With all hacked consoles and devices, the first pieces of homebrew that start popping up are emulators. Now, thanks to some talented developers, hacked Switches on FW 4.0.0+ acquired emulators for Nintendo’s older portables!
Jakibaki ports a GBC and GBA emulator to the Switch
The GameBoy Colour and Advance are on the top of the emulation list for many people, including myself, due to the great games that these two portables offer. With jakibaki’s work, those who have a hacked Nintendo Switch on higher FWs can enjoy the emulators khedgb and gdkGBA which let you play GBC and GBA games respectively.
khedgb is a GameBoy and GameBoy Colour emulator developed by ‘Khedoros‘ which was ported with the sole intention of playing GBC Pokemon games and not much more! Currently, it’s in a pretty rudimentary state without a proper GUI but it has the basic features you need to play games such as sound, saving and controller support so you’ll be able to get away with playing some Pokemon and maybe some other GBC games. Remember, this emulator will become obsolete once RetroArch gets ported to Switch FW 5.0.0 so the developer doesn’t intend to waste too much energy on it!
gdkGBA was developed by ‘gdkchan’ and is one of the numerous GBA emulators around.
Like the GameBoy Colour emulator, the reason why it exists is to fill the gap until RetroArch gets updated to work on firmwares higher than 3.0.0. Like khegdb, it has a rudimentary GUI and only has the basic features that are required to get your games running. According to some users, the emulator performs pretty well and sound has also been greatly improved in a recent update so your ears won’t start bleeding due to garbage audio!
The game directory for khedgb is sd:/switch/roms/gbc and the one for gdkGBA is sd:/switch/roms/gba.
DeSmuME gets ported to the Switch by MasterFeizz
Like he did with the PSVita, MasterFeizz has decided to port a Nintendo DS emulator to the Nintendo Switch.
This emulator is currently in a WIP state and its interface is pretty rudimentary like the one found in the PSVita port. However, unlike the PSVita port, this port performs better but it must be noted that it runs pretty slowly on most games however with some further work, performance may actually become somewhat decent since the Switch’s hardware is much better than that found in the PSVita!
Users have reported that it works on both 4.x and 5.x and that the touchscreen works as an input method so perhaps you can go give some of your favourite DS games a go even if just for the thrill of seeing them run on your Switch! ROMs for this go into sd:/switch/desmume/roms
To get these emulators and learn more about them, simply head over to the links below, download the NRO files and get on testing out your favourite retro games!
GBC emulator GBATemp thread: https://gbatemp.net/threads/gbc-emulator-port-khedgb-works-on-5-0.503969/
GBA emulator GBATemp thread: https://gbatemp.net/threads/gameboy-advance-emulator-port-gdkgba-works-on-5-0.504186/
NDS emulator GBATemp thread: https://gbatemp.net/threads/desmume-nx-wip-ds-emulator-for-switch.504248/
N.B: Please note that I could not test the software mentioned in this article as I currently do not own a Switch. The best efforts have been made to report accurate information through online research! – Aurora.