This developer built a Game Boy emulator for the Apple Watch

Is it practical? Not really. Would you spend 20+ hours playing Pokemon on your Apple Watch? Probably not. But it's still a pretty cool proof-of-concept

Is it practical? Not really. Would you spend 20+ hours playing Pokemon on your Apple Watch? Probably not. But it's still a pretty cool proof-of-concept

Over the weekend, iOS developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan made that happen for the Apple Watch with a Game Boy emulator he calls "Giovanni".

O'Flaherty-Chan has also managed to cleverly work his way around replicating the Game Boy's controls using the Apple Watch's limited button set.

The Giovanni source code is, however, available on Github for anyone to download, and the blog post behind the creation of Giovanni is worth reading for anyone interested in the development process.

For an idea of how it measures up, the Apple Watch 2 42mm (the larger of the two sizes) has a 1.65-inch screen whereas the Game Boy Color has a 2.32-inch display.

Because the emulation community won't rest until the original Pokemon games have been ported to every electronic device on the planet, Pokemon Yellow is now playable on the Apple Watch. However, the fact it runs is the most important achievement and it even accepts the full range of user input expected by a Game Boy game. Gabriel made a decision to name his emulator Giovanni after the super-villain from his favorite Pokemon game: Pokemon Yellow.

If it's sufficiently fast and has a screen, someone will eventually get an old-school game emulator running on it. For example, touching the right side of the device's screen simulates the A button. As you might expect, being a prototype it can be a bit slow and sluggish, but it's still an impressive feat when you consider the limited nature of the Apple Watch hardware and software.

He goes on to discuss some of the challenges he ran into while designing the emulator, including the balance he had to strike between framerate and performance. The digital crown can also be used for scrolling through lists, and the whole thing actually looks fairly usable for controlling a game.

Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan is a Toronto-based iOS developer working at Frenzy.

That's because developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan has turned the wearable into a Game Boy Color and, for the most part, it works seamlessly.

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