Game Boy emulator demoed on Pre | webOS Nation

Game Boy emulator demoed on Pre 57

by Derek Kessler Wed, 02 Dec 2009 2:00 pm EST

While the selection of games available on webOS is steadily improving, there’s something to be said for the classic fun of the old school Game Boy. Over at WebOS Internals, Dudestatus has worked together a solution that brings the gnuboy Game Boy Emulator onto webOS.

There’s still plenty of coding work that needs to be done on the user’s end to get it all done, but if you’re technically proficient enough, Dudestatus has put instructions on WebOS Internals that will guide you through the process. While the playability of the emulator is described as excellent and the games are claimed to run at full speed (as they ought to - the Pre’s 600 MHz TI OMAP3430 processor positively dwarfs the 8 MHz Sharp Z80 in the Game Boy Color), we know you like proof, and the video above proves it.

Dudestatus has even coded together an icon for the webOS launcher, allowing you to launch gnuboy as easily as any other app. While there’s some less than pretty code that rolls across the screen at points, it’s still Game Boy on webOS, and there’s something to be said for that. Now all we need is for this to be wrapped up in a tight little package for the less-than-technically proficient among us (such as this blogger) and then we’ll be set.


Cool! I'll wait until it's more easily accessible as well, but it sounds like something fun to try for sure. I never had a real Gameboy. :D



Wow im soooo down for this!! thanks dudestatus!!

Awesome! What we really need, though, IS A FULL ON NES EMULATOR!!!!! I would have thought that would have come first, but I'm still looking forward to getting some GB on my Pre. Thanks Dudestatus and all the Pre community!

Definitely second the NES emulator. I never had a GameBoy either, so this interests me. This is definitely a great step in Pre gaming.

It is really hard to find a micro usb light gun though.

Heh, valid point. But you could just use the touch screen in place of the light gun, which I suppose could theoretically give you too much accuracy.

There were, what, 7 games total that used the light gun? I think I can go without Duck Hunt another 20 years.

Legend of Kage, however.... bring it on!

And BTW, developers, I would definitely pay money for an NES emulator! Or, shall I say, I'd "donate to your research..."

Without Duck Hunt, perhaps. But who doesn't want to blast futilely at the damned dog a few more times?

me either! this could be a pretty cool make-do until Palm gets flash or other game platform rollin'. any idea how much of our precious memory this'll require? Can the game be stored in the non-app portion of the memory, one wonders. Well, I'm off to see what's happening over there.

this is awesome! I cant wait till it is put in a easier to get package...i cant wait to play pokemon on my pre!

Woot! I grew up on gameboy!

Ah, let the Nintendo lawsuit begin.

For those of you that believe what you read in ROM forums: Can I Download a Nintendo ROM from the Internet if I Already Own the Authentic Game?

There is a good deal of misinformation on the Internet regarding the backup/archival copy exception. It is not a "second copy" rule and is often mistakenly cited for the proposition that if you have one lawful copy of a copyrighted work, you are entitled to have a second copy of the copyrighted work even if that second copy is an infringing copy. The backup/archival copy exception is a very narrow limitation relating to a copy being made by the rightful owner of an authentic game to ensure he or she has one in the event of damage or destruction of the authentic. Therefore, whether you have an authentic game or not, or whether you have possession of a Nintendo ROM for a limited amount of time, i.e. 24 hours, it is illegal to download and play a Nintendo ROM from the Internet.

Apple didn't sue Palm. I doubt Nintendo will either. If all else fails, all they have to do is have you bring your own boot rom and game roms to the table, and the app is good to go from a Palm liability standpoint.

This app does not apply to your quote. While the video may show someone playing (what appears to be, *wink wink) a gameboy game, the app itself is simply an emulator. An emulator in and of itself is not illegal, as it does not infringe on any copyrights. The software designed to run the roms is not copyritten, it is differant than the software/OS from the game machine itself, and not made by nintendo.

Many websites make emulators for all differant types of platforms available all the time without any legal fuss. The sites that have problems are the ones that distribute ROMS, the game software itself, which is under copyright. This is why it is so hard to find any roms on websites anymore (i've had luck with filesharing programs and torrents in the past).

So no, Nintendo will not be opening up any lawsuits over this or any other emulator made for WebOS or any other platform (A friend has recently downloaded a NES and SNES emulator from the Android Market onto his Droid.) So keep em' comin guys, this is what i've been waiting for!!

Gnuboy has already been distributed for 8 years without so much as a cease and desist letter, as have literally dozens of other Game Boy emulators. If it contained a ROM from the Game Boy itself, that might be a different story, but it's just an emulator for the Z80 and some rudimentary A/V hardware. At any rate, Nintendo's ever-optimistic legal opinion that you quoted would apply not to the emulator itself but to people dumping Game Boy cartridges.

Speaking of which, I look forward to playing my copy of Game Boy Donkey Kong on my Pre.

Why is it only taking up half the screen though? Not complainning just wondering.

The games were made for the aspect ratio that the GB had.

don't look at gift horse in the mouth,lol'take what you got for now!

don't look at gift horse in the mouth,lol'take what you got for now!

hi,don't look at gift horse in the mouth,lol' take what you can get for now!

The bottom half should have touchscreen GB controls so you can play with it closed.

that would be a great idea! I would pay good money if it had that functionality

wow thats pretty sick, i'd be playin that all the i need an extended life battery though the standard one is killin me

Wow, this is great and sorted expected for a Linux based OS.

