iPhone Games: iPhone Hackers Release Game Boy Advance Emulator

GameBoy Advance Emulator for iPhone

Though we have seen a good amount of activity from the iPhone hacking community with respect to the release of native iPhone applications, we haven’t seen much or any activity in the iPhone games after the release of Nintendo Emulator for the iPhone.

In fact, I just realized that it has been almost two months since I had written any article on iPhone games so the release of gpSPhone by the iPhone Hacking community is indeed welcome news to take us away (for a bit) from the series of news with regards to iPhone firmware v1.1.2 which was officially released by Apple earlier in the week.

Hackers over at ZodTTD and the iPhone hacking genius NerveGas have released the gpSPhone v0.0.5 which is a Game Boy Advance (GBA) emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch which means that you will be able to play the variety of Game Boy games on your iPhone.

gpSPhone v0.0.5 comes with improved GUI and sound making it probably the first native iPhone application to output sound. However, it is still in its early days so do not expect it to work as smoothly as other iPhone applications, however the iPhone hackers are working hard to make it even better.

The current version of gpSPhone is only for the technically inclined as to get it to work you need to do quite a few things and isn’t as easy as installing it using the cool Installer.app.

You need to first run gpSPhone from /Applications and also need to either supply your own GBA BIOS.

In case you are lost like I was, here is some information on GBA Bios:

GBA BIOS is a set of low-level subroutines used by GBA games to perform such operations as square roots, trigonometry, data decompression, and the like. These subroutines are stored on a 16 kilobyte mask ROM inside the GBA CPU.

Here is a link for the instructions on how to dump your own GBA bios. The other option which in my opinion seems like a easier option would be to download one instead and place it in the .app folder. Like most things you should be able to find it by searching for it on Google.

Once you have the GBA emulator for the iPhone installed, you will still need to copy the GBA ROMs just like you needed to do with the Nintendo Emulator. If you are wondering what GBA ROMs are? Then here is some information:

In cartridges produced by Nintendo, the games are stored in a memory that can only be read and cannot be erased or rewritten. ROM – Read Only Memory. That’s where the name Game Boy Advance (GBA) ROMs comes from.

You need to add your games to /var/root/Media/ROMs/GBA. You should be able to find the game ROMs too by searching for them on Google. The iPhone hackers are claiming that many games are playable.

As for me I would wait for it to be available through Installer app along with the GBA ROMs.

If you have got this running on your iPhone or iPod Touch or looking to give it a shot do let us know your feedback in the comments below.


thehitman, g-rod and David, readers here @ iPhone Hacks, were to quick to point out in the comments below that the GBA emulator is available via the Installer and isn’t that difficult to install especially if you have installed NES before. In fact, g-rod has been kind enough to provide more details such as the link to the bin and the ROM files and even uploaded a video and image of GBA emulator running on his iPhone.

David also points out that GBA emulator might not be the first native iPhone app to have sound.

I have made the necessary changes in the original post. Thank you folks for correcting me, you guys are my stars!

[Tuaw via gpSPhone]
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