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GBA Emulator Released For the DSi

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the what's-old-is-new dept.

Emulation (Games) 66

Busshy writes "Darkchen has released a Gameboy Advance emulator for the Nintendo DS/DSi that plays full speed with frameskip. This can only be played with the homebrew dev cart, the DS iPlayer. The emulator adds save states, cheats and tools to GBA games, and for DSi Fans the ability to finally get over the loss of the GBA Slot on the DSi."

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nitpick (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483057)

If it has to skip frames to play at "full speed" then that means it's not really playing at full speed.

Re:nitpick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483229)

just like if women, spics, and niggers need affirmative action and a special protective status to "be equal" then that means they're not really equal.

thank you, political correctness, for sorting that one out. if you hadn't tried so hard to make those into isolated groups with special social status, I might have thought they are people just like me.

Re:nitpick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483545)

What part of the South do you live in?

I'll bet you are sad that Jim Crowe is over :-( but all that did was prove that whites are inferior so you need to move on.

The Confederacy may have been a total failure, but at least you are surrounded by back-woods retards like yourself.

Re:nitpick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29484165)

Somebody failed a first post today.

Re:nitpick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483377)

If it has to skip frames to play at "full speed" then that means it's not really playing at full speed.

Frameskip is a feature which means it can fastforward during real time play, if you want to get past shitty movie sequences. But then again you're probably too retarded to just fucking bother to google it.

Re:nitpick (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483507)

Technically, both claims are correct. I guess the question is whether or not frame skipping is required to achieve full speed emulation. If so, then then the original commenter is correct in that it is not really full speed emulation.

Re:nitpick (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483587)

No, that is fast forward. Frameskip is for keeping the game at a playable speed either through manual or automatic dropping of frames.

I suggest that YOU learn the terminology before you start accusing others of ignorance.

Re:nitpick (3, Informative)

ZosX (517789) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483651)

From the looks of the video its frameskipping like hell. Emulation doesn't get good until it is as smooth as the original.

The core they are running this on is an arm9. I'd be willing to bet they could get it up to 100% with some optimization. The original GBA was only a 33mhz arm. The music doesn't seem quite right tho.....

Re:nitpick (2, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#29484237)

It takes a surprising amount of computational power to emulate the GBA (and the SNES for that matter). Even the PSP emulators for them don't run at full speed 100% of the time.

Re:nitpick (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29484443)

It's not an ARM9. The iPlayer cartridge is designed to play videos, and has its own faster CPU on the cartridge. It's unknown what kind of CPU it is at the moment though, but people have been guessing that it could be over 300mhz.

Re:nitpick (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#29485827)

It's MIPS. The GBA emulator is a port of the PSP's GBA emulator, since the PSP's CPU was also MIPS.

Re:nitpick (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29486303)

Oh, cool. I guess that's not really a 100% confirmation, but otherwise he probably could not have done it so far. Unless you have specific sources that have found out that it is MIPS? Kind of interested as to why they went with MIPS versus ARM. That's pretty cool though; I guess most universities, including mine, usually use MIPS to teach assembly language/machine organization, so it's interesting to see actual products using MIPS. I guess this joins the N64 and PSP as MIPS powered consoles?

Re:nitpick (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 5 years ago | (#29486575)

The original GBA was 16MHz, not 33.

Re:nitpick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29488381)

I am able to play most GBA, NES and Neo Geo games at full speed using the native emulators that came with my Dingoo A320. For SNES, Genesis and CPS stuff, I have to use the emulators under Dingux (Dingoo Linux) for full speed. Playing a game at frameskip of 1 is usually perfectly fine and you won't even notice it, but there are some games that use sprites that flash at just the right interval that frameskip 1 makes them effectively invisible.

If you are looking for a handheld game system that has good emulation capability and quite a few ports of Linux native programs (Another World, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Flashback, Freedroid, Quake, ScummVM, The Ur-Quan Masters, Wolfenstein 3D to name a few), I would recommend picking one of these things up. Depending on where you go, you can get one from $80-$100.

