If you’ve ever played emulated video games on your computer, there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of RetroArch. One of the best and most popular emulator frontends ever made, RetroArch uses “cores” to emulate games from a wide variety of classic consoles, including the NES, SNES, Genesis, N64 and PS1.
In addition to releasing the frontend on PC, developer Libretro has also made RetroArch available on macOS, Linux, Android, 3DS, and even the Switch. But last Friday, the team made an announcement that is even more exciting than it first appears: RetroArch is coming to Xbox One in “early 2019.” That alone should pique your interest, but the best part of the announcement is that RetroArch on Xbox One won’t require a jailbreak.
For the most part, the only way to install RetroArch on a video game console is to jailbreak the device like you would an iPhone. There are a multitude of risks that come along with jailbreaking your console, but as Libretro explained in a tweet, Xbox One owners won’t have to follow the same process as they would on other consoles.
Libretro says that while it won’t be able to release RetroArch on the official Xbox digital storefront, anyone will be able to download the app by enabling Developer Mode on their Xbox Ones. This does require a paid Microsoft Dev Center account, which cost $19 to register, but that’s a small price to pay compared to jailbreaking your system. That said, be sure you feel comfortable with the instructions in the link above, and understand all of the caveats, before you dive in. For example, the only way to deactivate Developer Mode is to perform a factory reset.
While Libretro has yet to provide a specific release date, the team did share a video of the progress they’ve made so far, and it certainly looks like the Xbox One port is coming along nicely: