What is Libretro?
Libretro is a simple but powerful development interface that allows for the easy creation of emulators, games and multimedia applications that can plug straight into any libretro-compatible frontend. This development interface is open to others so that they can run these pluggable emulator and game cores also in their own programs or devices.
What is possible with libretro?
- Play games (retro and more current ones)
- Watch movies (through the ffmpeg libretro core)
- Other stuff (augmented reality, etc) (experimental test cores that showcase camera and location API support)
With libretro, you can make cross-platform applications that can use rich features such as OpenGL, cross-platform camera support, location support, and more in the future.
What is RetroArch?
RetroArch is the official reference frontend for the libretro API.
What is it most commonly used for ?
RetroArch can be many things to many persons. However, it is currently used by most as a modular multi-system game/emulator system. It suits that usecase well since it has been designed to be fast,
lightweight, and portable. It has features few other dedicated games / emulators have,
- Real-time rewinding
- Multi-pass shaders (up to 8-pass)
- Game aware shading
- Remote networked sound support
- A built-in GUI/OSD system
What platforms does it support?
RetroArch sets the standard on cross-platform portability right now.
- Linux (x86 and x86_64)
- Windows (32bit/64bit)
- Mac OSX (Intel)
- Playstation 3 (PS3 SDK)
- PlayStation Portable (PSP) [WIP]
- Xbox 1 (XDK)
- Xbox 360 (XeXDK/Libxenon)
- Raspberry Pi
- Blackberry (10/Playbook)
What web platforms does it support?
Far be it for us to just limit ourselves to physical platforms – we also go beyond that:
Check out a handful of demos here – RetroArch Emscripten. Note – best results are obtained by using Firefox Nightly. It can mean the difference between a core running at fullspeed or not depending on your hardware/OS.
Where can I get it?
Latest stable releases are available at the Downloads page.