Re:nitpick (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483631)

So you honestly don't understand the difference between playing half the frames at full speed and all the frames at half speed?

Re:nitpick (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#29488419)

I don't think it's that serious. You could probably drop quite a few frames and have a playable emulator. Back in ye olde days people would write games that were basically locked to the vertical blank interrupt. You'd have two buffers, one visible and one being drawn. Once you were done drawing you'd wait for a VBlank to come along and then flip the buffers when the change was invisible.

Someone should me a demo where he'd set the screen background color to white at the top of the screen then set it back to black once he started to wait for the VBlank. The nice thing about this was that you could see how much slack there was in the system. You could find a worse case bit of the game and make sure you never missed the deadline. Of course if you did you'd effectively skip a frame - since you had a drawn buffer ready you pretty much had to wait for another whole frame period before you could safely show it.

Of course if you knew it was going to be like this you could double the speed and drop every other frame. Most of the time this was unnoticeable.

The TRUTH about Slashdot! (0, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483067)

Imagine a giant penis flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Slashdot is like.

Re:The TRUTH about Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483083)

Anonymity fail.

Re:The TRUTH about Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483269)

Er, did you read the username?

Re:The TRUTH about Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483195)

That's what using Slashdot is like.

If you're going to post ancient copypasta, you could at least update it to reflect what it's like to use slashdot 2.0. Of course, it's mostly the same, except now the giant penis has steel barbs.

Re:The TRUTH about Slashdot! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483967)

Imagine a giant penis with steel barbs flying towards your mouth, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you're like "Oh man, I'm gonna have to suck this thing", and you brace yourself to suck this giant penis with steel barbs. But then, at the last moment, it changes trajectory and hits you in the eye. You think to yourself "Well, at least I got that out of the way", but then the giant penis with steel barbs rears back and stabs your eye again, and again, and again. Eventually, this giant penis with steel barbs is penetrating your gray matter, and you begin to lose control of your motor skills. That's when the giant penis with steel barbs slaps you across the cheek, causing you to fall out of your chair. Unable to move and at your most vulnerable, the giant penis with steel barbs finally lodges itself in your anus, where it rests uncomfortably for 4, maybe 5 hours. That's what using Slashdot is like.

Not for the DSi (5, Insightful)

rvalles (649635) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483077)

Wrong heading. Should say "For the iPlayer" and not "for DSi".

About DSi, once DSi mode is properly cracked, it should give access to 133MHz ARM9 (up from 66MHz) and 16MB of RAM (up from 4MB), which might make this iPlayer device not needed.

Re:Not for the DSi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483237)

But the thing you hold in your hand is called "DSi".

Re:Not for the DSi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483245)

Except that the summary says it works for the DS as well. Ergo, the thing in your hand could be a DS, not a DSi.

Re:Not for the DSi (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#29488455)

DS is not an exciting target for GBA emulation, since the DS can play GBA games and GBA flash karts natively. You might be saving 15 or 20 dollars on a GBA flash kart, but that's about it.

The DSi, on the other hand, is interesting to those of us who actually still have GBA games that we enjoy, but foolishly picked up DSi's anyway.

Re:Not for the DSi (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29492303)

More like foolishly picked up a DSi knowing full well it dropped the GBA slot, and also foolishly threw away your DSLite, DS, Game Boy Micro, Game Boy Advance SP, Game Boy Advance, etc.

You might as well cry about the original DS ot supporting original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

Re:Not for the DSi (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#29500333)

Well, I had a GBA, which was quite literally given away to a sick neighbor's kid. My DS original was given away to a friend's kid, who wasn't actually sick at the time but was broke.

The DSi seemed like a good time to jump in. I didn't realize, however, how many good games from the GBA I'd miss.

I'm not saying it's a dealbreaking feature loss to me. But an emulation option is nice.

Re:Not for the DSi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483275)

I never understood the overuse of the pre and post fixes of the letter i... At least the prefix 'e' for all online-related things had a meaning - "electronic"

Unless it's something gimpy like 'interactive'

Re:Not for the DSi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483305)

The DSi has a camera built in. I - Eye. Yeah, bad pun.

