Could Pokemon come out on the arduboy

I’m wondering if Pokemon for the original gameboy would work on a arduboy

Yes and no.

A game like pokemon could work on the arduboy, but the actual pokemon games wouldn’t.
Firstly the original gameboy used a custom Sharp LR35902 core running at 4.19 MHz, which was effectively an intel 8080, meaning it uses an instruction set that is in the same family as, but predates, x86/x64 (what most modern computers use). The Arduboy uses an ATmega32U4 which runs at 16 MHz and uses the AVR instruction set, so for a start the instruction sets are incompatible (ignoring that all the hardware specific code for the gameboy version wouldn’t work).

Next we have the memory. The original gameboy had 8KB of RAM, the arduboy has 2.5KB, so apart from the original game most likely using more memory than the arduboy has, that also rules out an emulator. It’s possible that the Arduboy’s 32KB flash memory could be used, but that’s going to start to slow things down and that has to be used for program code too.

It’s certainly possible that someone might attempt a half-decent clone, but given the arduboy’s memory limitations it’s going to be far from perfect and would almost certainly only manage a fraction of the available pokemon, locations and functionality.

As for creating a pokemon-inspired RPG with original ideas, that’s definately possible.

That said, there are several similar projects in the works by other users. Here’s a couple:


We really do see a space for a pet collecting and battling game in our catalog!

As far as the liscensed version of Pokemon? Well @Pharap is on point with all the technical challanges associated with making a 1:1 clone or otherwise version specific to arduboy.

That said, we have made custom hardware for Tetris®… and in general we are looking at adding an SD card to an Arduboy 1.1 which would allow you as much space as needed. Also looking at on-board memory potentially as well.

We would love to get the official license for this. But considering all the success that Ninantic is having with Pokemon Go, I’m not sure Nintendo is going to be keen on letting us steal their thunder. It is probably worth noting I contacted their legal team when Arduboy first went viral, and while they couldn’t give legal advise one way or another if Arduboy was in any violation of their intellectual property… they did refer me to their licensees and wish me good luck. So as far as lawyers go, that’s a pretty damn good sign.

And while we are on the subject of licenses… We are traveling to Japan next month and already have a meeting setup with Sega! Trying to get in to Capcom, Namco-Bandai and Konami! Any japanese speakers that could help make these contacts would be great!


I must admit, I’d be more inclined to play Ardumon than Pokemon Go. They can keep their truecolour, 3D, GPS powered walking simulator, I’d be much happier with monochromatic tiles and nostalgia.


A true believer! Bless this human! 8 bit forever! 8 bit for always!