Google’s Chromecast media-streaming device is just a few days old, so developers are just beginning to figure out what the device is capable of. In the next few weeks, it’s likely that curious hackers are going to begin doing things that not even Google imagined was capable.
Google didn’t say anything about games when it introduced the device and instead focused on Chromecast’s video-playing features, but that didn’t prevent Reddit user Brraaains from immediately getting a Game Boy emulator running on his Chromecast.
Brraains posted a video of him playing a Game Boy game on his TV using the tiny Google media dongle. It’s just a proof of concept, but it works and opens up the possibility of other gaming-related functionality through the tiny HDMI stick.
The developer hosted a basic Game Boy emulator on a website and booted it up using his Chromecast extension for his PC’s Chrome browser. The code automatically began streaming to his television. He released the code on Github along with instructions on how to get the Game Boy emulator running on Chromecast.
It’s hard to see in the video — especially with the cat in the way — but the frame rate apparently dips in spots, but the developer claims he didn’t notice any lag between when he pushed the button and when he saw the corresponding action on the screen.
“From what I remember — it was 2 a.m. — it’s pretty instantaneous,” Brraaains wrote in a Reddit post. “I was surprised by how well it performed.”
This experiment also proves that it is a misnomer to call the Chromecast a “streaming device” because it is capable of running code natively.
It’s unlikely that anyone would want to play Game Boy games like this, but it just shows what is possible. A Chromecast only costs $35, so tons of developers are gonna have them and want to see what they are capable of. It’s interesting to see what is possible after only a few days.