Re:Not for the DSi (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483699)

If it said 'for the iplayer' people would assume it was for the iplayer (a website run by the BBC), not the DS (a console made by nintendo).

For once I agree with slashdot - it's the best they could have done given the stupid naming of the app.

Re:Not for the DSi (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29485287)

I would have written "for DSi/iPlayer."

Re:Not for the DSi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29490043)

bah! just wait for the HURD/iPlayer, it will kick dead horse ass.

Unfair and discriminatory (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483079)

These devices are not fair to people without hands. They should be banned. Separate is not equal! Go ahead bigots, mod me down!

Re:Unfair and discriminatory (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29492325)

Fascinating.
No hands, typing with your penis, and you manage fewer typos than a typical slashdot post.

yo dawg, I heard you like Boys (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483081)

so we put a boy in yo boy so you can- What's that officer?

Re:yo dawg, I heard you like Boys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483509)

You gotta pay the troll toll to get into the boy's hole.

It's actually very interesting..... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483297)

As the iplayer has one of these in it:

http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tms320dm6441.pdf

As the DS isn't quite powerful enough to play video (2 cpu's 100MHz, 4MB of RAM), they put a decoder chip on board a flash cart. This is decoded into the 16MB included in the cart and then displayed on the DS screen. I had previously assumed that it wouldn't be that useful for much else due to traffic being one way only.

As a developer of the Linux port to the DS (http://www.dslinux.org) I am very interested to see if an X server or similar could be run on the iplayer cpu, leaving the DS cpu to handle wifi/touchscreens etc.

It's important to note that this is an unofficial development (darkchen admits to acquiring the SDK through not the normal methods). The iPlayer team are quite proud of the fact that their cartridge is one of the few that doesn't allow piracy. Having a GBA emulator goes against this.

Homebrew without piracy? (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483867)

The iPlayer team are quite proud of the fact that their cartridge is one of the few that doesn't allow piracy. Having a GBA emulator goes against this.

How would it even be possible to emulate homemade GBA games like Luminesweeper [pineight.com] without also emulating pirated GBA games of the same size?

Re:Homebrew without piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29484637)

What are you retarded?

Re:Homebrew without piracy? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29485665)

*psst* He needs to work in an angle so he can link to his tetris clone

Re:Homebrew without piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29485373)

You could always go back to gbadev.org and argue it there

Re:Homebrew without piracy? (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | more than 5 years ago | (#29485913)

I am so fucking sick of you shilling your shitty rip-off game that I am going to make sure Bandai Namco knows how you are stealing their IP for this. I hope the fuck you royally in the ass through the courts.

Re:It's actually very interesting..... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483893)

the DS isn't quite powerful enough to play video (2 cpu's 100MHz, 4MB of RAM)

MoonShell on a standard DS flash card plays DPG video (MPEG-1 up to 18 fps) just fine, and there's even an experimental DivX (MPEG-4 part 2) player called "tuna-vids" that works at half film rate (12 fps).

Re:It's actually very interesting..... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29484825)

Yeah, but the iPlayer plays regular 640x480 videos in normal formats. I've used moonshell, tuna-vids, and ds-video, and they all work decently, but encoding the media is a pain in the ass. But technically, the DS can play video of course. The iPlayer device just lets it work better. I don't own one, but I do want to buy one.

Re:It's actually very interesting..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29506669)

And why the heck would you want to play a 640x480 video on a 256x192 screen ?

I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (3, Insightful)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483307)

Mostly because I still have some old GB/GBC games that do not play in the DS at all.(I'm a little surprised NoA didn't put out a DS card that would let me play those titles.)

Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (5, Informative)

TSPhoenix (1367187) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483419)

Lameboy DS seems to work fine.

Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29488005)

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Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (4, Informative)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483425)

Lameboy [nutki.com] seems to work pretty well. I played it with Link's Awakening DX and it runs at a solid 60FPS.

Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483515)

That's why I still have my SP.

Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483847)

(I'm a little surprised NoA didn't put out a DS card that would let me play those titles.)

Nintendo probably plans to sell emulators or enhanced remakes of GBC games on DSi Shop, just as it has done with NES games on Wii Shop.

