25 January 2013

Android GameBoy Advance Emulation (using a s5110)

   In this post I´ll test the available Android GameBoy Advance emulators. The test results may help you to decide which of them to use on your device.

   These are the emulators I´m testing:

  • GBA.emu v1.5.6

  • GameBoid v2.4.7 (not in the market anymore)

  •  My Boy! - GBA Emulator v1.1.16

  • VGBA - GameBoy Advance Emulator v3.9.36

    The entire tests are done in a JXD s5110 with Android 4.03 stock firmware.

  • Special characteristics
   Each of the emulators has different characteristics that may interest you. The most important are:
  • GBA.emu v1.5.6
      Additional controls: Wiimote, iCP, JS1 but NO sensor
      It has a "Benchmark Game" option but I really don´t know how it calculates the results.
      It has some display effects
  •  My Boy! - GBA Emulator v1.1.16
      Screenshot option menu.
      It lets you use the device sensor as a control device
      Cheats available
      Optionally you can use the GBA BIOS
  • GameBoid v2.4.7:
      Needs the GBA BIOS to run.You can put it (gba_bios.bin)  anywhere in your SD Card.
      No sound configuration
      No video filters available
      It lets you use the device sensor as a control device
      Cheats available
  • VGBA - GameBoy Advance Emulator v3.9.36
      Many screen filters
      May use 3D Hardware acceleration

   All the GBA games are being emulating at "maximum" quality (i.e. no frame skip, full screen with correct aspect ratio...) The test´s objective is to discover if the any of the four emulators can play GBA games in the s5110 at 100% full rate.

   And the tests results are
  1. GameBoid v2.4.7. Not perfect but very very close
  2. My Boy! - GBA Emulator v1.1.16. Lost frames and music isn´t perfect
  3. GBA.emu v1.5.6. Lost more frames and music is even worst than My Boy! emulator
  4. VGBA - GameBoy Advance Emulator v3.9.36. Not working! ¿Configuration problem? ¿Compatibility with s5110 ROM problem?

   PD: It´s annoying that a "dead" emulator as the GameBoid (it´s not on development anymore) wins hands down everyone!

   Let´s see the winner in action: GameBoid v2.4.7

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