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Jul 22, 2014

XBMC and Emulation

So I finally went back to trying to get emulators setup in XBMC (OpenELEC specifically).  It took me a while to get everything setup, but in the end everything is working perfectly.  This all stems from the fact that I got my kid into SNES games to distract him on a long-haul flight.

Now there are several post out there with pieces of information, but solbero posted a great and complete guide on the openelec forum:

http://openelec.tv/forum/128-addons/71535-guides-retroarch-friends

This venture into emulators is not a big leap from XBMC's future, rumours have been around for a while regarding XBMC implementing emulators directly into the XBMC build.  There is even a branch of OpenELEC which contains these modification - I am slightly tempted to try this,  Retroplayer + XBMC:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=173361

When it comes to emulation they key component for realism is the joypad, in my humble opinion.  Amazon sells a USB compatible SNES replica controller, and it seems to get some ok feedback:



I myself have gone down the route of Logitech Rumblepasd 2 (Wireless), simply because it has more buttons for arcade based games - and I'm a fan of Logitech products.




The main complaint I hear about the Logitech Rumblepad 2 is the analog sticks are in a square boundary - so you can't recreate free flowing circles with the sticks.  Beware the price of these things, Amazon was selling for $99.  I picked up a couple on eBay for $55 shipped - I know have 3 and will no doubt sell one to recoup.

My implementation uses ROM Collection Browser to fire up the initial games, but after that I use the back-end emulator (RetroArch) to switch games.  I configured my left analog stick to save/load states using up/down, and I configured my right analog button to bring up the retorarch menu, left analog button is configured to exit the emulator and go back to XBMC.

If anyone tries out Retorplayer + XBMC, let me know your thoughts please.

I do have a spare Pi lying around, so I am also considering RetorPie http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/retropie-downloads/

For XBMC here is the version of RetroArch I used:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/zaggxbmcaddons/files/?source=navbar

Containing the following list of cores/emulators:
http://sourceforge.net/p/zaggxbmcaddons/wiki/Core%20List/
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