Wonderswan emulators for PSP

Is the Wonderswan a videogaming hidden gem? If so, they sure hid the gems pretty well. While I was looking for roms to test, all I could find were tie-in games from forgotten anime franchises.

The Wonderswan was a deeply Japanese console. A specific type of Japanese, too: if the Sony handhelds are the trusty salarymen, and the Nintendo ones countryside kids who enjoy tormenting bugs, the Wonderswan would be the anime fans of the lot.

The emulators available on PSP reflect this reality: there are six of them, all six created by Japanese coders.

oSwan / pSwan / eSwan / Cygne

Four of the emulators are really little more than proofs of concept. Out of this quartet, only eSwan can even output sound properly. Even then, debug symbols take up half the screen.


Menus are really bare-bone in all four. Emulation is glitchy and erratically slow.




This is one of the rare cases where a multi-system emulator performs better than the standalone alternatives.

Not RetroArch this time, but T. Kawamorita’s e[mulator] for PSP (a name seemingly designed to mess with markdown formatting). It doesn’t offer many options, but speed and sound are both adequate.

The same can’t be said of the scaling - the emulator applies some sort of ugly filtering, with no option to turn it off.




OswanPSP by bird_may_nike (different from the earlier oSwan mentioned above) seems to have flown completely under the radar of western PSP websites. That is a shame, because it is the best option out there for emulating the Wonderswan on PSP.

Its obscurity is probably because the menu is in Japanese only, but you can guess enough to get by without being a polyglot. Option 1 loads a ROM, options 5 to 8 adjust scaling, vertical screen sync, CPU speed, and exit.


Options 2 to 4 do… stuff. Discovering what exactly, is left as an exercise to the reader.