The Apple Watch might not sport internals as powerful as the iPhone, but the S2 chipset used inside the wearable is still powerful enough to run a Game Boy emulator. A proof of concept created by developer Gabriel O’Flaherty shows the Apple Watch running a Game Boy emulator on which one can play Pokemon Yellow.
The developer is calling the emulator itself as Giovanni, which is also the name of one of the main antagonist in the Pokemon Yellow game, and it is based on the code of Gambatte — an open source iOS emulator. For controls, the developer made use of the Digital Crown and gestures, which worked better than on-screen interactions on such a tiny screen.
It was not particularly easy for the developer to get the emulator up and running on the Apple Watch. He notes in his blog post that one of the biggest challenges was to “find the right balance between framerate and performance.” Even then, the performance is sluggish. The lack of Metal and OpenGL on watchOS did not help things either from a performance perspective.
While impressive, Giovanni — the emulator — is not going to be released on the App Store due to the restrictions imposed by Apple. So, the emulator is essentially going to remain a proof of concept, though the developer has uploaded its full source code on Github if you are interested in further tinkering.
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