Beta Release: 3DS & Virtual Boy Emulator Support for LumePad & RED Hydrogen One

Any chance this could get added to RetroArch itself?

That way, the Lume Pad could play stereoscopic 3D games from the 1980s.

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yeah definitely on my list of things to look into :slight_smile:

I took a look at it a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t find a proper Hook for the Backlight switching, but maybe I am just not skilled enough, Coding is just a hobby of mine, and I don’t have that much experience in Android development. The easiest way would probably be a Shader since there are two types of stereoscopic Cores on GitHub, both in sbs and frame sequential 3d, but I don’t know how to implement properly compile it in android Studio, the Gradle Files and Android Studio get more picky from Version to Version and after 3days of fiddling I finally gave up on that. The Cores I could find are non official Forks, Genesis plus gx, VBA next and beetle bsnes, they can be found on Milo83s GitHub:

For better performance in SNES there is also a standalone of snes9x but it is only GTK and I don’t know If this is even possible. GitHub - tjwei/snes9x-3d: snes9x + stereoscopic graphics

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Ok what?! SNES Emulator with 3D Stereoscopic Graphics - YouTube I had no idea this was a thing.

I have some work to do!

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@jakedowns It was not tbh, but it uses the mode7 Layers where you can assign different disparyties to simulate Depth, which should work fairly well.

oh haha yeah i realized its more of a hack than anything official. still would be fun to get working tho.

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That’s also what I thought since there are so many Games with parallax scrolling enabled.

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There is only one official title on the Super Nintendo with stereoscopic 3D support using the Famicom 3D System and that is HyperZone. However, it is definitely possible for fans to “hack” in 3D support by separating out the different graphics layers for a “popup book” effect. This would not only apply to Mode 7 games: it would work on almost every game that uses 2D sprite graphics and that “layers” approach could possibly look good on the Lume Pad screen, but would probably require tweaking settings for each game to get it really working good and even then, it’s only the “popup book” effect that some people don’t like at all. 3D-ifying Mode 7 may or may not also be possible but it’s definitely not something I’d approach working on personally.

That’s what the articles online say, but that’s not really true. There is definitely a hidden 3D mode in HyperZone, but it has next to nothing to do with the Famicom 3D System. On Famicom, the speed of the shutter glasses is controlled completely by the software running on the Famicom. That’s why games like 3D Hot Rally are able to shut them off when switching to 2D mode when the road forks during the races and then switch back to 3D once you choose a direction.

It does seem like HAL was experimenting with shutter-based 3D glasses for HyperZone, but the fact that they sort of work the Famicom 3D System’s shutter glasses is just a coincidence. You could actually use any shutter glasses from the era and get the same effect. Without a way for the SNES to control the glasses, however, it will fall out of sync very quickly, as mentioned in some of the articles.

One of the coolest projects I saw was 3DSEN, which does indeed make a custom 3D environment for each NES game! I wish the dev would support SBS 3D though and not just VR.

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Good information on HyperZone. I had only read that it works with the Famicom 3D system, not why per se. However, I expect that RetroArch’s SBS shader(s) will never get out of sync because they operate on a per-frame basis. Am I wrong there?

FYI: his emulator is proprietary but his actual algorithm is open source: GitHub - tructv/3DNes_Engine: Engine to convert NES games into 3D

No idea, but my understanding of RetroArch is that it’s a frontend. I can’t imagine a way they could have a single SBS shader that works with every emulator core in a unified way. I think when it comes to something like 3rd party 3D support, an optimized per-console approach is probably better. Virtual Boy obviously has 3D information already. GBA and SNES have sprite layers so you can use those. NES is simple enough that you can map sprites as textures in each game individually, like 3DSEN does. Consoles like PS1, DreamCast, and Gamecube/Wii can simply be forced to render stereoscopically if you have enough performance overhead. etc.

I had no idea! That’s awesome!

I could be wrong but as I understand it, the older consoles like from the 1980s always always ran at the same consistent framerate (for their region) because their framerate was determined by the standards for analog television displays. They didn’t work like newer games do with their variable framerates.

On top of this, each frame of graphics that gets displayed comes from the emulation core and goes through RetroArch (and its shaders) before being displayed, so there’s no way the shaders can ever “lose track” of how many frames have come through. Either a frame has come through or else it hasn’t. The emulator can chug, but still the shader won’t ever get out of sync with the frames because it isn’t tied to the real world clock: it just knows how many frames have come through and that’s all.

So at least on the NES and the Sega Master System and HyperZone, the old stereoscopic 3D modes from the 1980s should still work and always work forever. I think? Maybe one of my assumptions is false somewhere.

Getting the “popup book” style 3D with the layers could be fun also but personally I’m most interested in the official 3D :slight_smile:

(later edit) Wait … if you set the emulation core to be OK with dropping frames or if there was some feature to render additional frames to get a “fake” higher framerate then it might be possible for the shader to get out of sync then.

No, the consoles themselves did output a signal at 59.94hz for NTSC, but the game itself did not necessarily update frames at that rate. For example, many games ran at 30fps, or attempted to run at 60fps but would drop frames due to internal game logic. In 3D games it was even harder not to drop frames because the processor (or PPU in the Famicom’s case) is keeping track of two entire frame buffers. Because of that, if the glasses aren’t timed to the game, switching the eyes without changing the frame would make you see the game in 2D as your eyes would see the same thing. Instead you can hold the eye for an extra frame or two before switching and it’ll still maintain a stereoscopic 3D effect.

I like all 3D. The 3D Classics line on Nintendo 3DS were phenomenal, and are some of the best ways to play Kid Icarus and Sonic the Hedgehog.

There are some really cool experiments for later generation consoles though, and THOSE are the ones I want to see in 3D the most.


Hello everyone i am a new owner of the lumepad and love it so far, one of the reasons i purchased the tablet is that i love 3d and gaming in 3d, so once i saw that you can use the citra emu on the lumepad i hopped on board.
But all is not good on my end i cant seem to get any of jakedowns versions for the lume pad and can not find any links anywhere. I see that jakedowns has not posted here in awhile i hope all is ok, if anyone can put me up to speed on the citra situation or any new updates on new lumepad compatible emulators that have been ported over i would appreciate the info, i love the tablet and would like to enjoy it to the fullest. Thank you!


The Citra Emulator is available on Jakedowns GitHub, as far as I know there is currently no other 4v capable Emulator, so if you are into gaming it is best you take a look at the available Games in the LeiaLoft Store.

there are a few apks of the Citra version that supports lume pad here:

i’m gonna be working on this today, the Android version has merged into the main citra repo, so i’m gonna be working on updating it to the latest code and doing another release. i’ll post here when it’s ready.

there’s also Virtual Virtual Boy here: Releases · jakedowns/vvb · GitHub
which, should hopefully be in the LeiaLoft Store at some point in the near-ish future


Thanks for the info! Greatly appreciated. Which version do you recommend?

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Welcome, @Shadowgaug3! I’m Marlon! Community and Social Media Manager at Leia. Glad to have you on board! Big thanks to @Johannes_Hainer and @jakedowns for chiming in here!

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Thank you so much, do you guys plan on making a new version of the tablet with a more advanced Snapdragon processor? And eye tracking like the new 3ds, an SD card slot would also be welcomed.


I think they already did it with a 12.4’’ display, 8 views and eye tracking:

Only they are looking for partners (I guess to reduce cost and increase market penetration, but it is my hypothesis) so not sure how soon we can buy it :slight_smile: