RetroArch Blackberry release (v0.9.9)

RetroArch Blackberry

This is a port of RetroArch to Blackberry Playbook and Blackberry 10-based devices.

Cores currently supported:

  • PCSX ReARMed
  • Genesis Plus GX
  • SNES9x Next
  • VBA Next
  • NEStopia
  • FCEUmm
  • Mednafen PCE Fast
  • Mednafen NGP
  • Mednafen VB
  • Mednafen Wonderswan
  • Prboom
  • Tyrquake
  • NX Engine (Cave Story)
  • FInal Burn Alpha
  • Gambatte


And here is the other big pre-emptive announcement to make that is the central focus of RetroArch 0.9.9 - RetroArch branching out onto Blackberry Playbook / Blackberry 10.

This will be a port of RetroArch to Blackberry Playbook and Blackberry 10. All the cores that you saw on RetroArch Android will be here as well.

I bought a Playbook 32GB device for cheap two months ago (about 150 Euros) with the specific aim of porting RetroArch to the thing. The initial port was easy enough but as ever the initial port is at most a day’s work - what came after that was the real work.

For 0.9.9 we really needed a centralized ingame GUI system, so we promoted the Wii menu to become RetroArch’s new ‘default’ ingame menu system (RGUI). On Blackberry Playbook, this menu will boot up at start time since the Blackberry Playbook has no native windowing toolkit.

On Blackberry 10, we’ll be going with a Facades frontend - which is some kind of native windowing toolkit (as far as I understood it - haven’t really looked much into it as I don’t have a Blackberry 10-capable device - Playbook is still on Playbook Tablet OS).

For this port I have received outside help from a guy known as CatalystG - he has been very helpful in cooperating with me on getting the various cores working and for providing the bulk of the Blackberry 10 part of the port. He will be properly credited in the README as well as the accompanying release PDF - same with meancoot for the iOS port.

For release purposes we will use both the forum threads and (possibly) Blackberry World - so far it looks to me like it should be possible to publish RetroArch on there - and it would be for free as well - unless I have not been made aware of some kind of ‘Terms of Conditions’ associated to that app store.


I know next to nothing about sideloading BAR files, so I’ll just dump the BAR file here that QNX Momentics churned out and assume it requires no further signing or anything like that for it to be able to be installed to other Blackberry Playbook devices.

Blackberry Playbook: Blackberry 10: soon (CatalystG will have to provide us the binary first)

Well, i also bought a playbook, and maybe next q10 to replace my xperia play so that is great new!

I’ve been using both Blackberry releases for a couple of days now and my experience has been great so far. Performance has been perfect on my Z10 and I’ve experienced some slowdowns on my Playbook playing SNES games with special chips, which I expected since it has a slower CPU. On the Z10, playing games using my Wiimote on my TV via HDMI works perfectly.

I wanted to report some bugs that I noticed which I’m seeing in both the Playbook and BB10 release.

  • The settings I set within RGUI aren’t saved when I exit RetroArch, even if the option is set to save upon exit.
  • I’m getting a crash when changing the Aspect Ratio in the Video settings. The crash happens as I change the aspect ratio past “Core Provided”, I’ll press right then the screen goes black and RetroArch crashes.
  • The overlay doesn’t seem to support multitouch properly. For example, if I’m playing a shoot-em up like 19XX and I’ll move my plane while shooting, sometimes the d-pad gets stuck and the plane will move in one direction until I don’t touch any of the controls for a second or so. This happens with both the Playbook and Z10.
  • On the Z10 only, RetroArch is unable to find any roms stored on my SDCard when I browse using RGUI. It is able to find roms if they’re stored on the local device storage.

Other than those, everything else I’ve tried works great. Thanks a lot for your hard work on releasing RetroArch for Blackberry.

Thanks a lot for your hard work

Hi First i would like to say that i tried to play retroarch with bluetooth keyboard, and it works kinda good, to replace a bt joypad. Second i would like to know what about some cores that you can see on retroarch blackberry, their names appear, but you can t play them (for example mednafen gba, snes9x other than the next version). Is my install broken? Or are they cores not working by now but planned for next version?

