The special Super Mario Bros. anniversary Game & Watch has been out since 13th November and it has already been cracked to run homebrew software. You know what that means: it’s already running Doom.
The video and its explanation are a bit of a TL;DR version of the events with stacksmashing promising more information in the future so those with Game & Watch systems can replicate this result and do their own projects.
For now there’s a lot of reverse engineering to get access to the hardware and run desired code on it.
The next problem was Doom itself. As Doom is famous for running on barebones hardware it was still a challenge here thanks to the Game & Watch and its woeful specs. According to stacksmashing there’s around 1.3MB of RAM to work with paired with 128KB of faster flash memory and 1MB of slower flash memory.
When looking at those specs, just remember that the stock Game & Watch sells for $49.99 overseas, and R1 299 in South Africa.
Because of these limitations Doom had to be cut down to size with removed textures, disabled sounds and a very low resolution. But, at the end of the day, the game runs.
The last time we saw Doom running on something off it was, of all things, a digital pregnancy test. While still impressive the pregnancy test port was a bit of a copout as it required the almost complete replacement of the hardware inside of the test.
This Game & Watch version is a much truer port in the world of making Doom run on anything with a screen and a processor.