Near (AKA Byuu) has released Byuu, a new emulator that is meant to be his magnum opus, bringing together the precision of his Higan emulator with the ease of use of his older BSNES. Higan is famous for its extreme accuracy, and I consider it to be one of the most important and indispensable tools in a classic gaming arsenal. Because of its accuracy, it is invaluable for everything from casual gameplay, to hack/patch testing, to high level development. Byuu V1 is already at v1.1 and is available for free.
Byuu currently supports:
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Pocket Challenge V2
Neo Geo Pocket
Neo Geo Pocket Color
I poured my soul into this, and even for a first release, there has been substantial development. As compared to higan v107, byuu v1 features a brand-new, easy-to-use user interface in the general style of bsnes, that loads traditional game ROM images directly, supports native file dialogs, more than doubles the performance of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis emulation, quadruples the performance of TurboGrafx-16 emulation, and provides a 20% boost to Game Boy Advance emulation. A Ryzen 5 2600 CPU should be able to run any supported system at 150fps or more. As with my other emulators, features like adaptive sync and dynamic rate control come standard.
Future plans for byuu v2+ are ambitious: I hope to add support for rewind, run-ahead, a save state manager, a cheat code editor, frame advance, screenshot capture, and much more. Possibly even a hybrid desktop + couch-mode user interface! I also want to expose my Famicom Disk System, Sega CD, and future PC Engine CD emulation to byuu. Furthermore, I hope to expand byuu beyond my own collection of emulators: specifically, I would like to offer Nintendo DS, Nintendo N64, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn emulation in future releases by relying on other leading emulation projects; although I may need help in achieving those goals.
And now a heartfelt plea: I’m putting everything I have into this project, and my future in the emulation scene depends upon this project’s success. Essentially, I’m getting older, and I have too many emulation cores to maintain as just one person. bsnes brought a revival to higan’s SNES emulation, and I am hoping that byuu can do the same for higan’s other cores.
I am looking for other developers to join on as equal contributors to this project. If this proves highly successful, I’ll stick around to guide the project forward. But if not, then I will be looking for a new lead to take over the project. In that case, I would continue to periodically submit patches, time permitting, but would hope for someone else to guide byuu, higan, and bsnes forward. If neither of these two things happen by the end of this year, then my current intention is to regrettably step down from the projects, although I haven’t decided on an exact date of when yet. Effectively, I’ve gone about as far as I could as a sole developer.
Essentially, I am hoping for this project to be what I’m remembered by after I’m gone one day, and so I want it to be as much of a success as possible. I also want these emulation cores to live on beyond me, and not just be tied to me as a person. Already bsnes and higan benefited massively thanks to 15+ years of contributions from well over a hundred volunteers. These emulators are so much more than just me. I hope to accelerate that trend, so that one day I can pass on the torch.