Nadia Oxford is a former writer v 10+ years' experience. Her articles have showed up in Pocket games Magazine, beat Magazine, game Pro, IGN and others.

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Sorry, Nintendo fans. You're not most likely to see video game Boy breakthrough titles ~ above the digital Console anytime soon, and also the reasons why space more complex than you may think.

As video clip game modern technology pushes forward, many human being can"t help but glance behind at the systems and also games they had fun v in previous years. That"s why numerous of Nintendo"s consoles and handhelds room backwards compatible, an interpretation they"re engineered come play gamings from the previous generation and also the current one. The Nintendo 3DS is capable of play Nintendo DS games, the Nintendo DS can play game Boy breakthrough games, and also the game Boy advance can play game Boy games.

When Nintendo launched the Wii in 2006, it introduced the virtual Console—a digital marketplace where people can download and also play gamings from vault generations. The Nintendo 3DS has actually its very own Virtual Console that uses old titles from the game Boy and NES libraries.

Good stuff, but many Nintendo 3DS owners are wondering why Nintendo hasn't made game Boy advancement games easily accessible to the totality of the Nintendo 3DS userbase.

Ambassadors only

A grasp of happy 3DS owners currently have a choice of game Boy advance titles, as several were provided away as part of Nintendo"s Ambassador Program. As soon as the Nintendo 3DS failed to pick up momentum after its 2011 relax date, one $80 price drop easily followed. Beforehand adopters to be placated with free emulations of video game Boy development titles prefer Metroid Fusion, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and Wario soil 4.

Some customers assumed the Ambassador Program significant the begin of the game Boy Advance's existence on the Nintendo 3DS virtual Console. But, GBA games are currently not up for grabs on the handheld's marketplace, and also it looks like that might never be the case. Instead, those games are sold and distributed with the Wii U's online Console, a different entity indigenous the Nintendo 3DS's digital Console.

It's All technical

The quick answer is that the Nintendo 3DS' hardware isn't engineered come play game Boy advancement games. As a result, the couple of GBA games available to Ambassadors aren't emulated, they're simulated.

The Nintendo DS has two CPUs: one for handling 3D graphics and one for processing 2D graphics. The 2nd CPU is the exact same chip the drives the game Boy Advance. Once players insert a game Boy breakthrough cartridge right into a Nintendo DS, the DS's 2nd CPU slow down and also reads the cartridge, delivering video game Boy advance goodness top top the handheld.

The Nintendo 3DS's emulation that the Nintendo DS works in lot the very same manner. It has a larger CPU and a smaller CPU that deserve to be considered a "Nintendo DS chip." That's why the 3DS have the right to play DS gamings without issue.

While the very same chip can be clocked down more to play game Boy advancement games on the 3DS, the gamings need to run v virtual, simulated video game Boy advance "hardware." The simulation makes the chip unavailable because that 3DS background jobs like Wi-Fi, your friends list, and also the like. Even the 3DS sleep setting is disabled when an Ambassador's video game Boy breakthrough game is running.

In various other words, a combination of hardware and software issues means the Nintendo 3DS is currently only capable of running simulations of video game Boy development titles. That method no conserve states, no sleep mode, or any type of of the other frills that come with "properly" emulated virtual Console games.

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video game Boy advancements to Wii U

The come of video game Boy breakthrough games top top the Wii U more than likely put the kibosh on any GBA plans because that the Nintendo 3DS. But, Nintendo stop the Wii U in 2017 early out to bad sales. That is successor, the Nintendo Switch, introduced that exact same year and, therefore far, it's a large success. But, it currently doesn't have the virtual Console. Instead, it offers some standard NES titles v its Nintendo Switch virtual membership. There's no word yet on even if it is or not Nintendo plans to carry GBA titles to the service.