You bought all these old games on physical media decades ago. Why should you have to buy it all over again? Why, by that same token, should you have to buy expensive hardware by up and coming startup companies whose main selling point is just to be able to run your physical CD retro games again, but on expensive proprietary hardware built around open source software? Everybody with a CD-ROM drive and with DIY hardware should be able to do this! It’s the year 2019, this stuff should be commonplace and as accessible as drinking water from the tap!

That was our line of thinking when we set about creating the RetroArch Disc Project. We are adding physical CD-ROM support to RetroArch, and you will get to play around with an initial version of this VERY SOON! It will be a case of trial and error, and throughout this process, we will need your help as a community to tell us which CD-ROM drives work, which ones have trouble reading anything, we will need pull requests and code contributions. But we are convinced that at the end of this road, all of us will be finally liberated from the shackles of artificial restrictions surrounding our own legally bought copies.

So, to give you some brief idea of what to expect:

  • The initial version that we intend to release will be targeting Sega CD games for now. We have tested a few games and they seem to work.
  • Bugs might still happen as previously indicated. – There might still be Redbook audio issues, or they might just run fine.
  • We will be targeting Windows and Linux for now.
  • Based on our initial testing, you will have better luck with internal CD drives for now than USB-based CD drives. But your mileage may vary. That is why we need you involved in this project.
  • Games with copy protections will not run for now. Thankfully, they are in the minority.

What is our scope for the project:

  • Better compatibility
  • More system support. PlayStation1 is very likely next.

We hope this project will be a boon for anybody with an SBC (Raspberry Pi or otherwise) and/or anybody with their own desktop PCs! Let’s make RetroArch a platform where we can take our own physical CDs and run them as effortlessly as on the original real game consoles!

As ever, everything we do will be open source.

More to be unveiled soon! Stay tuned…