RETROARCH 360 – 0.9.6
RetroConsole Level 2
Themaister, Squarepusher/Twin Aphex
After over half a year of development (well, slightly more) and lots of preparation work, we can finally present you with RetroArch for Xbox 360.
HOW TO INSTALL THIS
Copy the entire folder to your harddrive.
ROMs go into the ‘roms’ directory, or some subdirectory in the RetroArch-360 directory.
HOW TO USE THIS
On first startup, RetroArch will select one of the dozen or so emulator/game cores. The name of the core currently loaded will be shown at the bottom side of the screen.
You can now select a ROM that this core supports and load it in the Filebrowser.
To select a different core – go to ‘Change Libretro core’ in the Main Menu. Press A to go to a filebrowser where you can select a different core. Press A to switch to the emulator/game core.
During ingame operation you can do some extra actions:
Right Thumb Stick – Down – Fast-forwards the game
Right Thumb Stick – Up – Rewinds the game in real-time
(‘Rewind’ has to be enabled in the ‘Settings’ screen – warning – comes at a slight performance decrease but will be worth it if you love this feature)
RStick Left + RT – Decrease save state slot
Rtick Right + RT – Increase save state slot
RStick Up + RT – Load selected save state slot
RStick Down + RT – Save selected save state slot
Right Thumb + Left Thumb – Go back to ‘Menu’/'Quick Menu’
WHAT IS RETROARCH?
RetroArch is a modular multi-system emulator system that is designed to be fast, lightweight and portable. It has features few other emulator frontends have, such as real-time rewinding and game-aware shading.
WHAT IS LIBRETRO?
Libretro is the API that RetroArch uses. It makes it easy to port games and emulators to a single core backend, such as RetroArch.
For the user, this means – more ports to play with, more crossplatform portability, less worrying about developers having to reinvent the wheel writing boilerplate UI/port code – so that they can get busy with writing the emulator/porting the emulator/game.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
Right now it’s unique in that it runs the same emulator cores on multiple systems (such as Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, etc).
For each emulator ‘core’, RetroArch makes use of a library API that we like to call ‘libretro’.
Think of libretro as an interface for emulator and game ports. You can make a libretro port once and expect the same code to run on all the platforms that RetroArch supports. It’s designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind so that the porter can worry about the port at hand instead of having to wrestle with an obfuscatory API.
The purpose of libretro is to help ease the work of the emulator/game porter by giving him an API that allows him to target multiple platforms at once without having to redo any code. He doesn’t have to worry about writing input/video/audio drivers – all of that is supplied to him by RetroArch. All he has to do is to have the emulator port hook into the libretro API and that’s it – we take care of the rest.
XBOX 360 PORT
The 360 port of RetroArch has the following features:
- Real-time rewinding
- Switching between emulator cores seamlessly, and ability to install new libretro cores
Included with RetroArch 360 are a bunch of shaders – including the latest version of the popular xBR shader. It is possible to use two shaders simultaneously to get the best possible graphical look.
EMULATOR/GAME CORES BUNDLED WITH 360 PORT
The following emulators have been ported to RetroArch and are included in the first 360 release of RetroArch:
- Final Burn Alpha (Arcade – various) [version 0.2.97.26]
- FCEUmm (Nintendo Entertainment System) [recent SVN version] (*)
- Gambatte (Game Boy | Super Game Boy | Game Boy Color) [version 0.5.0 WIP]
- SNES9x Next (Super Nintendo/Super Famicom)
- VBA Next (Game Boy Advance)
- Prboom (for playing Doom 1/Doom 2/Ultimate Doom/Final Doom)
All of the emulators listed above are the latest versions currently available. Most of them have been specifically optimized so that they will run better on 360 (some games would not reach fullspeed without these optimizations).
* This port was previously called FCEU Next.
WHAT EXTENSIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY EACH CORE
- Prboom: WAD|wad
- SNES9x Next: smc|fig|sfc|gd3|gd7|dx2|bsx|swc|zip|SMC|FIG|SFC|BS X|GD3|GD7|DX2|SWC
- VBA Next: GBA|gba
- FCEUmm: nes|NES|unif|UNIF
- Gambatte: gb|gbc|dmg|zip|GB|GBC|DMG|ZIP
- Final Burn Alpha: zip|ZIP
FOR EACH CORE (except for Final Burn Alpha): When you press ‘A’ on a ZIP file in the File Browser, its contents will be extracted to the cache: partition.
From there, you can load the ROM and play.
FOR Final Burn Alpha: Selecting a ZIP file from the Filebrowser will load that game directly.
What can you expect in the future?
- A public release of RetroArch Wii that is on the level of RetroArch PS3/RetroArch 360
- An official Android port of RetroArch (no, no App Store ‘fee’ – ‘free’ as in beer AND as in libre)
- Port of NxEngine to libretro – runs Cave Story (PC version is already done, now for the consoles…)
- Port of MAME 0.72 to libretro
- Port of VICE to libretro
- Port of ScummVM to libretro
- More emulators, more games that will run on RetroArch
- Lots of other crazy ideas that might or might not pan out
- Mudlord for his Waterpaint/Noise shaders.
- Hyllian for the xBR shader.
- Opium2k for the nice manual shaders (bundled with PS3 release).
- Deank for assistance with RetroArch Salamander on CFW PS3s and Multiman interoperability.
- FBA devs for adopting the libretro port.
- Ekeeke for help with the Genesis Plus GX port.