Homebrew Official Retroarch WiiU (wip.)

aliaspider

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Official RetroArch Thread

QXu3nFC.jpg


What is RetroArch?

RetroArch is a multi-system frontend which allows you to run many different emulators and other programs ("cores") through a unified interface. There are currently 28 different systems supported on Wii U, along with RetroArch features such as Ozone. While far from complete, the Wii U port is constantly growing as features and cores are added.

Quick Links

Retroarch Website
Downloads from the Hombrew Appstore (stable)
Latest Wii U builds (nightly)
RetroArch source
Recent changes (Wii U only)
RetroArch Channel (Download)

Basics

You'll need:
  • An SD card
  • Homebrew Launcher (HBL). Gamepad-less users may be interested in this mod from @CreeperMario, as it features d-pad support that allows navigation through the apps without using the Gamepad touch screen.
  • Optional: The unofficial RetroArch forwarder channel. For this, you'll need:
    • Haxchi, CBHC or another CFW installed. If using CBHC, make sure to read the thread carefully before installing!
    • The RetroArch Channel. Install it using WUP Installer Y MOD or WUP Installer GX2. Copy the unzipped folder 0005000010102172 to sd:/install; the app will install the "channel" in the Wii U menu.
    • You'll need to apply signature patches whenever you start your console. For CBHC users this happens automatically, while users of other methods will have to refer to their method's documentation to make this happen.

Downloading RetroArch

For new users:
Grab the latest nightly here - simply pick the RetroArch_rpx.7z with the most recent date. Unzip it.

If you are using the RetroArch Channel you can delete the "wiiu" folder (the channel has its own .rpx embedded) otherwise if you are launching RetroArch from HBL just keep the "retroarch" folder, you can safely delete all the other folders (they are not needed with the new multicore loading feature).

For veteran users:
You can update your cores from the RetroArch Wii U itself from Online Updater feature. Your mileage may vary.

Setting up XMB/Fixing the white screen
If you get a white screen when you start RetroArch, you're missing the assets package. Download the assets here and extract it to sd:/retroarch/assets. You can also try navigating to Online Updater and selecting Download Assets, which should download and extract the zip on-console (this doesn't always work!) The next time you open RetroArch, all should be well.

The default directory for the XMB assets is sd:/retroarch/assets, you can change it to any other path you like under Settings > Directory. Note that older versions of RetroArch WiiU use sd:/retroarch/media, so if you're playing around with old version keep an eye out for that.

Making lists
One of the toughest parts involved in getting the best RetroArch has to offer is setting up the "playlist" files (.lpl) which allow you to make put preset games into an easily-accessible place in the GUI, rather than having to go through the filebrowser and reload cores.

These files are stored in the "playlist" folder. Like most other paths, you can set your own in Retroarch under Settings > Directory.

You can generate your list using Online Updater, though this is prone to fail if you have a large number of games. The PC build of Retroarch can generate lists and the format is compatible with Wii U; or alternatively you can use RetroArch Playlist Buddy to generate your playlists and thumbnails.

Here's how to set up Playlist Buddy:
View attachment 96632

In this example playlists and thumbnails will be stored in sd:/retroarch/cores
To make the process painless always prefer NO-INTRO rom sets as they have a standard naming convention. It helps the program match your roms with the images in Retroarch database.

It's recommended that your "roms" folder has this folder structure:
View attachment 96634

Making lists/thumbnails for MAME/FBA
The process is the same as the other cores BUT you need MAME 078.dat or FB Alpha.dat. The difference is that Arcade/SNK games CAN'T be renamed, so you'll get something like "ashpft" "chopflt"... etc as your game name in the list. To avoid that we use .dat files.

If you are using RetroArch Playlist Buddy just check the "Search XML DAT specified below for titles rather than ROM filenames" box, and type the path to your .dat in the text box.

What cores are supported?

The cores listed below are known to work well on Wii U. There may be other experimental cores not listed here, but they are not recommended for most users.
Amstrad Cores
Amstrad - CPC (Caprice32)
Atari Cores
Atari - 2600 (Stella)
Atari - 5200 (Atari800)
Atari - Lynx (Beetle Handy)
Atari - ST/STE/TT/Falcon (Hatari)
Commodore Cores
Commodore Amiga (P-UAE)
Commodore C64 (VICE C64)
Commodore PLUS4 (VICE PLUS4)
Commodore VIC20 (VICE VIC20)
Game Cores
Cave Story (NXEngine)
Doom (PrBoom)
Handheld Electronic (GW)
Mr.Boom (Bomberman)
Quake 1 (TyrQuake)
Multi System Cores
Arcade (MAME 2000)
Arcade (MAME 2003)
Arcade (MAME 2009)
Arcade (MAME 2010)
Arcade (FBA2012)
Arcade (FBA)
Misc Cores
DOS (DOSBox)
Mattel - Intellivision (FreeIntv)
Microsoft - MSX (fMSX)
MSX/SVI/ColecoVision/SG-1000 (blueMSX)
SNK - Neo Geo Pocket / Color (Beetle NeoPop)
Magnavox - Odyssey2 / Phillips Videopac+ (O2EM)
ScummVM
GCE - Vectrex (vecx)
Bandai - WonderSwan/Color (Beetle Cygne)
ZX Spectrum (Fuse)
Sinclair - ZX 81 (EightyOne)
Nintendo Cores
Nintendo - Game Boy / Color (Gambatte)
Nintendo - Game Boy / Color (GearBoy)
Nintendo - Game Boy / Color (SameBoy)
Nintendo - Game Boy / Color (TGB Dual)
Nintendo - Game Boy Advance (mGBA)
Nintendo - Game Boy Advance (VBA Next)
Nintendo - NES / Famicom (FCEUmm)
Nintendo - NES / Famicom (Nestopia UE)
Nintendo - NES / Famicom (QuickNES)
Nintendo - SNES / Famicom (Snes9x 2002)
Nintendo - SNES / Famicom (Snes9x 2005 Plus)
Nintendo - SNES / Famicom (Snes9x 2005)
Nintendo - SNES / Famicom (Snes9x 2010)
Nintendo - SNES / Famicom (Snes9x)
Nintendo - Virtual Boy (Beetle VB)
NEC Cores
NEC - PC-98 (Neko Project II Kai)
NEC - PC-98 (Neko Project II)
NEC - PC Engine / CD (Beetle PCE FAST)
NEC - PC-FX (Beetle PC-FX)
Sega Cores
Sega - MS/GG/MD/CD (Genesis Plus GX)