Hi, just wondering when we can expect an update to the BlackBerry 10 version? I tried the iOS and Android versions and steady progress is being made on those and the User Interfaces are decent enough. What’s going on with the BlackBerry 10 version? I still can’t save settings and such nor have any of the new refresh rate calibration and threaded video options in order to assist with some of the screen and audio synch issues on hdmi. Also the multi touch doesn’t seem to support more than 2 touch points simultaneously so it’s basically unusable without an external controller. There’s still UI issues when the screen orientation is changed. The save and rewind menu is still messed up. Z10 gives a really good account of this emu based on sheer performance, don’t let it down and us users down by neglecting to keep it up to par with other platforms. Let me know how I can help if necessary. By the way, the Android version runs full speed it seems on the Z10 but I can’t seem to get any input to work properly. The iOS version has a nice user interface. Would like to hear the voices of other BlackBerry 10, RetroArch users. Or am I the only one who cares or am I posting this in the wrong place?

CatalystG has been doing the Blackberry 10 port independently of us. He gave me a version to release again but unfortunately it is already quite out of date compared to what we have now. So hopefully he could get back in touch with me again so we could push another update.

I only own a Blackberry Playbook and as we both know, even Blackberry no longer gives a crap about it. It also doesn’t help that the performance I’m getting out of it is not what I was expecting to get at all out of QNX - I’m guessing they are severely overbloating the QNX side.

This and issues such as not being allowed on Blackberry World has kinda dampened my faith in Blackberry. I will still support it but you can’t blame me if regular updates appear on Android/iOS first.

I hear you. I’m sorry to hear that you’re disheartened. I’m not sure how much the PlayBook isn’t living up to your performance expectations, however it was released as an iPad 2 competitor and at the time it’s specs were superior almost across the board. Only the GPU might have been slower. Time has marched on and now we have the 4th generation iPad and also the BlackBerry Z10, Q10 and Q5 all boasting significantly more powerful CPU and GPU hardware with ARM Neon and double the amount of RAM. On the OS side BlackBerry 10 is where they have been putting their best efforts into and it shows. It is a significant evolution of what Might have started off as PlayBook OS 2.0. Maybe you should give it a try if you’re into Gadgets and tech stuff. I would hold off on till they release their next phone though, which is slightly to be the Z30. Rumoured specs include 4.65" AMOLED screen, 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 Pro, Quad core GPU, could be higher at launch will hardly be lower than that though. That might give you less frustration and also be more representative of the current state of BlackBerry hardware and software. At some point in time the PlayBook has to be let go. I wish there was some way to directly interact with Catalyst G since as far as I can tell thus forum is the main forum for RetroArch. Here is where all the users converge. You said your faith has been dampened by BlackBerry but even Apple doesn’t allow RetroArch in the AppStore. Also BlackBerry 10 devices are the only devices that I know of that can run both the BlackBerry 10 port as well as the Android Port at full speed. They have created something very intuitive with their new OS and hardware. Something that at least deserves a fair chance or at least a look.

Is it possible that you can release or PM me this “new” but still outdated version that CatalystG gave to you? I’m hoping it would be better than nothing since the initial release already works pretty well except for the multi touch issues. I’m sure there are many others who wouldn’t mind getting it either.

Hi square, I enjoy playing retroarch on playbook with the keyboard, and would like to know if it would you could add support for the steelseries free controller on ios mode. I explain, this controler on ios mode (opposed to android mode) acts like a keyboard, pressing a button and releasing it is equal to pressing 2 keys, knowing that, i think it would be cool to implement this gamepad as a keyboard and assign the input in consequence. If you need any help tell me. Thanks

A new version is upcoming for version

Things were badly out of shape and out of date, and now with Blackberry 10 I finally have the impetus to take it under my belt again since I can develop for both BB10 and Playbook now simultaneously without relying on external contributors.

Uhhh, idk if this is the right place to post this but I would like to know if I could put retroarch to my sexy BlackBerry z10 through its browser. Also, what about roms? Thanks :smiley:

Squarepusher is working on a new release for Blackberry. No ETA just yet, but it shouldn’t be too long.

As for ROMs, we can’t help you with that, but you should be able to find pretty much anything just by googling for the name.

BlackBerry 10 only allows you to install android apps through your browser. If the new version is a native BlackBerry App then we will have to sideload the app.

[QUOTE=;12873]A new version is upcoming for version

Things were badly out of shape and out of date, and now with Blackberry 10 I finally have the impetus to take it under my belt again since I can develop for both BB10 and Playbook now simultaneously without relying on external contributors.[/QUOTE]

Hi squarepusher any news about the playbook version update?