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byuu v0.8 released

byuu v0.8 released2020-02-11 00:03:17

byuu icon

I'm releasing the first official beta for the new byuu emulator today.

This is a new multi-system emulator, which shares emulation cores with higan.

Like higan, byuu is focused on accuracy foremost. Unlike higan, byuu aims to be much more user friendly. Think of byuu as easy mode, and higan as advanced mode, but they are fundamentally the same emulator under the hood. One is not a superset of the other; they are sibling projects.

The goal of byuu is to carry forward the breakout success of bsnes for all of higan's emulation cores, and not just for the SNES alone. bsnes, by being much easier to use, led to a resurgence in support that resulted in several new features, speed optimizations, bug reports, and emulator accuracy improvements. I hope to rekindle the same interest in all 25 of my supported emulation cores with this new emulator.

And frankly, higan's future depends on this project being a success. I am aiming to retire around the end of this year (though it's not set in stone), and I am looking for a new lead developer willing to take over,, and its emulation projects. I would still contribute to the projects on GitHub for as long as I were able to.

I am changing my personal name to Near, and calling my new emulator byuu, for many reasons. You can read the complete rationale here: But essentially, these emulators are not only mine: they are the work of dozens of volunteers spanning 15+ years of development. It is perhaps too late, but I wish to separate my personal identity from these projects. I want these emulators to become group projects with multiple developers, and I want them to outlast me if at all possible. With 15+ years and 230,000+ backlinks to, I could not see a way to move these emulators to a new domain. And based on it taking 2+ years for higan to become even partially known to the general public, I did not see a viable method of establishing this new emulator in less than a year without using an established name, and the only such name I have at my disposal is byuu. Ideally, I would have kept my emulators on a separate website from day one, but I cannot change the past to correct for this mistake. I mulled over this decision for the past few weeks, and this is the best choice I could come up with. I hope you'll understand. I will also understand if folks continue to call me personally by byuu. I understand it's not easy to change names after 22+ years, and that this will invariably cause some level of confusion. But it can't be helped.

The byuu_san Twitter account, as well as most social media accounts using the name byuu, will be used only for official software development news and updates going forward. Some accounts will be harder than others to migrate, and will take more time and planning.

I have spun off my personal Twitter account and set up a new personal website. Over the coming months, I will be migrating personal content from and elsewhere over to my personal website.

I make no secret of the mistakes I've made in the past as byuu (nor will the internet ever let us forget them), and that I'll likely continue to make more mistakes as Near. But for the past two years, I have been doing my best to change and improve myself. I am who I am however, and though I am to be more friendly and cooperative, I won't hide my identity nor unwavering support for my friends. But game preservation transcends politics and ideologies, and I've now separated my work from my personality, so at this point, it is up to you if you want to follow me as Near or not. It's no longer directly tied to byuu.

In any case, byuu is still brand-new, and it is missing several major features including gamepad support, multi-player support, cheat codes, and more. These features will be added in due-time. Sans enhancements like HD mode 7, I am for feature-parity with bsnes, including run-ahead support and much more. The speed is rather limited as well, but I hope to implement scanline renderers and roughly double the performance of each emulator core in the coming year. I am releasing this now for feedback and to try to gauge interest in this new idea of mine.

I hope it will be a success! Thank you everyone!

Planned roadmap:

Permalink11 Comments#releases


birds2020-02-11 02:30:40Is there any way to build byuu at the moment without editing the makefile in higan/ to set the target to byuu?

Domitar2020-02-11 03:03:55YAY! Thanks for all your hard work!!!

Randy2020-02-11 20:03:04Any chance this will get an AES core? That would be fantastic.

Proud AdNauseam Advocate2020-02-11 23:09:50birds, you can compile byuu by running "make target=byuu" (Linux) or "mingw32-make target=byuu" (Windows). Parameters passed on the command line will override parameter declarations in the makefile.

Mighty Mo2020-02-12 11:53:39Byuu, I can send you my updated cheat code database (that you used for BSNES/Higan). Contact me via email if you want it.

Miguel2020-02-13 12:27:30Hi Near, i love your work, Higan, Byuu, Bsnes, this is my favourite emulator for the accuracy, usability, stability, upgrades, etc. Long life for the emulation!

nickblame2020-02-14 01:07:28I can't say that I like these changes and especially I am not a fan of the possibility of you retiring any time soon!
Frankly I was hoping (for many many years now) that you would once reach the absolute 1:1 emulation of snes (defined by your personal standards) and then move to ps1!!!!
Ofc I understand that emulating other systems was never your priority but rather a side effect of your passion in emulating the snes perfectly.

In any case I do believe that I speak on behalf of all the emulation community when I say that everyone's interest and support will stay with you regardless of the name you choose to go by.

Nicolas2020-02-15 16:53:38Hi Near, this is amazing. Thanks!! I've tried it and did not find any bugs yet. super easy to use too =)
In the spirit of this being a feature rich/easy to use version of Higan, any chance of us getting multi pass shaders and/or shader parameter editing? Also, it would be nice if the last folder used to load games for a given plataform is savied

locke2020-02-17 20:30:37Near, first of all thank you for your amazing work through all these years. I see that you wish to encourage other developers to continue your work. I would like to point out a potential problem regarding the name of the emulator, if you don't mind.

For many years, the name byuu has been associated with you as a person. Even now that you have changed your name, that association is likely to remain. I fear that this will be a mental barrier for developers wanting to contribute to the byuu emulator. Because the name is very tightly associated with one person, this might be a psychological hurdle that prevents it from being considered a group project instead of an individual project.

What do you think? Best of luck!

Near2020-02-17 21:35:28Nicolas, it saves the last path you loaded games from on a per-system basis. I would like there to be only one path, but pretty much everyone has a separate folder per game system.

locke, I thought a lot about that as well. The #1 glaring problem is that I can't get away from

If I could have created <new-emulator>.org,, ... and actually get the 230,000+ backlinks to updated to the new domain, I would have gone for that. The best I can do in practice is a 301 redirect, which is extremely risky and likely to fail. And even then it would leave the strong association of my name with the projects, which defeats the purpose.

The name byuu is associated with me, but I'm associated with emulators. I think it will be difficult for a few months, maybe a year ... but the general public beyond my close circle really doesn't know who I am or care. I think people will take to this over time.

I don't like it either, but it's the best of many bad solutions to try and fix the original sin of linking these emulators to me as a person, in spite of all the people who have helped with them over the years. This attempt may fail as well, but it's my last shot and transitioning my projects over to a new owner one day.

Anonymous2020-02-21 12:03:07I don't know where I need to know which path I need to make GNUmakefile and which part of the GNUmakefile do I need to edit?

Would anyone kindly help me out with the full instruction?


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