Well, I think Palm should seriously consider hiring the WebOS internal guys to turn out apps beyond current SDK allows. Or at least officially bless these apps by providing some testing and deeper insights of the OS.

Amused that the video chose Pokemon Yellow, the first game I played through on the Gameboy emulator on my PalmOS devices. :) {Jonathan}

I so want this!

The days I use to thundershock pidgey's and rattata!

This is just cool as hell and i cant wait for this to be packaged though i doubt it will ever happen seeing that you need to install debian with this and the fact that you would have to hunt down the roms which is a pain in the ass in it self.

>and the fact that you would have to hunt down the roms which is a pain in the ass in it self.

Torrents aplenty, my friend.

don't doubt the guys at webosinternals, I'm sure we'll have a "so easy a monkey can do it" package relatively soon

I really hope so. The Nintendo Emulator has been out since June and they have yet to give it the same treatment.

Oh Please....There was an emulator available for PalmOS, it was LJP I believe. If Nintendo was going to start suing I believe they would have done it years ago.

Well to be true I'm running this emulator since a long time (2 months). Don't no what are the news. You need to know you won't be able to phone or to use any other function while playing, since Luna has to be killed.
Also sound is really loud and you won't be able to use the headset. Still you can disable the sound via commandline. You need to setup a small debian on your pre to run this. Then you need to setup DirectFB and gnuboy. Also it's really crappy to change the game you want to play. There is no selection via a nice gui like you know it from WebOS. You also have to do this via commandline.
All in all not really a solution. But I'm looking forward. Perhaps someday we will be able to use it in Luna and then I'm happy ;)!

FWIW, from the linked wiki (and shown in the video)

The emulator even works with Luna on, meaning you can launch it from the Webos Terminal, and receive calls even when playing a game

I'm interested how they did this, as the wiki doesn't seem to explain. Is it taking advantage of something the terminal service provides? Shot in the dark :).

Anyway, that's what makes it news in my opinion-- it's the first time (AFAIK) that emulators access the fb while keeping luna running.

You can launch the emulator from the terminal and it stays in that card.

around the end of the video dudestatus receives a call while the emulator is running to show you that you still have that functionality

watching this shows me that waiting pays off (:
a gameboy emulator was the best thint I had on my old nokia... so if the pre had one I wouldnt change it for any other phone ever :D
if now somebody would make a ScumVM version vor the pre the pre nearly is 100% unbeatable...^^

Wow, great work guys!

A few years ago I led the team that ported Frodo, the C64 emulator, to the PocketPC platform (before it was called Windows Mobile). That was a very fun experience, and we were the first such emulator that actually "worked"... I wish I had the time to explore how they did this because I'd *LOVE* to do the same for a C64 emulator. I suspect it would even be easier given webOS's Linux underpinnings and how much more there is available there in the bowels of the OS (I've frankly never been a big *nix person myself though, so I'd have a steeper hill to climb than the internals guys).

Do you have to have a linux computer to set up the Debian?

There's on in your pocket. Or use a live CD.

im sure if he learns a bit from the guy emoney i think it was he could make a really good on screan controller! man i hope they hurry and package this b4 i brick my pre trying

Now don't you wish the silly "center button" on the Pre was something useful, like a 5-way nav?

Trying to play any real-time, joypad-like game with the Pre keyboard or touchscreen is just... painful :( (At least, anything I have seen/tried thus far).

In any case, this is beyond cool!! As for ROM's- if you purchased, still own, and posses the game already, there is nothing immoral about downloading and using the ROM. The legality is, of course, questionable. But it is similar to buying a CD, then downloading an MP3 of one of the songs you already purchased.


Wow, this is simply amazing. Those Internals folks work tirelessly for the community's benefit and everyone should really think about donating to their/our cause. :)

GRRR as I read it I can't seem to find out how to do it for a lowly windows user I so wanna do this but I never tried linux and wouldn't know where to start... anyone wanna help me?

OMFG!!!!! YELLOW POKEMON VERSION!!!! MY ALL TIME FAVORITE!! DUUUDEEE!!! im gonna try this out. I want this on my pre really bad. Kudos to this developer! he rocks! i'd donate for this! of course... i would like to see a more tech-easy way to get this woring.

working* sorry guys

is there any news on any progress to make this easier to set up?

I don't wanna pay $5 for some fancy 3d game to play on my phone. I also don't see how my iPhone friends can spend 45min throwing some 3d human form down a flight of stairs or off a cliff over and over again. If I want hardcore gaming I got a PS3, PC and a PSP (thats a lot of P's.) What i've been wanting the entire time i've had a Pre has been a good, old school emulator to play all the great old games i've been playing for years (I still have my NES and SNES by the way.)

As far as i'm concerned, i'll take this over opengl any day of the week. Gimme a Gameboy, NES, and/or SNES emulator and i'll never have to buy a game from the app store again, but i would be more than happy to make donations to see this happen.

Another amazing job by our friends at WebOS Internals! Keep up the great work guys!!

can you guys make a step by step video that shows what todo for those of us who don't undertsand any of this :(

I'm thinking that if you don't understand any of this, you probably shouldn't go poking around in your phone's bowels.

Be patient-- it'll come in a package soon enough.

How long until we see a preware release of some kind?

I can't wait!!!!

ScummVM anyone?

I installed this and it runs GREAT! man, i love my Pre :D

fuck you fags who complain about legality of roms.

Loading it on my phone now... this is going to be AWESOME

can someone help me put this on my phone? i dont know much about all this stuff. i wanna show this off at school to all the palm haters. please help me! thanks in advance!