Frequently Asked Questions

RetroArch just shows a white screen!
Please read the "Setting up XMB/Fixing the white screen" section above.

Why isn't core X supported? Can I run X?
First, check out the compatibility list above. If the core you want isn't in there, consider the actual console and the technical details. Consoles from the late 90s and beyond (N64, PSX, Saturn, etc.) are complex enough that the emulation code isn't fast enough on Wii U to be playable. These cores are mostly written with the PC in mind, and when faced with an unusual platform like the Wii U they fall back on slow methods of emulation, like interpreted CPUs. Getting acceptable framerates on the Wii U requires extensive modification to the cores so that they can use faster emulation methods, such as dynarecs.

If your desired core is older (fourth gen and earlier, or an older home computer) feel free to ask about its status! More often than not, the core is more obscure and we just haven't gotten around to adding it.

What's the deal with the PlayStation?
Glad you asked! The PSX is one of the aforementioned difficult cores that we've actually started working on (which is why you'll see it talked about so much). Work is underway by the RetroArch devs to add a dynamic recompiler (dynarec) to Beetle PSX, which allows instructions to be translated ahead of time from the PSX's native MIPS architecture to the native format of whatever platform is doing the emulation. This eliminates a lot of emulation overhead and makes for significantly faster emulation. Once a dynarec is ready for conventional platforms (like PC and smartphones) work can begin on one for PowerPC, the type of CPU the Wii U uses.

Dynarecs, however, are very complex pieces of software, and take time and knowledge of both the PSX and target platform to write. To aid motivation, the community has set up bounties offering cash to whoever takes the project on. It's advisable to stay out of the bounties' comment sections: they're meant for development discussion and support of the project, but there's been some high emotions lately and concerns are being voiced about scaring off developers.

In any case, here's a link to the bounty for a dynarec on PCs and smartphones, and here's a separate bounty for the Wii U specifically. If you want to see full-speed PSX emulation on these platforms, why not throw in a few dollars to show your support?

(this new OP is still a work in progress, current maintainer is @QuarkTheAwesome (@ me if something needs fixing!). Most of this was written by @cucholix, with other contributions by @ploggy)
 
Last edited by QuarkTheAwesome, , Reason: Add image, rearrange links slightly

FIX94

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AmandaRose

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Tried a few games and all play fine apart from Mario kart which crashes a few seconds after a race starts. It's great to finally have a snes emu can't wait to see this improve in the future. Thanks for all the hard work on this.
 
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AmandaRose

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Try another rom? I'll test that too just to make sure.
Tried another download of the rom and got round one lap then the same thing happened. Tried again and this time even though I was on the track lacitu kept picking me up like I was out of bounds yet I was on the track. Then it crashed again.
 
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VinsCool

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This is a pleasant surprise, hopefully the Snes9x version with Blargg's core will be uploaded; don't get me wrong, but this is a big step :P :grog:

@ShadowOne333 it begins
I thought this snes9x core was based on 1.52, and this had blargg already?

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Tried another download of the rom and got round one lap then the same thing happened. Tried again and this time even though I was on the track lacitu kept picking me up like I was out of bounds yet I was on the track. Then it crashed again.
weird. I'll give super mario kart a shot and come back.
 

the_randomizer

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I thought this snes9x core was based on 1.52, and this had blargg already?

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


weird. I'll give super mario kart a shot and come back.

Snes9x 2010? That's before 1.52, which was released in 2011, unless of course, this has the core merged in it? I'll ask the OP, @aliaspider Does this core have Blarrg's S-SMP in it (for better sound)? Or will the 1.52 and on be ported over in the near future?

A good test would be Earthworm Jim 2, that relies on audio streaming and timing to get right.

Oh man, I can't believe this is happening already, I love it :P Gonna test later ^_^


And thank you for your guys' hard work :D
 
Last edited by the_randomizer,
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