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GBAccelerator Speeds Up Handheld Gaming

by Jonathan Metts - October 24, 2004, 10:33 pm EDT
Total comments: 8 Source: Ahead Games

An upcoming device actually makes your GBA run faster (or slower).

Ahead Games is developing a device they call the GBAccelerator, which basically overclocks your GBA and allows it to run much faster than normal. It can also slow down the system's performance. So why would you want to alter your GBA's processor speed? Well, since games literally run faster or slower, you can add extra challenge or cheat a bit on games that are primarily time based, like puzzle and racing games. The function can also be useful for homebrew game developers who want to squeeze more performance out of the hardware. There are four modes in the device: slow, normal, fast, and very fast. Each mode is indicated by a blinking pattern in the GBA's battery light.

Ahead Games has posted some more information in their forums, linked above. There are also a number of videos of the device being used with homebrew games and some commercial software. The company says development on the device is nearing completion, so it should be on sale soon. Please remember that any hardware modification voids the warranty on your system.


Ian SaneOctober 24, 2004

This is a neat idea though it's usefulness is pretty small for anything beyond homebrew stuff. There aren't really any major GBA games with a lot of slowdown. Now the SNES. THAT system could use something like this.

Slow might be kind of cool for those who use the "slow motion" function on auto-controllers. Only this time it would be accurate instead of just pausing the game a bunch.

Darc RequiemOctober 24, 2004

True Ian but I can think of one game that could benefit from this....Advanced Guardian Heroes. It would be nice to play the game without the ridiculous amount of slowdon. I mean Astro Boy came out some much better than AGH.

KDR_11kOctober 25, 2004

OCing the CPU won't work well with consoles since most games will use the clock speed to determine how fast time goes by. That means that unlike PC games they won't realize that the CPU is faster and not use the additional cycles as a "headroom", they will still assume that a second consists of 16777216 cycles and when they get 33554432 cycles they will think that two seconds have passed. Hackers have OCed GBAs (and even XBoxes, okay, not OCed but replaced the CPU with a faster one) before.

DweditOctober 25, 2004

The device also speeds up the music and increases the sound pitch as well.

AheadGamesOctober 25, 2004

Hey Guys, thanks for the feedback.

Can anyone think of any other GBA games that experience slowdown? So far I've heard of Advance Guardian Heroes and Crazy Taxi.

Also I wanted to mention that we've done some extensive testing with this modification and have not witnessed any noticable problems such as shortened battery life, heat problems or damage to the system (Nintendo makes very tolerant hardware). We're planning to sell both a professional installation service for the GBAccelerator as well as a 'Do-It-Yourself' kit for those who like to do their own mods. We'll be providing a one year warranty on our installation (just like all of our professional modifications) but of course installing yourself will be at your own risk.

KDR_11kOctober 26, 2004

The ARM7 was designed for a 33MHz clock so any overheating would surprise me.
Are there any games that run at the proper speed even with a modified clock rate? I'm sure Crazy Taxi and AGH would run unplayably fast on an OCed ARM7...

KulockOctober 26, 2004

Didn't Wing Commander have problems with slowdown? And that Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon game? Probably the heavy poly-pushing games would benefit the most from this, if they had slowdown problems. (Ozzy and Drix used polys as well, I think, I don't remember if anyone mentioned slowdown, though.)

KDR_11kOctober 26, 2004

Of course it wouldn't just compensate for the slowdown, it would speed up everything else, too.

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