This hack turns an Apple Watch into a working Game Boy

Go full Team Rocket on your wrist
Wareable is reader-powered. If you click through using links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

If you long for a simpler time when Pikachu and pals were confined to a Game Boy, a fresh hack could allow you to experience the magic from your Apple Watch.

Developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan's emulator is built out of an existing iOS system, with workarounds used to allow users to control the action from the limited button set of the smartwatch.

Read next: Best Apple Watch apps

The D-pad is replaced with panning on the touchscreen, the A button by tapping on a screen, and the Start, Select, and B buttons with virtual counterparts. The digital crown is also in charge of scrolling through lists, providing one of the more useful applications for the button we've seen so far.

And while it all appears to be a charming wrist adventure, it's not without its limitations. O'Flaherty-Chan indicated that the Apple Watch lacks support for OpenGL or Metal, making it difficult to write pixels to the screen.

This hardware issue results in games being played at a slower speed than the original Game Boy, something that wouldn't be solved until Apple released a more powerful device.

There's also the notable issue of this all being unavailable through Apple's official App Store. In order to get involved with Giovanni — the name of the project — you'll have to head to Github and own the smarts to sneak Nintendo's colourful collective onto your wrist.

Of course, if you're really craving the nostalgia fix, picking up the original Game Boy online or hunting around your attic is probably an easier solution, but imagine the look of jealousy from your coworkers when they realise you've merged retro and new tech together.

Via: Ars Technica

This hack turns an Apple Watch into a working Game Boy

TAGGED Apple Watch

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

Related stories