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The famous open-source multi-system cross-platform frontend/framework for emulators is coming to Steam this month, July 30th. RetroArch redefined retro-emulation by utilizing emulation cores for various systems and consolidating them under a single streamlined interface, and in most cases should be the number one choice when it comes to retro-gaming nowadays.
Steam version should make it easier to update RetroArch, developers promise to provide additional Steam integration in the future.
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Are you familiar with RetroArch?
What is that.
Like an actual emulator which enables me to play PSX, SNES or GBC games or stuff like that?
Pretty much, except RetroArch itself is just a frontend for emulator cores. It's an attempt to standardize and unify all the emulators within a single UI in order to increase convenience for users by keeping everything in one place and to reduce the amount of work for emu devs by providing them with a functional UI with ready-to-use features like controls, netplay etc. And yes, it can be used to play games from many older systems, including PSX, SNES and GBC and more.
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The devs seem to be open for ideas like legally selling ROMs on Steam that can be played through RetroArch. It would be much better and more accurate than, for instance, SEGA's own attempt at emulation. We'll see how it goes.
Roms are "bad", certainly those can't be sold, but somehow programs that can run them can be, when we all know what they are going to be used for. (yes you can dump and play your own roms but who actually does or can do that?).
Sega sells ROMs on Steam just fine. And RetroArch is going to be free, of course.
But Sega has that obvious power to decide that yeah what they do with THEIR games.
Retroarch or that Nes VR thing not so much (and that one cost money), doesn't even matter if they would provide it for free or ask money for it, principle is the same.
I am not against roms by all means, but i find it a bit double that it would have passed by steam, what's next Utorrent or something?
RetroArch doesn't have any emulation cores or copyrighted content in its default package, so it's harder to file complaints against it. Also, providing an option to play a game on a different system does not equal piracy (despite what companies like Nintendo want people to believe). Those are mere tools that can be used in various ways, both legal and illegal, but the same can be said about our PCs in general. Without emulators like DOSBox we wouldn't have many old games that are currently being sold on Steam or GOG, we wouldn't have PlayStation Classic (running PCSX ReARMed under the hood). If game developers / system owners can use the tools provided by RetroArch to sell their old games on Steam, it will be win-win situation.
As for Nes VR vs RetroArch, the global emulation community has a strong stance towards keeping their projects open-source. So closed-source emulators and especially attempts to monetize those are met with great disdain.
Why not Utorrent? lots of software is distributed through torrents by their developers. And torrents are just a technology. Same with retroarch. Can access to a technology denied just because it may be used for something not entirely legal. I mean criminal use smart phones, internet, vehicles etc etc you get my point.
Also apparently there are tons of public domain rom games.
Humble Bundle still offer their DRM-free games through torrent, so why not?
Roms aren't bad by default, that's just the narrative that Nintendo has been pushing for decades. They're actually perfectly legal if obtained by the proper chanels, like how SEGA sells them on steam with the option to use the included emulator or an alternative 3rd party one if you preffer.
It's even more clearcut for emulators, they have been proven legal in the past and I think reverse engineering is even protected by law in some places.
Not feeling like searching for the sources but you can easily google this stuff.
it's really not that hard to dump your own roms, depending on the console. I dumped my entire PSP library and backed it up and it was extremely easy to do so.
so it does not emulate ?
By default it does not but you can make it so it does.
Can you play roms with multiplayer over the internet with other people?
yes, as long as both ppl use the same core + rom
Good news and it's gonna be free too. Time to ignore all those capcom and konami and Sega and snk rom collections on steam and just go for the roms we have anyways via retro arch.
Well, we can buy them still, but use RA to emulate them more accurately.
I'm curious to see what their vision for Steam integration is. Right now, as much as I welcome the move itself, I don't quite see the incentive for Windows users to use an emulation frontend on Steam.
Now, on Linux that's a whole different story. I spent hours trying to install ePSXe on various distros - looking for the correct versions of the 32-bit libraries it asked for - only to find out that I could use the libraries that come with Steam itself.
Well, I use RA through Steam anyways because I use Steam Controller and need Steam Input. For regular Windows users auto-update is one benefit for now. I also expect them to fix the crash Steam overlay causes with the Vulkan driver. Keeping my fingers crossed for cloud save support.
Btw, ePSXe isn't supported by RetroArch, it's closed-source and plugin-based, two things the modern emulation community tries to avoid nowadays. There's Beetle PSX HW though which is almost as good.
I stand corrected. Controller support slipped my mind entirely, and it does seem like a pretty nice thing to have. Could be a boon for Dualshock users as well.
Cloud saves and multiplayer integration are the two things that did spring to mind, but the use cases for those seem a tad limited unless Steam and RetroArch go all-in. Meaning, not just being able to invite Steam friends for a quick bout in Contra, but a Steam-wide server browser giving you an idea of how many people are currently playing Samurai Shodown V, or Sensible Soccer, and the ability to join any pending game. Revitalising multiplayer games of yore - that I can totally get behind.
And yes, also keeping fingers crossed for quicker fixes.
hellish to configure the first time, as it uses a "cell phone app" interface. I stayed with old emus instead.
So, what is the point of adding an already freely downloadable software on Steam, instead of, you know, just downloading it?
Just the auto-updates, really.
Convenience like auto-update and promised deeper Steam integration in the future.
Workshop integration maybe? It's really nice when you get to install mods with one click.
proper Steam Controller Support
Rich Presence to show what game you're playing on the friends list is a minor thing but it would be neat
Steamworks integration for Netplay would be amazing too
free advertising 😉
We are deciding to launch with 10 cores at launch. These cores have already been approved and uploaded on Steam. They are as follows:
Mupen64 Plus Next
Genesis Plus GX
Final Burn Neo
a update. beta keys have already been given to patreon supporters
They've been making public key giveaways lately, once every week or so. RetroArch will be free anyway, the devs just want to gather some feedback to address any possible bugs or issues before the release.
Oh, I can already hear the anti-piracy muppets cry...
something something devs reeeeeeee
I'm red reeeeeee
wall of text
I just discovered this not long ago and it's fantastic
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They don't distribute any copyrighted content - no BIOS files, no copyrighted fonts, no ROMs, so everything falls under GPL. The only company actively fighting emulators claiming their entire existence is illegal is Nintendo and it keeps losing cases in courts.
People who wanted to get into the beta but missed the keydrops can now request beta access directly from the Steam page.
Thank you info o(`･Θ･´)o♪
I tried it once, but it was just not for me. I rather use standalone emulators, that I can tweak the fullest to my preferences.
UPD: RetroArch has been released on Steam.
Must I update from PLaytest to regular?
I believe the playtest version still exists as a separate app, you can just "hide" it in your library for now.
Nice. Since people might want games to play on it, below are some completely legal ROM files some of us might already have in Steam libraries. The link wasn't based on the RetroArch stuff but a portable emulation device, so might not include valid games RetroArch runs.
Interesting wiki, I never heard of the FunKey S. I like the idea of a pocket key-chain sized device, but it looks physically too small to me XD
Yeah, I'd have no hope of holding one myself while playing a game, I have painful cramping with larger handhelds, but I do admit it is cool.
Steam Deck is now officially a Nintendo. :)