Misc GCN Game Boy Player Capabilities

RemnantKnight56

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I've been thinking about this for a while, but coming across this old article from Nintendo World Report, it convinced me to ask online about it. I'll put the link here for reference:

http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/guide/2147/the-ultimate-game-boy-player-faq

Basically, for any sort of homebrew development, what can one theoretically do with the Game Boy Player and the GameCube hardware, beyond simply displaying games that are running and accepting input from controllers? I know that GBI can dump a rom to a connected SD card, but I would think a lot more should be possible. I'll list off some idea, some inspired by the article above, others just of my own invention.
  • Running the GBP at the same time as a standard game, and possibly overlaying the output of the GBP over part of the TV.
  • Run a GCN game, but use the GBP in tandem with Link Cable or Wireless Adapter to have more players on the same console, having interactions similar to the Wii U and its Gamepad. Theoretically, four controllers and four GBAs could be connected for larger scale asymmetric gaming.
  • Have a GBA game that can save content to the Memory Card--stuff like saves, levels, extra content--and then access them in gameplay.
  • Allow a GBA game to have internet connectivity through the BBA. LAN connectivity could also be an option.
These are the main things I'm curious about. I'm aware that the GCN would be hampered by having the GBP running at the same time as a games, but I think the connectivity possibilities alone are quite interesting. What do you all think?
 

esmith13

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The GBP port is an 81MB/sec max speed parallel port. You would think you can do a lot with that but it is controlled by the flipper chip which also handles all the graphics. That leads me to believe that the more you do with the parallel port, the less (if any) spare time the graphics chip will have to do other normal gamecube game stuff. If it was possible at all, the gamecube side of things would have to be much less graphics intensive then the average game, most likely. Not sure it it would therefore be worthwhile to use that port for anything while playing an actual gamecube game.

Interesting ideas tho.
 
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RemnantKnight56

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The GBP port is an 81MB/sec max speed parallel port. You would think you can do a lot with that but it is controlled by the flipper chip which also handles all the graphics. That leads me to believe that the more you do with the parallel port, the less (if any) spare time the graphics chip will have to do other normal gamecube game stuff. If it was possible at all, the gamecube side of things would have to be much less graphics intensive then the average game, most likely. Not sure it it would therefore be worthwhile to use that port for anything while playing an actual gamecube game.

Interesting ideas tho.
Hmm...in that case, overlaying the GBP output wouldn't be worthwhile. I imagine that if the GBP was used for its typical function of playing GBA games, things like Memory Card, Microphone and BBA access could work, provided that there was a way for a GBA program to communicate with them. I imagine that, like the rumble feature, it could be something that can be set to trigger only when plugged into a GBP.

My main interest is in using the wireless adapter to have a GBA as a proto Wii U gamepad. If game data can be sent to the GBP's RAM from the Gamecube, then the GBP can work independently with the other GBAs. It can receive necessary data for, say, initiating transmission from the Gamecube side, but then send and receive game info to and from the Gamecube once a frame. I imagine that sending some variables will be a lot less intensive than displaying the GBP output.
 

esmith13

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Honestly I doubt that use case would work either. The GBA link port that the wireless adapter uses is technically just a 9-pin serial interface. It's too slow to stream an actual game. Wireless link play between two GBAs was based on both units having the game with all code and assets locally on a cart and the serial transfer just being inputs or character positional data, stats & the like. For a Gamecube game to display on a GBA and GBA input to control it would be more akin to game streaming with moonlight/steamlink/stadia/etc. A serial port couldn't even come close to the required bandwidth for that (serial is about 14kbps max)
 

RemnantKnight56

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Honestly I doubt that use case would work either. The GBA link port that the wireless adapter uses is technically just a 9-pin serial interface. It's too slow to stream an actual game. Wireless link play between two GBAs was based on both units having the game with all code and assets locally on a cart and the serial transfer just being inputs or character positional data, stats & the like. For a Gamecube game to display on a GBA and GBA input to control it would be more akin to game streaming with moonlight/steamlink/stadia/etc. A serial port couldn't even come close to the required bandwidth for that (serial is about 14kbps max)
Oh, I wasn't thinking of anything like streaming a Gamecube game; I know that that probably won't work. I was more thinking of having something like the GBA Link Cable, only done through the Wireless adapter and across more devices. It frees up the controller ports for actual controllers so you could, in theory, have 8 people on a single console playing an asymmetrical game with each other.

I guess I made things confusing by comparing it to the Gamepad. My fault. I was thinking of something like NIntendoland, and possibly a sort of reimagining one the Gamecube, which would work best if the GBA could be Wireless through the GBP.
 

N7Kopper

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Honestly I doubt that use case would work either. The GBA link port that the wireless adapter uses is technically just a 9-pin serial interface. It's too slow to stream an actual game. Wireless link play between two GBAs was based on both units having the game with all code and assets locally on a cart and the serial transfer just being inputs or character positional data, stats & the like. For a Gamecube game to display on a GBA and GBA input to control it would be more akin to game streaming with moonlight/steamlink/stadia/etc. A serial port couldn't even come close to the required bandwidth for that (serial is about 14kbps max)
The Wireless Adapter supports cloneboot too - but you're right that it's got too little bandwidth for active streaming, just like any other GBA link hardware.
 
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