Consoul's Blog Consoul Games: Play GameBoy on PSP

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Play GameBoy on PSP

Progress in the PSP homebrew scene certainly has been rocketing along since the recent discovery of the v1.00 firmware exploit. Much to everyone's surprise, the first working GameBoy emulator was released for PSP a few days ago, and has already been superceded. RIN v0.8 is the current release from Mr. Mirakichi, and it allows classic Gameboy games (like the original B&W Tetris) and GameBoy Color titles to be played on PSP.

There's no sound support yet and the display looks tiny on-screen (as it is not upscaled), but emulation speed is excellent. RIN v0.8 emulates at full speed, which is a huge improvement over its sluggish initial release. It will only run a single GB/GBC rom that has been renamed "ROM.GB" and placed in the same directory (PSP/GAME/RIN/) on the memory stick as RIN itself. As such, a sidekick PSP application has also been released (and updated) that will rename and copy roms to that location so games can be switched on the go (ie. without having to connect to a PC to perform the file transfer).

The delicious irony of Mirakichi's particular homebrew app is that it plays classic Nintendo Gameboy and Gameboy Color games which Nintendo's own latest handheld cannot. Nintendo's DS is only backwards-compatible with GameBoy Advance games, featuring no support for GB or GBC games. Nintendo can't be particularly pleased about their logo popping up on PSP screens. You have to wonder whether some people at Sony secretly find this amusing.

Sony are taking the threat posed by the recent exploit discovery seriously. They have confirmed (via their Japanese PSP site) that firmware updates will be mandatory for some future game releases and that firmware updates will be included on the game UMDs. They have also just released firmware version 1.51 for Japanese PSPs. This time around they're not even claiming that there are any functionality improvements in it. It is apparently only a security update over version 1.50, and they ask for everyone's co-operation in updating their Japanese PSPs to this latest version. It can only be assumed that Sony are plugging holes that they are aware of in the v1.50 firmware before anyone can discover and exploit them. As there is no discernable benefit to the user, I can't imagine too many people voluntarily applying this update. There are certainly plenty of people kicking themselves at having applied the v1.50 update already.

While other homebrew PSP programs are emerging (like Portable Tetris, PSP's first true homebrew game), it is clear that Sony are taking practical steps to ensure that the small number of people still capable of running them on the original v1.00 firmware will continue to dwindle. The speed of progress in the PSP homebrew scene is nothing short of astounding right now, but whether it will continue at this rate as it's audience dies off remains to be seen.


Blogger Ryan said...

I'd choose Lumines over GB Tetris, probably the same as anyone else..

4:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ryan, I think you missed the point...

6:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats up with the emulators for the v1.50 psp's?

7:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its frightening about the mandatory 1.51 updates but all the 1.0 homebrew apps/emus work on 1.5 with kxploit

9:34 am  

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