Official Nintendo GBA emulator for Switch Online leaks

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Official Nintendo GBA emulator for Switch Online leaks

Rumor mill: This week, data miners uncovered emulators that Nintendo is allegedly using to test dozens of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games for the Switch. The leak strengthens rumors from last year that classic handheld games are coming soon to Nintendo’s subscription service.

On Monday, in-development emulators for the Game Boy and GBA leaked on 4chan. According to Twitter users Trash Bandatcoot and Oatmeal Dome, both were retrieved from Switch consoles and were developed by Nintendo Europe Research & Development. Last September, news circulated that Game Boy and Game Boy Color games were coming to Nintendo Online. However, nothing came of those reports until this week.

The leak names over two dozen games in testing on Sloop, the GBA emulator. Notable entries include Metroid Fusion, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, Wario Land 4, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, WarioWare Inc: Minigame Mania, Gunstar Super Heroes, Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, Astro Boy: Omega Factor, and the first two Golden Sun games. Trash Bandatcoot stressed that the list doesn’t indicate which games might make it to Nintendo Online.

The leaked Game Boy emulator, Hiyoko, is from a very old build, likely representing an early stage of development. Its age might be why it only appears to play four games: Super Mario Land, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Qix, and Tetris. However, the emulator does support multiplayer to simulate the original Game Boy’s link cable. Oatmeal Dome first uncovered Hiyoko in 2019 while data mining the NES app on the Switch.

Twitter user Ratgorl Hunter posted footage on Monday of both emulators running on a Switch. That account has since disappeared, but archives of the tweets are still available. Pokémon data miner and leaker PoryLeeks told Kotaku that the emulators only work on Switch dev kits. PoryLeeks also tweeted that Nintendo is having tweets about the emulators taken down, which would strengthen the veracity of these leaks.

Twitter user Ratgorl Hunter posted footage on Monday of both emulators running on a Switch. That account has since disappeared, but archives of the tweets are still available. Pokémon data miner and leaker PoryLeeks told Kotaku that the emulators only work on Switch dev kits. PoryLeeks also tweeted that Nintendo is having tweets about the emulators taken down, which would strengthen the veracity of these leaks.

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