Gameboy Development Forum

Discussion about software development for the old-school Gameboys, ranging from the "Gray brick" to Gameboy Color
(Launched in 2008)

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#1 2017-04-05 16:20:07

DU0
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From: Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
Registered: 2017-04-01
Posts: 17
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Best hardware to play GB/C games

So now you're developing your games for the Game Boy and want to play or test it on the actual hardware. What to do? Where to go?

Is the GBC better than the GBA SP or is that just nonsense? Any differences of note between those?

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#2 2017-04-05 18:18:13

Xephyr
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From: France
Registered: 2015-02-26
Posts: 59

Re: Best hardware to play GB/C games

The GBA/GBASP does include the same processor than the GBC, so if you're developping a GBC-only game, both are fine.
If you're developping a GB/GBC-compatible game, having a classic GB and a GBC or GBA could be better for full testing purposes.

To transfer your ROM on a physical cartridge, you'll want an EverDrive GB or similar - they are rather expensive though.

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#3 2017-04-05 20:26:51

DU0
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From: Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
Registered: 2017-04-01
Posts: 17
Website

Re: Best hardware to play GB/C games

I had a GBC and one of those GB USB Smart Cards a few years ago, but the cart stopped working and I ended up selling the GBC. However, I'm now thinking about getting another cart for development purposes. Since there seems to be very little difference in price between the GBA and the GBC, I wanted to get the best system I could.

I know that the GBA SP has backlight, and I find that quite appealing, but I'm not sure about battery consumption and compatibility between a GB/C and the SP, screen size, et cetera. I've also heard that the SP's shoulder buttons tend to break a lot, and I've already been through this whole drama with the GBA Micro a few years ago, so that'd be a deal breaker for me.

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#4 2017-04-06 04:30:20

Xephyr
Member
From: France
Registered: 2015-02-26
Posts: 59

Re: Best hardware to play GB/C games

A game played on GBC will play exactly the same on GBA/SP. The default screen area use on the GBA is the same as one of a GB/GBC, but you can stretch the screen using the shoulder buttons. But it just makes games looks worse imo.

Anyway the SP has also the advantage of having a rechargeable battery which is less expensive if you use it a lot. And also backlight as you said, but both of those things shouldn't affect the game (as far as I know). If you use it fine, the shoulders buttons shouldn't break, at least I never broke mine after years of using it.

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#5 2017-04-06 12:40:21

DU0
Member
From: Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
Registered: 2017-04-01
Posts: 17
Website

Re: Best hardware to play GB/C games

Hmm, so the GBA SP would be the best place to play GBC games, then... Thanks for the tips, I'll see if I can get one for a good price. I'm going after a good cart at the moment. Thinking about the good old 64Mb Smart Card.

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#6 2017-05-02 07:54:17

tmk
Member
Registered: 2017-05-01
Posts: 24

Re: Best hardware to play GB/C games

I think it's more complicated than it looks like. Every GB has different LCD, so if you're paying attention to details some additional palette fixes might be useful. For example both Zelda Oracle games check hardware and use adjusted palettes on GBA because GBC palette on GBA looks bad.

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