Emulation & Switch Releases: mGBA 0.8.0 with High-Resolution Renderer, BattleChip Gate support, Interframe Blending and more & Fizeau gets released for the Switch allowing you to change your screen colour for f.lux-like effects!
With the GBA having a large fan following, emulator development is always welcome and mGBA is an emulator that has lots of fans always excited for the next release. In this article, we’ll be looking at the long-awaited release of mGBA 0.8.0 and a nifty plugin for the Switch called Fizeau which f.lux/Night Shift fans will surely want to install!
Emulation News: mGBA 0.8.0 coming with High-Resolution Renderer, BattleChip Gate support, Interframe Blending and more!
mGBA is a GameBoy Advance advance emulator by endrift which also does original GameBoy and GameBoy Colour emulation. One of its main goals is that to achieve good performance & accuracy even on lower-end hardware and it’s been pretty successful in this regard as it works pretty well on the PSVita which isn’t very high powered by today’s standards.
The emulator’s available on many platforms including the 3DS, Switch, Wii, PSVita, Windows, Linux and macOS although some features, like the newly-introduced OpenGL renderer, aren’t available on all ports.
Now, mGBA 0.8.0 has been released following Beta 1’s release in October of last year, from which most of its new features stem. As per its release post, this update comes with:
- A High-Resolution OpenGL renderer which renders 3D Sprites in GBA games like F-Zero Maximum Velocity at higher resolutions up to 3840×2560 (4K)
- This feature may be a bit demanding so it may not work on the lowest-end of machines
- It’s only available on the Windows, Linux, macOS and Switch ports.
- Support for BattleChip Gate together with the Progress Gate and Beast Link Gate
- These are GBA peripherals that are intended to be used with MegaMan Battle Network 4-6 in order to play the Operation Battle minigame
- Interframe Blending – This is a technique for frame flickering in every-other frame and it’s mostly used for subtle effects like temporal anti-aliasing in Golden Sun and transperancy of some on-screen elements in F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
- This is supported on all official ports of the emulator
- The ability to inspect frames which lets you disable specific rendering layers or tweak sprites together
- Right now, only GBA games are supported but support for original GameBoy and GameBoy Colour games will come in the future
- Discord Rich Presence has been added which lets you show off which game you’re playing on Discord
- An XQ audio feature which aims to improve audio quality although it’s still in a WIP state right now so it must be manually enabled
- Not all games work well with this feature
- The ability to load more types of cheat code files and some debugging features
To read more about mGBA 0.8.0, check the release post linked above. You may download for the platform of your choice by following this link.
Switch Release: Fizeau – A sysmodule to modify your screen’s colour
Thanks to hacks, community members have the ability to develop software in order to modify every configurable aspect of the device’s hardware. A popular aspect is the screen, in particular the way it displays colours and now, the Switch has a sysmodule called Fizeau which allows you to take some more control over what your Switch’s screen emits. This sysmodule, by Averne, has many features namely:
- The ability to create a layer/overlay with a colour of your choosing
- Built-in values for colour temperature providing similar functionality to f.lux/Night Shift (iOS) and redshift in order to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the screen which may help some people sleep
- The ability to keep track of dusk/dawn times and apply brightness settings automatically similar to functionality offered on mobile devices
- A GUI-based configuration application that lets you set
- Screen Temperature
- Dusk/Dawn times
- The colour of the overlay
You may read more about Fizeau by checking out its GitHub README. Alternatively, you can download it from its GitHub Release Page. It’s important to state that only Atmosphère 0.10.2 is supported by this sysmodule.
On a concluding note, the emulation scene has even more stuff to offer today including an article on SNES emulation by bsnes’ author and the release of WINE 5.0 even though it’s technically not an emulator which comes with Vulkan 1.1 support and a re-written XAudio2 implementation. A mod called Pokemon Ruined Ruby and Shattered Sapphire has also been released for the 3DS by Reddit user ‘AvatarMew’.