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Popular game emulator RetroArch is coming to Windows Phone

Windows Phone owners might be able to play a lot of classic console games on their smartphone soon. The team behind the popular game emulator RetroArch have announced plans to bring it to Microsoft's mobile platform.

In a blog post, the main developer stated that the upcoming 1.4 version of RetroArch will include a "Windows Runtime (WinRT) port so that RetroArch can run on Windows Phones among other things". That leaves open the possibility that it could also be used on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile as well, although that's not confirmed in the blog. He adds:

"I hope to get something substantial done by end of February/March, but don't hold me to that."

Source: Libretro; Via: Frawin (French)

83 Comments
  • Sounds great! :D
  • This is it the awesome app I always wanted
  • Yeah. Back to the Basics :)
  • Its raining Apps!!
  • Retroarch is awesome.
  • We just need Xbox controller support for w10m for best experience
  • Now this would be epic.
  • one thing i  badly require on my L1520.  
  • I thought it did... I don't have an adapter to test, but I believe that it was added to 8.1 update 2 or 3. Maybe it didn't make it to 10 though...
  • Nope. I have a 950XL with a USB OTG adapter, and plugging in an Xbox One controller makes the same "device connected" sound as the desktop but it doesn't appear to be recognized and usable in any apps that I've tried. I would love to be proven wrong as this would be a killer feature.
  • Bummer, good to know. Though, I wonder what apps would support it as of right now. Thank for the heads up.
  • Could always try one of the Halo games, since they're on the others but I think they were still made the old way... =\
  • My 950xl gives me a notification telling me it won't work at all.
  • Works great on my Nexus 6, even wireless. Must be nice having Windows and even Microsoft's own hardware isn't compatible.
  • @bleached that's pretty awesome. I'm about to get a Nexus 6 this week. It's on sale on Amazon for $250 32 GB. Coming from a Lumia 830 (it's in limbo, read trapped in an old windows 10 build).
  • @Xsled, you're probably thinking of Moga Controller support.
  • Yep, that should be a priority.  But I think MS is not giving it.  That's the first thing I test when a new update or firmware update is installed in the 950 XL.  If that worked in continuum it would be an excellent highlight of W10M, imagine a lot of games in the big screen (like a mini xbox), and xbox streaming with xbox controller directly in continuum.  That should be part of the demos for the "productivity like a boss...." hehe.
  • I've got a 950 and liking Continuum, but are there any games that support it yet?
  • A couple newer games like king of thieves work but not many
  • Pretty much any Windows 10 game will. I know iBasket did when I tested.
  • If it's an universal app, you could play tons of other consoles games on your Xbox One...
  • Then be permanently removed at request of every major publishing label
  • It'd probably not even get accepted I the Xbox store at all.
  • You can play Playstation games on Xbox huh? Sony will got mad for sure
  • So, does that mean there are any chances of a PSP emulator for Windows phone? I always wanted one. I visited their website but no such info in sight.
  • How about buying one its 6k on flipkart.
  • I already have a PSP 3004, and PSP emulators (PPSSPP) installed on my Android tab and phones. What I want is a PSP emulator on "Windows phone". I'm sure I'm not alone.
  • Umm. Then why would you even want an emulator in the first place. Did you know you could install a bunch of different emulators on your psp.
  • ... and carry it around wherever you go?
  • It's inconvenient carrying 2 devices around
  • @unnatixlr8. Why not? If the other platforms have it, why not windows phone 8.x / mobile 10?
  • Because winRT does not have jit compiler
  • As aewsome as it is i would like to know if it would be classed as piracy.
  • It's piracy if you download the rom you never bought. This is just an emulator.
  • Wait you can pay for roms? that's new to me.
  • If you owned the game cartridge/disc, downloading the ROM isn't piracy. At least logically; I'm sure there are various laws and EULAs that still make it a bit dodgy in some countries. The upshot is that emulators aren't piracy because they don't contain any copyrighted content. Just like a video player can play pirated movies, but isn't piracy in and of itself.
  • You can make your own ROMs out of your purchased games, but most people don't have the equipment or knowledge to do that. So they download ROMs and if they own the original game, it is not illegal (I don't say it's legal either^^), because it is seen as a private copy. At least in most countries, I don't know how it is handled in other countries than Austria.
  • Here in the states, you are legallay allowed to have a backup copy of anyhting you have purchased. I love the idea of this, as much as it's nostalgic to play on the old consoles, it's nice to not at the wear and tear to them, or have to worry about dead batteries in old cartrages.
  • "Here in the states, you are legallay allowed to have a backup copy of anyhting you have purchased. " Not according to the MPAA....
