Current state of portable consoles emulation on the PSVita – March 2017
The PSP and its successor, the PSVita, are both great consoles that are quite hackable nowadays and without a doubt, they shine in emulating similar consoles. Both consoles have a very decent control scheme which makes playing games for other portable consoles a breeze. Without a doubt, in order to do this, you must run an emulator so this article will tell you about what’s out there!
N.B: Portable consoles are usually a generation before home consoles so generations will be sorted as per home console counterparts! Only the most popular consoles will be featured. Cores mean RetroArch cores
- Gameboy: This doesn’t require very powerful hardware so emulating on the Vita should be a breeze. mGBA 0.5+ and the Gamebette/TGBDual cores should get the job done. RealBoy can also do the job (HENkaku show
- Sega Game Gear: You may use SMSplusVita (which you can find in the HENKaku showcase page) to emulate this system.
- Atari Lynx: You may use the ‘Handy’ core of RetroArch or the HandyVITA emulator.
Various obscure portable and home consoles are part of this era so don’t expect a Game Com emulator on your Vita!
- Gameboy Colour: Quite a popular console that isn’t too far away from a Gameboy with colour capabilities. You may use mGBA 0.5+ or the Gambette/TGBDual RetroArch cores. RealBoy can also do the job (HENkaku showcase)
- Neo Geo Pocket: You may emulate this with MednaFen which is a RetroArch core. This core is available in various versions so you must choose the ‘ngp’ version of it.
- WonderSwan/Colour: You may use the MednaFen ‘wswan’ core for this. WonderSwan Colour games may run slowly but your mileage may vary greatly. It’s not the same fro all games.
- Gameboy Advance: This is most probably the most well-known portable console to date! You may use mGBA (originally developed for it only but 0.5+ added GB/C support). There are also the ‘VBA Next’ and GPSP RetroArch cores but it’s advised to use the ‘VBA Next’ core. Not all games may work the same and some games may not run at full speed. VBA Next is said to give better performance but your mileage may vary depending on the games you play.
- Neo Geo Pocket Colour: You can use NeopopVITA (Henkaku showcase) or the MednaFen ‘ngp’ core.
- PSP: One of the most iconic portable game consoles! You may use either ARK or Adrenaline to use the bundled ePSP software in the Vita to play most PSP games!
- Nintendo DS: There’s an alpha emulator that’s only a Proof of Concept so don’t hold your breath.
The PSVita, like the PSP, can emulate a wide range of consoles so that’s one of the features that makes the PSVita a very decent homebrew console. You can also emulate most of the above consoles on the PSP or via VHBL/ARK on 3.61+ (or firmwares lower than 3.60).
RetroArch Vita Thread (for more info): https://gbatemp.net/threads/retroarch-libretro-thread-ps-vita-edition-nightlies-included.437034/
HENkaku showcase: Henkaku Showcase