lördag 23 juni 2012

Emulating Virtual Boy on a 3D TV

Inspired by this video from "Bureau voor Gamers", I wanted to try playing some Virtual Boy on a modern 3D TV. It was a bit tricky so I'll share how I did it. What I have is a Panasonic DT50 and a computer connected to the PC using HDMI, running Windows 7 64-bit.

First off, the TV must support "side-by-side" video. This is when the two images (left and right eye) are horizontally compressed to half their width and displayed side by side. My Panasonic sometimes automatically detect this signal as a 3D signal, but sometimes I will have to go the the 3D menu, press the button to go to manual signal selection, and select the "side by side -> 3D" option.

This means your computer/graphics card does NOT have to support 3D in any way! With an emulator that can output side by side video in fullscreen, it will work with any computer, drivers, cables etc as long as your TV supports the mode.

So here's how to do it:
* Get Medafen from http://mednafen.sourceforge.net . I got 0.9.22-WIP.
* Unpack it and change the cfg file: Find the "vb.3dmode" and change it from "anaglyph" (the classic red/blue mode) to "sidebyside".
* Change "vb.stretch" to "full".
* Change "vb.3dreverse" if and only if the images are reversed (i.e. stuff that should be in the background appears to be closest to you)
* Run the emulator (has to be started from command line, like "mednefaren filename.vb"). It should be displayed in a very wide window, with two images displayed side by side.
* Press Alt+Enter to go to fullscreen. The two images should be horizontally compressed.
* Set the 3D mode on your TV if your TV doesn't detect it automatically. You may have to select 3D mode manually (for example "Side by side -> 3D")

There you go! Don't hesitate to comment if you run into any problems or want to add something.

Some notes:
* Mednafen is also available for Wii (WiiMednafen). 3D settings are not available in the UI but they might still be set in the config file.
* Don't bother with "WiirtualBoy" for Wii, it's been superseeded by WiiMednafen!
* I also tried "Reality Boy" and "Red Dragon" (Red Dragon is the one used in the video I mentioned above), they both looked fine in windows mode but all the colors got messed up when running them in fullscreen.
* If you like the games or the console, you should buy them!

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