It looks like Game Boy Advance Games are finally coming to Switch.
We’ve known that Nintendo plans to add Game Boy games into its Switch Online subscription service for a while. This currently allows customers access to a variety of titles from the NES and SNES and SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis library titles. There is further evidence that popular games for portable consoles are coming to the hybrid device, but with an advanced twist.
Has highlighted that what appears to be Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance emulator for the Switch – Game Boy and Game Boy Color games – has been leaked ahead of an online update from Nintendo. According to Nintendo Life, an emulator codenamed “Sloop” is used to run the GBA games, while another called “Hiyoko” runs the monochrome delights and their colourful cousins.
Another Twitter user, @Mondo_Mega, posted a list of GBA games being tested on the “Sloop” emulator. There are certainly some good ones in there. You’ll find entries from the Metroid, Castlevania and Golden Sun series and The Legend of Zelda – The Minish Cap and some Pokemon releases. Game Boy/Color testing hasn’t been as extensive as you might think. The thread is linked above/below. The leak reveals only four titles put through Hiyoko’s Hiyoko tests: Super Mario Land and Tetris. Taito’s puzzler Qix and the classic RPG The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening. The Game Boy version did receive a re-watch unit.
Sloop, Hiyoko and the rest of the NERD team are from Nintendo’s Paris-based NERD division. This is a great acronym that stands for Nintendo European Research & Development. Nintendo Life notes that the same team worked on the emulation software for Nintendo’s NES Classic and NES Classic mini-consoles and 2020’s Super Mario 3D All-Stars releases, which featured Mario games from the N64, GameCube, and Wii.