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Someone strapped a smartwatch to a controller to make a handheld gaming console

You need a smartwatch clone that runs full Android, and not Wear OS, and you need emulators.

Published onApril 10, 2024

  • A Redditor has paired up an Android-running Apple Watch Ultra clone with a gaming controller in order to run a Game Boy emulator on it to play retro games.
  • This jerry-rigged portable retro console experience is weirdly nostalgic and a breath of fresh air for what the Android platform can achieve.

Android flagships are more than enough for most gaming needs, but some of us yearn for more. You can go down the gaming phone route to get phones specializing in gaming or pair your phone with a game controller for more engaged gameplay. This Redditor is not afraid to go off the beaten route, pairing a smartwatch with a game controller to create a makeshift portable console.

Reddit user R3V3RB_7 strapped an Android-based smartwatch (an Apple Watch Ultra clone that runs full Android and not Wear OS) to a DualSense-like Bluetooth gaming controller (h/t AndroidPolice). They then used the My Boy! GBA emulator app to play Castlevania – Aria of Sorrow on it. The result is a surprisingly convincing portable retro console, complete with the tiny screen experience, albeit with better handheld ergonomics.

The experience appears weirdly nostalgic to what you could get on a Game Boy Advance, though one could argue that the Game Boy Advance screen, at 2.9-inch, is bigger than this seemingly 1.93-inch smartwatch display. It’s definitely not a practical solution for your gaming needs, but it is a fun way to explore what is possible through Android, retro emulators and Bluetooth game controllers. I am also surprised by how well the emulator and the game run on the smartwatch, which seemingly wouldn’t be all that powerful.

If you have a knockoff Android-running smartwatch, try it out and let us know how retro gaming feels on it!

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