Re:I'd rather have a GBC emulator for the DS (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29488153)

Mostly because I still have some old GB/GBC games that do not play in the DS at all.(I'm a little surprised NoA didn't put out a DS card that would let me play those titles.)

They can't. If you try to put a GB or GBC cartridge in your DS, you'll find it won't go all the way in. They operate at a different voltage, and the GBA was designed with a switch inside the slot that only GB/GBC cartridges would push. That switch changed the operating voltage and basically connected the cartridge, screen, and buttons to an alternate set of hardware. In the DS, there's a solid obstruction in place of the switch, so you can't fit GB/GBC carts in it.

How does a DS play GBA games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29483403)

i.e. besides the gba slot, doesn't it already have native abilities to play gba games at full speed?

Re:How does a DS play GBA games? (1)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483783)

They removed the GBA slot with the DSi.

Re:How does a DS play GBA games? (1)

xjerky (128399) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483913)

Yes, but I see where the PP is going with this. If the DS can natively play GBA games, is the DSi any different, besides the lack of the GBA slot? If so, then all that's needed is a new loader for the GBA ROMs, without any sort of CPU emulation.

Re:How does a DS play GBA games? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29483995)

If the DS can natively play GBA games, is the DSi any different, besides the lack of the GBA slot?

For one thing, GBA games expect 0x08000000-0x09FFFFFF to be the Game Pak ROM. DSi appears not to have anything in that address space. Instead, as I understand it, DSi has extra RAM in 0x02400000-0x02FFFFFF and an SD card slot.

For all flashcarts (1)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29484009)

I hope this comes in a version that works on all flashcarts, not just the iPlayer.

Re:For all flashcarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29484319)

Nope! The iPlayer has a 200+MHz arm9 in it which makes it possible to just flat out run the emulator on the flashcart. This isn't so much an emulator for the DS, as much as the DS is being used as a screen for the iPlayer, just as if the iPlayer was playing a video. Not exactly the most exciting conclusion, but at least it runs?

Re:For all flashcarts (1)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 5 years ago | (#29487265)

Nope! The iPlayer has a 200+MHz arm9 in it which makes it possible to just flat out run the emulator on the flashcart. This isn't so much an emulator for the DS, as much as the DS is being used as a screen for the iPlayer, just as if the iPlayer was playing a video. Not exactly the most exciting conclusion, but at least it runs?

Hmmm... how long until someone ports one of the DS emulators to this, at which point the iPlayer would become THE device for the Eyepatch Brigade?

Or, approaching it from another angle, how long until a hacked loader beccomes available for this that permits the loading of "backups"? Didn't that happen with one of the early Datel homebrew/media cards?

How cheap are you? (1, Flamebait)

Deisatru (1605213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29486935)

You have to crack a DSI to play GBA games and cant afford the $5 for a GBA?

Re:How cheap are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29487787)

You have to crack a DSI to play GBA games and cant afford the $5 for a GBA?

It took me weeks of constant Ebay-ing to get a GBA SP for as low as $30. Granted, this is probably because I was very picky and refused to accept anything but one of the newer backlit models (AGS-101 vs the old AGS-001), but finding any model except the original non-backlit GBA for $5 doesn't seem realistic to me.

Re:How cheap are you? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29488289)

I guess the convenience of not carrying around multiple game systems whenever possible is lost on you.

Re:How cheap are you? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29490145)

So, I assume that you carry your Gameboy, Atari Lynx, TurboExpress, GameGear, NeoGeoPocket,Gameboy Advance, N-gage,DS, GP2X and PSP in your belt wherever you go uh?

Re:How cheap are you? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#29492393)

Or you know, the only handhelds worth owning.

A Gameboy Advance SP (GB -> GBA), and a DSi (DS -> DSi & DSiWare).

Hah! (1)

Optimus6128 (1555061) | about 5 years ago | (#29547445)

Gamepark GP2X or Wiz already run the GBA at full speed without frame skipping :)

This is still impressive for the DS though. I wonder if it will run in my cart..

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