How to disable 3DS upscaling on GBA games

Nintendo 3DS early adopters who signed up the Ambassador program scored their ten free Game Boy Advance games last week, but are finding them unpleasantly scaled up. Handily, there is a way to run them windowboxed at the original resolution.

4

Nintendo 3DS early adopters received ten exclusive free Game Boy Advance titles on Friday, as promised, but found the classics have been stretched to fit the higher-resolution screen of the 3DS, losing that crisp pixely loveliness.

The Game Boy Advance's screen had a resolution of 240x160 but the games are being scaled up to 400x240 for 3DS, meaning they fill the whole top screen but are somewhat blurred. If this vexes you mightily, fear not; there is a solution.

As with regular Nintendo DS games and NES titles on the 3DS Virtual Console, 1UP notes, you can play the GBA titles 'windowboxed' in their original resolution simply by holding down Select or Start when you launch the game, until the black boot screen ends.

Our own Steve Watts points out that the worst offender is Yoshi's Island, considered "almost unplayable" without utilizing this trick.

The free games are part of Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador program, started to placate owners who saw the price drop by a whopping $80 only four months after the handheld launched. Ten NES games were given free in August, released for Ambassadors before the hoi polloi could buy them, and these GBA games will never be available to others.

Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 19, 2011 11:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, How to disable 3DS upscaling on GBA games.

    Nintendo 3DS early adopters who signed up the Ambassador program scored their ten free Game Boy Advance games last week, but are finding them unpleasantly scaled up. Handily, there is a way to run them windowboxed at the original resolution.

    • reply
      December 19, 2011 12:48 PM

      Not directly related to this article.. I really have been enjoying the hell out of my 3DS now that it has plenty of great games. The one thing which has really been getting to me lately is the size of the screens. I REALLY hope the next version of the 3DS has a longer lasting battery and XL screens. Actually if they thrown all of that together in a version with twin analog sticks... I might have to sell mine and pick up a new one.

      • reply
        December 19, 2011 1:36 PM

        Mario Kart 7 is easily the best Mario Kart game ever. It almost feels wasted on the 3DS. I see no reason it couldn't have also been on the Wii.

        • reply
          December 20, 2011 7:26 AM

          It really is a great game, I just picked it up yesterday... Mario is also excellent. After seeing these two games... it looks like this system can do pretty much anything the Wii can. I honestly hope it succeeds so we can continue to see games of this quality coming out. Not having (and never having) a Wii, I hope the system does so well that they port over some Wii classics over to this. I'd love a chance to play Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 and the last few Zelda games (I'd love a chance to finish Wind Waker because I got rid of my Gamecube before I got to finish it).