Genesis/Mega Drive fans rejoice because if you have an old Nintendo 2/3DS, you can finally play your Genesis games at full speed! Thanks to developer ‘bubble2k16’, you can now have PicoDrive on your hacked handheld, an emulator that you may have already used on the PSP/Vita.
What is PicoDrive?
As you may already know, PicoDrive is an open-source and multi-platform Genesis/SMS/32x and Sega CD emulator that is available on various platforms, such as the PSP and OpenPandora. Its developer is ‘notaz’ but many developers have worked hard at porting it and making it more optimised for the console of their choice.
PicoDrive in action playing the Batman game for the Genesis!
Something that makes PicoDrive particularly notable is that it’s a highly optimised emulator, especially on ARM processors, that focuses on performance which means that your favourite Mega Drive games can perform just as well as if you were playing them on the real thing!
What about the 2/3DS release? Is it better than RetroArch?
The main reason that this port exists is because the PicoDrive core of Retroarch is only able to run Genesis/Mega Drive games at full speed on the *NEW* 2/3DS (XL) but not on the original (old) 2/3DS (XL) since the former have better internal specifications such as a faster CPU and more RAM.
With ‘bubble2k16’s work, the workload of generating the YM2612 FM audio heavily relies on the second core of the 2/3DS which means that more processing power is available to PicoDrive in order to render your games at a smooth 60FPS. It is important to note, however, that in order to achieve 60FPS, the audio on the old 2/3DS is generated at 30000Hz instead of the original 44100Hz. That being said, most games will sound just fine and only games with high-pitched notes or sound samples will sound a tad off.
Currently, the emulator only supports Master System and Mega Drive titles so you have to use the PicoDrive core of RetroArch to play 32X and Sega CD games. I doubt anybody will cry a river at not being able to play 32X/Sega CD games with this
You may now enjoy all your favourite Gensis games at full speed on your older 2/3DS console!
It’s also important to note that this port will work properly, probably even better, on a new 2/3DS and the audio will generated at 44100Hz.
To install this on your hacked 2/3DS, simply follow the links below! It’s available in 2 formats, a Homebrew Launcher one and a CIA version, so you could choose which one you prefer. The current version is version 0.91
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.