I think we can all agree that the libretro’s team work on getting RetroArch to work as best as possible on the PS Vita as of late as been amazing: it all started with the porting the XMB-like user interface of the better versions of RetroArch to the PS Vita, which was followed up some time later by getting PCSX-R working at near-full speed in many cases thanks to dynarec and more recently, the activation of the same hardware acceleration on both Picodrive and gpSP. However, there has been one thing that I’ve been hearing everyone- including myself – asking an ETA on from the libretro team, which is getting all the RetroArch emulators into one file rather than split into various VPKs like the PC, Android and PS3 versions.
That being said, you can’t imagine my surprise when I see the thread by reddit user rdgcm, noting that the size of the RetroArch builds had doubled overnight with the inclusion of a new file named retroarch.vpk. As you can probably guess, it is indeed the oh-so yearned for all-in-one VPK that many users had been wondering was possible for quite a while. The weirdest part about this report is the radio silence on the part of the libretro team’s Twitter. You’d think an update as major as this one would at least have an announcement of any sorts. Nevertheless, we got this now and I’m pretty happy to be able to report that it’s working quite well! I’ve tested both Gambatte and PCSX-R with success and they seem to be working just as well as their standalone counterparts.
What is RetroArch?
In the eventuality that you haven’t been following the Vita scene, know that RetroArch is a very popular all-in-one emulation platform created and maintained by the Libretro team, which has been growing in popularity over the last few years. All of the emulators contained within the RetroArch platform are forks based on open-source tweaked and updated on a constant basis by the team, whose latest achievements have been getting a web-browser version of RetroArch working and the addition of a Sega Saturn emulator based on the mednafen code. The popularity of this emulation platform has had it ported to almost every modern console, as well as Android and there’s even a Linux-based OS that runs on RetroArch.
Currently the RetroArch PS Vita version can run many of the most popular emulators that you may want: Playstation, Gameboy/Color/Advance, NES, SNES, Sega Genesis and even Arcade machines such as NeoGeo and the Capcom Play Systems (mostly known as CPS1/2/3). You can even enjoy Doom on the Vita thanks to the PrBoom version that the libretro ported over.
Instructions for RetroArch All-in-One
If this is the first time you install RetroArch you should be set. Install the Retroarch.vpk file and you’re set.
However there are many report that a clean transition from the standalones to the the AiO VPK is not currently possible. The transition however should be rather easy if you follow these steps:
Use VitaShell to move your uxo:data/retroarch/ over to your computer then delete the folder on your PS Vita
Install the retroarch.vpk file on your Vita
Open the newly installed AiO RetroArch at least once so it can create the new uxo:data/retroarch/
Finally, use VitaShell to move over the system, savefiles and savestates folder from your old retroarch folder into the new one and you should be set!
Don’t forget to use the Load Core option prior to loading any ROM. Contrary to the PC and Android versions, RetroArch still doesn’t detect the Core based on roms… yet.
To get this latest build of RetroArch, just head over to the libretro Vita buildbot and download any build from the 10th October onwards. After that simply extract the retroarch.vpk file over t your Vita and install it to enjoy the full RetroArch experience.