XBMC Emustation: Retro video games hold a special place in many people’s hearts. The 8-bit and 16-bit eras of gaming produced many classic titles that are still beloved today. Thanks to emulators, we can relive these gaming experiences on modern devices. One of the best ways to do this is through XBMC Emustation.
What is XBMC Emustation?
XBMC Emustation is a frontend for emulators that runs on the XBMC media center platform. It provides a unified interface for accessing and playing retro games from a variety of consoles and arcade machines.
Some key features of XBMC Emustation include:
- Slick graphical interface for browsing games by system, genre, year, etc.
- Automatically imports game metadata like descriptions, box art, and screenshots.
- Supports many popular emulators like MAME, Nestopia, Snes9x, VisualBoyAdvance, and more.
- Controller configuration for setting up gamepads, joysticks, and other input devices.
- Saves state support so you can resume games where you left off.
- Ability to play local multiplayer games with friends.
Why Emulate Retro Games?
There are several great reasons to emulate classic games with XBMC Emustation:
Relive Childhood Memories – Many people have fond memories of playing classic NES, SNES, Genesis, and arcade games in their youth. Emulation lets you experience those nostalgic games again.
Discover New (Old) Games – Modern game libraries are massive, making it easy to miss great retro games. Emulation provides access to old games you may have overlooked or never played.
Enjoy Forgotten Franchises – Some of yesterday’s most beloved series have faded away over time. Emulation lets you revisit forgotten franchises you can’t play elsewhere.
Appreciate Game History – Looking back at retro games allows you to better understand and appreciate the history and evolution of the gaming medium.
Convenience – Owning old consoles and games can be expensive and inconvenient. Emulation makes playing retro games simple.
Setting Up XBMC Emustation
To start enjoying your favorite retro games, you’ll first need to set XBMC Emustation properly:
Install XBMC – You’ll need XBMC installed on a compatible device like a Raspberry Pi, PC, or Android box. The latest XBMC version is Kodi 19 “Matrix”.
Get Emustation – Download the Emustation addon and install it through the XBMC addon manager. Keep Emustation updated for new features and fixes.
Configure Emulators – Emustation works with many emulators, each of which needs to be downloaded and configured within the addon. Popular choices include RetroArch, MAME, Nestopia, Snes9x, and more.
Add ROMs – ROM files contain the actual game data. You’ll need to add ROMs for each system you want to emulate by scanning your ROM folders into Emustation.
Setup Controllers – For the full retro experience, set up gamepads, joysticks, or other controllers in Emustation and map their buttons. USB and Bluetooth controllers are supported.
Once everything is set up, you can dive into Emustation’s rich front for easily browsing and playing games!
Emulating Favorite Retro Systems
XBMC Emustation supports loads of classic gaming systems. Some of the most popular to emulate include:
- Relive classic 80s arcade hits from Konami, Capcom, Sega, and more.
- MAME is the go-to emulator and supports thousands of arcade ROMs.
- Insert virtual coins and enjoy titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter II.
Nintendo Entertainment System
- The legendary 8-bit system that started it all for Nintendo.
- Play iconic NES games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Mega Man 2.
- Nestopia is the recommended emulator for accurately emulating NES games.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
- Nintendo’s popular 16-bit console with timeless classics.
- Enjoy masterpieces like Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World, and Final Fantasy III (VI).
- Snes9x is the best SNES emulator and runs games flawlessly.
- Sega’s 16-bit rival to the Super Nintendo with Sonic the Hedgehog.
- Blast through classics like Sonic 2, Gunstar Heroes, Phantasy Star IV, and ToeJam & Earl.
- Genesis Plus GX provides stellar emulation support for the Genesis.
Game Boy/Game Boy Color
- Nintendo’s revolutionary handhelds made gaming portable.
- Play anywhere with Tetris, Pokemon Red/Blue, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, and Super Mario Land.
- VisualBoyAdvance-M emulates Game Boy and Game Boy Color flawlessly.
Customizing Your Gaming Experience
Half the fun of XBMC Emustation is tweaking settings and customizing your gaming setup. Here are some great ways to tailor Emustation to your needs:
Fine-tune Emulator Options – Every emulator has various graphics, audio, and gameplay options you can adjust for optimal performance and accuracy.
Remap Controls – Emustation makes it easy to reassign game controls to different buttons or keys to better fit your controller.
Enhance Graphics – Some emulators offer graphics filtering options to smooth out pixel art for modern displays. Toggle on/off to find your preference.
Adjust Aspect Ratio – Stretch or maintain the original aspect ratios. Ultra-wide monitor users will love the ability to play retro games full screen.
Customize Interface – Change interface themes/skins, customize game metadata and assets, adjust sidebar info panels, and more.
Create Playlists – Build smart playlists and collections for your favorite games or to group titles by genre, console, year, etc.
Local Multiplayer Madness
Gaming is always better with friends! Enjoy local cooperative and competitive multiplayer with these XBMC Emustation tips:
- Play built-in 2-player modes in games like Double Dragon, Contra, and Super Mario Bros.
- Connect multiple gamepads for 4-player mayhem in Bomberman, Gauntlet, and Goldeneye 007.
- Use save states to save progress in single-player games you’re playing co-op.
- Compare high scores and records in competitive arcade-style games.
- Share your favorite retro discoveries with gaming buddies.
- Host retro gaming parties and tournaments for endless entertainment!
If your devices have the horsepower, even more players can join in on the fun by networking multiple XBMC boxes together.
Preserving Gaming History
A major benefit of emulation is preserving gaming’s past for future generations. As retro consoles and games become rarer, emulation helps keep their legacy alive.
You can help keep gaming history from being forgotten by:
- Curating and digitally archiving your physical game collections.
- Contributing to accurate console and arcade system emulation.
- Creating metadata for unknown games.
- Seeding and sharing non-copyrighted game ROMs.
- Donating to organizations like the Video Game History Foundation that conserve and exhibit video games.
By emulating and spreading our passion for retro games, we ensure classic gaming’s spirit lives on indefinitely!
Relive Your Memories with XBMC Emustation
If you grew up with video games in the 80s and 90s, XBMC Emustation is a must-try. It provides a slick all-in-one interface for playing your favorite retro titles on modern devices. The ability to customize controls and enhance graphics means the classics feel great 30+ years later.
From Nintendo mainstays like Super Mario and Zelda to iconic arcade cabinets, Emustation opens up a treasure trove of gaming nostalgia. Plus with support for local multiplayer, you can recreate classic couch gameplay sessions.
Whether you want to re-experience childhood favorites or discover missed retro gems, XBMC Emustation helps you reconnect with gaming’s colorful history. So grab your gamepad, soundtrack, and snacks of choice to blast back to the heyday of bitrates and sprites. With Emustation, you can game like it’s 1989 all over again!