 8MB RAM, as long as the chip select/enable bit are wired to the correct address lines.
Plus, there is an ‘expansion’ area available to the cart that might have been used for a SuperFX-type chip had the VB succeeded. You could also wire up the CS line of the RAM to be triggered when the VB reads this area, allowing you additional area for RAM.
…And then theres always replacing the existing RAM of a cart with something bigger…

Mind you, even if you were able to do all that, it’d mean that your cart would be the only one capable of running anything you wrote to use the eatra RAM, as it wouldn’t exist on anything else…

Hope that helped.


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