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Android Watches Can Play Game Boy Games

If you have a shiny new Android watch, the first thought that ran through your head may have been, "I wonder if I can play 16-year-old Game Boy Color games on it?"

Well, wonder no more, because the answer is a definitive "yes." An enterprising young developer has discovered how to run games that are older than he is on the small-screened smartwatches.

9to5Google covered the hack, which originated on 16-year-old developer Corbin Davenport's blog. Tinkering with Android Wear, Davenport said, was not so different from tinkering with stock Android, and he was able to run both Minecraft Pocket Edition and Windows 95 (of all things) on a Samsung Gear Live before attempting the Game Boy Color emulator.

MORE: Best Game Console Emulators for Android

By using the Android Debugging Bridge program, Davenport made it so that he could run just about any program on the Gear Live, and showed off his success with the VGB emulator program (a perfectly ordinary app, available in the Play Store). From there, he attached a MOGA controller and played through Tetris, Pokémon and Super Mario Bros.

Why anyone would want to play Game Boy titles on a smartwatch is a fair question, since its tethered smartphone has a bigger screen and better battery life. As tech demos go, this is more of a proof-of-concept. Android Wear has the potential to run much more than just fitness and music programs, and obviously has no trouble handling either games or intense graphical interfaces.

You can follow the instructions on Davenport's blog if you want to give it a try yourself. Just keep in mind that while emulation software is totally legal, actually downloading games is a gray area.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.