Virtual Boy emulation on PSP

Is it possible to play Virtual Boy games on PSP? Well no, not really. But it is definitely possible to see them crawling through the screen at a few frames per second, for anybody curious enough to try the experience.

And after all, why play Virtual Boy on a PSP if not for novelty’s sake? The whole point of the thing was to use the VR headset - the games were just an excuse for that, to give customers something to do while they admired the stunning red-and-black low-res graphics of the device.

Having said all that, there are two options for playing VB games on PSP: one that barely functions and one that doesn’t work at all.

Red Dragon

SofiyaCat certainly loved to start new PSP projects - just not necessarily to finish them. Out of four major projects for the Sony handheld started by the Japanese coder, only one (PSPTube) properly came to fruition.

Red Dragon for PSP is no different. It only had one release - late in 2007 - and this one version does not allow for any inputs. You can start games, just not actually play them. It can still run some Virtual Boy demos, of which there aren’t many since the scene for this device is tiny.


The readme provides a bit of a backstory to the Red Dragon port - it was created because somebody asked the developer about it enough times. Given the premise, the lack of motivation to build on the project is unsurprising.


The PSP port of Mednafen provides a somewhat more serviceable option. Games do run, albeit very slowly since this emulator is not very optimized. We are talking 3-5 frames per second at best.


This is the better option comparatively, but there are no good options for playing Virtual Boy games on a PSP.


Properly emulating something like a Virtual Boy on PSP hardware would require plenty of fine tuning. Of all the PSP coding projects to choose from, emulating the Virtual Boy must have been pretty low on developers’ lists.