A new emulator for the Game Boy portable gaming system has been launched for the Apple Watch, allowing users who are sick of playing Pokémon GO on the smartwatch to instead play the classic Pikachu-headlined Pokémon Yellow.
This is not the first time that a game has been ported to the smartwatch though, as back in October 2015, Facebook developers were able to bring classic shooter Doom into the Apple Watch.
Giovanni Emulator For The Apple Watch
The Giovanni emulator for the Apple Watch, named after the head of Team Rocket in the original Pokémon games, was created by iOS software developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan. He started working on the emulator for the Game Boy a few months ago because he was disappointed with the low number of games that are available to Apple Watch users.
O'Flaherty-Chan started by creating his own game, but afterward, he decided to try porting a game into the Apple Watch, and so his project on the Game Boy emulator started.
The Giovanni emulator has now been released on Github, with GIFs and images of a port of Pokémon Yellow into the Apple Watch showcased.
According to O'Flaherty-Chan, one of the biggest hurdles in porting Pokémon Yellow into the Apple Watch through the Giovanni emulator was finding the correct balance between the game's performance and its framerate. The developer did what the Facebook developers did in porting Doom into the smartwatch, and then updated the code for the new version of the Apple Watch.
For the game's graphics, he head to dabble into experiments on color correction, but he was able to determine the correct configuration for the proper colors to display on the Apple Watch.
How Does 'Pokémon Yellow' On The Apple Watch Play?
Gamers would be interested to know if Pokémon Yellow is actually playable on the Apple Watch, unlike the port of shooter Counter-Strike on the LG G Watch that was very difficult to properly play.
For the Pokémon Yellow port, panning on the Apple Watch screen will function as pressing on the directional pad, while tapping on the screen will work as pressing the A button. Rotating the digital crown will function as up and down, and the Start, Select, and B buttons were given onscreen counterparts.
O'Flaherty-Chan's demonstration of Pokémon Yellow on the Apple Watch is not perfect, but it is very much playable. At the very least, it will give Apple Watch owners an alternative Pokémon game to play aside from Pokémon GO.
"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?'" O'Flaherty-Chan wrote about the Pokémon Yellow port.
O'Flaherty-Chan, however, said that he will be revisiting the development of the Giovanni emulator upon the release of the next generation of the Apple Watch, to see if a higher frame rate can be achieved. The emulator is an open source project, and O'Flaherty-Chan said that he could work with other developers to try to simplify the Giovanni emulator further for more Apple Watch owners to enjoy.