Near is an emulator developer and fan translator. During most of his time in the emulation community, he went under the name byuu until changing his name in 2020.
Near originally wanted to fan translate Bahamut Lagoon in the mid-1990s before assessing emulator development. Most of his work was on hacking SNES games, where he noticed a recurring problem with emulator accuracy. Creating and developing bsnes would ensure that he would not only be able to develop fan translations that worked on hardware, but also have the hardware preserved in software form. He eventually went on to help other projects like the Mother 3 and Dragon Quest V fan translations, and his efforts have recently proven successful as his work on bsnes has been assisting Sour with Mesen S, a more recent SNES emulator. bsnes is now a recommended emulator.
When Near took an interest in other consoles, he began turning bsnes into a multi-system emulator called higan, but he also incorporated a different design philosophy from other emulators by arranging cartridges into folders instead of ROMs. With higan seeing low adoption and activity as a result, he decided to refork higan into bsnes, restoring compatibility with poorly coded ROM hacks and incorporating new enhancements like HD mode 7. In 2020, he repurposed the name byuu into an emulator that combined both aspects of bsnes and higan by providing access to higan's other systems but prioritizing ease of use.
Near also created csnes which was designed to optimize the performance of all official SNES games, with the goal of having it licensed for use in rereleases without having to adhere to open source license requirements.
In March 2020, Near stepped down and handed development of bsnes and Higan to the community. While intending to take a long break, the COVID-19 pandemic gave Near the time and inspiration to start his own personal project, known as ares. ares is a fork of Higan that Near worked on by himself, and is able to emulate every system that Higan can emulate, with the addition of PC Engine CD emulation. Near was also working on adding Nintendo 64 and Playstation emulation. In July 2020, Near decided to temporairly retire from emulation, releasing v115 of ares on his way out. He returned in December 2020.
- bsnes - Near's Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom) emulator.
- higan - Near's multi-system emulator.
- byuu - Near's other multi-system emulator.
- csnes - Near's commercial Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator.
- ares - Near's newest multi-system emulator.
- near.sh, his main website for emulators.