Guide: Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One Emulation

Guide: Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One Emulation

Last updated: 16SEP2021 (see Changelog for details)

In my quest to find great emulation at a budget price, the idea of running games on the Xbox series devices recently came on my radar. Considering that the Xbox Series S retails for $300, I decided to pick one up and test its performance against a similarly-priced PC, and the results are fantastic.

In addition to running classic games up to PS2 with higher resolutions, you maintain all of the functionality of the retail Xbox, and the whole endeavor is completely legal and available through Xbox’s Dev Mode process (after a $19 fee). It does take some configuration to get set up, and so this guide will help you through that process and get you well on your way for all the retro gaming your heart could desire.

There are other ways of playing retro games on your Xbox, to include getting whitelisted for an app store that launches a fork of RetroArch from the retail Xbox side, as well as a program called Tnavigator. But the use of these apps is a little sketchy since they circumnavigate Microsoft’s Dev Mode, and so for this guide we will only focus on the Dev Mode process and official RetroArch releases.

This guide would not be possible without the excellent work done by Ryan over at Archades Games, whose Xbox emulator tutorials are comprehensive and relevant. Many of the files used in this guide (including the reverted versions of RetroArch cores for PS2) are borrowed from his tutorials. For further exploration of specific systems, I recommend checking out his channel, and consider contributing to his Patreon page.

Note that this guide will work on Xbox One consoles too, but will require a different DevKit Activation app (more info in that section of the guide). All other parts of this guide apply. Performance will be worse than on the Xbox Series consoles; while I haven’t tested it myself, I have been told that the Xbox One is more than capable of playing Dreamcast and below.

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Guide: Demons of Asteborg on Retro Handhelds

Guide: Demons of Asteborg on Retro Handhelds

Nearly 33 years after the Sega Genesis released, we have a new game to try out! Demons of Asteborg released last month and can easily work in your favorite retro handheld. If it can run Genesis games (and the Picodrive emulator), it’ll likely run this game, too.

Find it on Steam
Main page (for the demo)

Continue reading “Guide: Demons of Asteborg on Retro Handhelds”

TrimUI Model S (PowKiddy A66) — Updated Review & Guide

TrimUI Model S (PowKiddy A66) — Updated Review & Guide

Last updated: 11JUL2021

The tiny TrimUI Model S (now rebranded as the PowKiddy A66) has received a lot of excellent development over the past few months, so it’s time for me to revisit my initial review. And while I initially recommended avoiding this device, these new updates have changed my mind — this is now a device worth considering. Let’s check it out.

Buy one here (PowKiddy A66)
Buy the old TrimUI Model S

Continue reading “TrimUI Model S (PowKiddy A66) — Updated Review & Guide”

Guide: Widescreen Dreamcast on Retro Handhelds

Guide: Widescreen Dreamcast on Retro Handhelds

Last updated: 29MAY2021 (see Changelog for details)

The sixth generation of video game consoles, which included the PS2, Nintendo Gamecube, Xbox, and Sega Dreamcast, was a transformative period for both gaming and televisions. Standard (4:3 aspect) TVs were eventually replaced by widescreen (16:9) aspect ratio displays during this time, and many console accommodated this shift. A few Dreamcast games, such as Rayman 2, natively supported widescreen televisions upon release — all you have to do is go into the game settings and change it to 16:9 instead of 4:3. Most other games were natively scaled to 4:3, but many 3D titles on the Dreamcast can be altered to stretch into anamorphic widescreen. This is possible because these games render the 3D environment beyond the 4:3 displayed on a typical TV, and through various hacks we can unlock widescreen Dreamcast for over 100 titles.

These instructions are primarily written for the RetroOZ firmware on the ODROID Go Super or RGB10 Max in particular, since it has a lovely 16:9 screen, but the RetroArch widescreen hack cheats can be implemented in other firmwares such as EmuELEC, ArkOS, and 351ELEC for RG351P/M devices (or other devices with screens wider than 4:3). There are three basic methods:

  1. Use the built-in RetroRun widescreen hack or cheats options
    • Available for RetroOZ firmware only
    • Supported platforms: OGS, RGB10 Max
  2. Use widescreen hack cheats in RetroArch
    • Available for EmuELEC, 351ELEC, and ArkOS firmwares
    • Supported platforms: OGS, RGB10 Max, or any 3:2 device like RG351P/M, RGB10, OGA, RK2020, etc.
  3. Hex edit your games for permanent widescreen
    • Available for ArkOS firmware only (351ELEC may be possible with shell script creation)
    • Supported platforms: RG351P/M, RGB10, OGA, RK2020
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Review: GameSir X2 Bluetooth and X2 Telescopic Controllers

Review: GameSir X2 Bluetooth and X2 Telescopic Controllers

Today we’re going to look at two telescopic controllers from GameSir: the X2 (2021 d-pad variant) and the brand new X2 Bluetooth. Are either of these worth getting for phone-based gaming?

GameSir X2 (Amazon)
GameSir X2 (AliExpress)

GameSir X2 Bluetooth (Amazon)
GameSir X2 Bluetooth (AliExpress)

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