Genesis Plus GX Wide now available for Libretro/RetroArch!

heyjoeway has made a custom fork of Genesis Plus GX with experimental widescreen (16:9) options, called ‘Genesis Plus GX Wide’. We now offer this version on our buildbot, and you can download/install it right now on RetroArch for most platforms!

Available for:

  • Android (on Play Store it’s available on Plus only)
  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Linux
  • Windows
  • 3DS
  • Switch (libnx)
  • GameCube
  • Wii
  • WiiU
  • PlayStation Vita

How to get it

First, make sure you update the Core info files. To do this, go to Online Updater, and select ‘Update Core Info Files’.

There are two ways to install and/or update the Genesis Plus GX Wide core:

a – If you have already installed the core before, you can go to Online Updater and select ‘Update Installed Cores’.

b – If you haven’t installed the core yet, go to Online Updater, ‘Core Updater’, and select ‘Sega – MS/GG/MD/CD (Genesis Plus GX)’ from the list. It will then download and install this core.


This is an experimental feature right now. Some games might already output nicely with widescreen, while others will likely require patches to display properly.

It works only on Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games, and not Sega CD/Mega CD games.

How it works/how to use it

To use the new widescreen feature, go to Quick Menu -> Options.

Extra columns to draw in H40 for widescreen
This determines how many extra columns to draw for a widescreen aspect ratio. ‘0’ means no extra columns will be drawn.

In the previous version, this was always set to 10. Now, you are able to tweak this setting. Some games will require a value lower or higher than 10 to display properly, and some games allow you to set it as high as possible.

Let us run down the list of some games and what the best possible configuration for them is:

Ecco The Dolphin 1/2: Set this to 22 (or lower depending on your preference). See screenshot here. (See default 4:3 image here).

Thunder Force IV: Set this to 22 (or lower depending on your preference).

Streets of Rage 1/Bare Knuckle 1: Set this to 18, minimal pop-in (see screenshot here). Set the value lower to eliminate it altogether at the expense of a reduced field of view (See default 4:3 image here).

World of Illusion: Set this to 18 (for minimal pop-in). Set the value lower to eliminate it altogether at the expense of a reduced field of view.

Thunder Force IV: Set this to 20.

Virtua Fighter 2: Set this to 18. See screenshot here. See default 4:3 image here.

Special instructions for Sonic The Hedgehog 1/Sonic CD widescreen

Sonic The Hedgehog 1 runs well in widescreen but requires you to patch the ROM first. Thankfully, heyjoeway made this rather easy for the user to accomplish. Go to this site here and select your ROM file. It will then spit out a modified ROM with proper widescreen modifications.

With the patched version, you can set extra columns to as high as 12. Any more and you will run into the limits of the game’s plane sizes and see pop-in on the right side of the screen.


Steam Launch lineup revealed

So, it’s been a long time since we (prematurely) announced our intent to launch RetroArch on Steam. We’re nearing the finish line now however, so now is as good as any a time to start discussing how things are going to roll out.

Will launch on Windows first (Linux later)

We will be releasing on Windows first, with a release on Linux scheduled later (no ETA).

We are trying to limit our support burden at launch here since we are (understandably) concerned about the large amount of support requests and feedback we are bound to be receiving. Adding Linux right from the bat would further exacerbate that.

10 Cores Available On Launch Day

We are deciding to launch with 10 cores at launch. These cores have already been approved and uploaded on Steam. They are as follows:

There will be no ‘Core Downloader’ in RetroArch, or anything that is not hosted on Steam in fact. To obtain cores, you need to install cores separately that we provide as ‘DLC’. These are all free just like RetroArch itself.

NOTE: We need to stress – on its own, without installing any of the cores, the most you will be able to do with RetroArch is watch some movie files and playback music files through its builtin ffmpeg core. To make it do anything else, you will have to install cores.

Differences between regular RetroArch and Steam version

Apart from these aforementioned changes, there will be no substantial differences for now in the Steam version. We understand that even though we have consistently improved the User Experience and tried to make things more easily accessible that we will still be in for a lot of criticisms over the initial learning curve, so we’ve pretty much resigned to the fact that this will happen and will just brace for impact and try to do as much as what we can with the criticism that will inevitably be piling on. We will try to do our best to be as receptive to the feedback as possible with the thickest amount of skin possible, and try to suitably make some much needed UI changes.

This is also what helped inform our decision to go with 10 cores. We could have launched with over 60 cores, sure, but the ensuing fallout would have been a mess and it would have been near impossible to focus on bug reports and issues piling in. By focusing on 10 cores, we can do some much-needed Quality Control where issues inevitably get picked up, we can respond to it and in the process improve the quality of the core. This kind of isolated feedback time with a specific batch of cores is something we have found ourselves in the past always lacking, since it was always off to do the Next Big Thing as new features, cores, and other developments are made on an almost weekly basis. This gives us the much-needed time to focus on a specific batch of cores and polish them before we move on to the next batch of cores.