  • I believe according to the MPAA it's illegal to break copyright protection. Even so, I should have been clear in that I meant when it came to software. You can make backup copies.
  • & their crown jewel the dmca https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act
  • No. According to Nintendo EULA owning roms of the game you own is illegal. Basically any medium which you didn't buy is illegal. That's just Nintendo though.
  • I'm not really up on this but I don't think a companies EULA can override laws in the company you reside in.  If the laws were you live state you can have a back up of your purchased media the EULA legally couldn't prevent you from doing so.   The laws can contradict themselves sometimes to.  Like was mentioned before, you can legally have a back up but it may be against the law to break the encryption which would keep you from making the back up. 
  • Guys could we just ignore piracy thing for this one :/
  • Excellent
  • I want a PSP emulator.
  • Ya please do support piracy. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It's not piracy if the owner of the ROM loosens their license restrictions sufficiently.
  • Get your facts straight. Anyone that owns a physical copy is legally allowed to own and use a ROM, not to mention there are many ROM's that are NOT protected as they are fair use projects.
  • This. I am not for piracy by any means, but an emulator does not automatically equal piracy.
  • We are suffering from serious shortage of apps and you are concerned about piracy?
  • Lol like the nutjobs that automatically jumped on astoria for that same reason(even though its quite acceptable on bb pb/os 10 if you know how to)
  • So, what console emulators do they make exactly? :)
  • Retroarch is a central framework that handles all the configuration and interface stuff. The emulators themselves plug into retroarch. It essentially makes Retroarch able to emulate almost everything.  So far with Retroarch I've emulated GB, GBC, GBA, NES, SNES, N64, PSX, PSP, Sega Genesis...      
  • What about Nintendo DS?
  • Don't quite understand why new apps aren't automatically pushed for the new universal app program.
  • I can't wait. Never actually used Retroarch before although I've been meaning to try it for months. I wonder if Microsoft will allow their N64 emulation on Windows RT.
  • Mame and neogeo. I already have playstation, most of sega, nintendo 64, gba on my phone.
  • Ooo like the sound of this too !!!
  • Nice
  • Can this come to xbox one too, that would be freaking awesome, would love to play mega drive on the big tv again
  • Wouldn't last long before the big label publishers cry afoul
  • You already have things like XBOX live arcade where some older arcade and console titles are offered.
  • Niiiiiiiiice!
  • I hope it works well. I actually don't like retroarch as it lags heavily, and doesn't emulate some systems as well as others emulators. Perfect case in point is Mame. Regular mame works wonderfully on my computer, but the same MAME roms played through retroarch run like crap, and the controls have terrible delay. Makes things annoying as hell. And yes I've tried other cores for things such as SNES and TG16, and they still play just ok, but not as good as magic engine and SNES9x.
  • There's a SNES9x core for Retroarch :) ​MAME is kind of an exception; it's very different to most other emulators. It's very hard to get working at the best of times.
  • So does it include nintendo DS?? please do tell me what consoles does it support
  • I'll have to check this out 
  • But where a DS emulator?
  • I must have read a different quote from the developer than what everyone else has. The guy doesn't sound interested at all.
  • Haha I just went back and re-read it, you're definitely right. I just skimmed the article tbh and mostly took in the headline - He doesn't sound that interested though
  • Guess someone's having an off day
  • @Adam McVeigh, software development is not as simple as baking a cake :P. Things can crop up last minute which can throw the whole timeline into disarray.
  • Yay!! Hurry hurry hurry!!
  • Yes please!
  • If I csn use this with the Neo Geo Humble Bundle games I bought? Awesome! Especially if they make it Continuum friendly :)
  • There's some good SNES emulators already for Windows 8+ / Windows Phone 8+ . What I'd love is one that's build on the UWP platform and supports Continuum
  • Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet!
  • Awwwwwww sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiitttttttt - Awesomeeeeee
  • I thought I often saw gameboy ported games on the store....
  • From their website "What platforms does it support? ... Xbox 1, Xbox 360" I wonder if that means the first xbox or the xbox one. And also, I wonder if it would be possible for them to develop an app for the xbox one/xbox 360 so that we could play out "legal" roms from OneDrive. I know my wife would love to play some oldschool games... that are not available on our consoles.
  • Thanks for making appearance in windows platform this will be great for us to play such classic games in our phones.
  • Has anything come of this? Emulators are part of the reason I'm considering switching to android.