HERE WE GO AGAIN. Someone has taken something and turned it into something else that can play old games that everyone stopped playing years ago.
In years to come, historians and sociologists will look back on this trend and suggest that it came about because people began to hate life in the latter stages of the 2010s and looked back to more halcyonic times when all they needed was a copy of Jet Set Willy or Tetris to make them feel like everything is OK.
The new world meets the old one in a succession of gadget makeovers, and this week we find the Apple Watch being bent to meet the will of someone who probably just fancied playing some of the games that he used to enjoy playing on the Nintendo Game Boy in the 1990s.
That someone is being applauded for taking the non-CEX option and not just selling the Apple Watch on to someone else, and for instead turning it into a Game Boy emulator with a few performance problems but enough geek kudos to make a propeller hat spin.
The INQUIRER does not hate on such endeavours, but struggles to see exactly how much enjoyment could be taken from playing Nintendo anything on a tiny screen on your wrist. But if this is progress, then it must be good.
Developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan is the man behind the portable port. He says he did it because he wasn't keen on the flashy timepiece.
"Since getting an Apple Watch last fall, I've been by the lack of content. To help address this, I made my own game a few months ago (a 3D RPG), but obviously it still didn't address the bigger issue. An idea I had was to port an existing catalog, and emulation made perfect sense," he said.
"The result is a surprisingly usable emulator which I'm calling Giovanni after the super-villain from my favourite Game Boy game, Pokemon Yellow. Ironically, I've only ever played the game on an emulator, as growing up I didn't have access to the real deal. In a way, I feel this is my way of giving back to the community."
The "Giovanni" emulator is based on a pre- existing iOS emulator called Gambatte, and doesn't quite work perfectly on the Apple Watch 2. This is the watch's fault though.
"One of the big challenges was to find the right balance between framerate and performance. As you can see, it's a bit sluggish and unresponsive, but as a prototype, I think it answers the question of ‘is this possible?', he added.
"I was working under the fatal assumption that watchOS supported OpenGL or Metal (because of SceneKit). As it turns out, it doesn't. I imagine if I did this investigation beforehand, it probably would've deterred me from even beginning. Nonetheless, I was too far in."
His efforts an be copied. We'd probably just take the watch to an auction site or pawn shop. But we are classy like that. µ
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