Game Boy games now working on Apple Vision Pro, with intuitive gyro controls for the handheld's weirdest game

Game Boy running on Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Riley Testut)

Apple Vision Pro has a hefty price tag, yet some users have opted to put that expensive, futuristic tech to use by emulating a game from two decades ago. 

As originally spotted by The Verge, developer Rilet Testut has pushed out an update to the GBA4iOS app, which emulates Nintendo Game Boy games on iPhone, calling it GBA4vOS. This allows those with Apple Vision Pro to run Game Boy games in the headset. As of right now, there are two distinct ways to use it. 

The first is simply a huge GameBoy with palm-sized buttons that you can click by moving forward and pressing them. It looks cumbersome in the video but, who hosts the App, says “playing a literal life-size Game Boy with your palms is objectively hilarious” and I’m inclined to agree. 

The second way to use GBA4vOS is a much more intuitive and intentional method that uses pinches to activate the gyro controls in WarioWare: Twisted. It’s a niche functionality but a sign of more thoughtful design in the future. This is not the only way that Riley is looking to improve the Game Boy experience on Apple Vision Pro. 

Improvements to GBA4

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As shown over on Threads, Riley has been testing a method to play Game Boy Advance, which uses back triggers — something that would be very difficult to achieve on the huge Game Boy spotted in the first clip. Instead, a Game Boy Advance floats in front of the user’s face, with buttons you can tap, much like Apple Vision Pro’s typing. It too looks unintuitive but much better than the huge Game Boy. 

As well as this, GBA4iOS X will launch soon, which is a recompiled and updated version of the popular GBA4iOS app. This will make emulating Game Boy games much easier on iPhone. In the original X thread, announcing GBA4iOS X, states it is better than Delta, their other emulation app, as it allows for “Event Distribution” which accounts for unique new characters and events in some games. For instance, on Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, you get given a rare Pokemon by Riley and Paul, the app’s developers. 

No matter if you have the best iPhone, an iPhone 15 Pro Max, or a slightly older one, you should be able to get something out of GBA4iOS X when it launches.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.