How to Integrate Gaming on your HTPC/XBMC Media Center

There are 2 ways to implement emulators into your HTPC that’s running XBMC. The 1st is using Advanced Launcher the 2nd is using Rom Collection Browser – XBMC Game Frontend.
What I’m using is Advance Launcher so this setup will be using that. If your more interested in using Rom Collection Browser do a google search Setting up Rom Collection Browser in XBMC.

I intended on setting up all disc based consoles to play through the HTPC’s DVD/Bluray drive instead of using ISOs. My reasoning behind this was to save some Hard Drive space for actual Video & music. PS2 & Wii games can be as large as 8gb. Well I ended up not going that route on every Disc based console that is emulated. Dolphin which plays both Wii & Gamecube games just wouldn’t work so well playing games using discs. Actual pressed “Real” PS2 & Saturn games can be read just fine using our HTPCs DVD/Bluray drive.The only 2 Disc based consoles I ended up setting to use actual CD/DVDs is the Playstation 2 and the Sega Saturn emulators. Burnt or backups of course will work as well.

I’ll have the procedures here to setting up emulators that are disc based. The information or setup info for the other emulators I will be posting links for those here. It will be an extensive list. But each link will bring you to a page that explains each emulators setup in XBMC using Advanced Launcher.

First you have to install Advanced Launcher in XBMC.
Advanced Launcher is found in Angelscry’s Repository from what I remember it should be standard install of XBMC. If you can’t find it then grab the plugin here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3116735/plugin.program.advanced.launcher-2.0.12.zip
Or install the repository.
Angelscry Repository & many other repositories: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3116735/Repositories.rar

How to install unofficial repositories that are in .zip format.
Once you have XBMC installed and running.
Each skin may have the Add-ons icon or thumb located in different places. The one place that Add-ons is always located is Settings so go to settings in XBMC and there you will find Add-ons go on and click on that.
Once your in add-on you will get a list. You will see Disabled Add-Ons, Enabled Add-Ons, Get Add-Ons & then Install from zip file. Click on install from zip file.
Now you will see a listing of all your drives on HTPC.
If you are setup default and downloaded the repositories folder or the Advanced Launcher.zip I have links for. You will click on C:\users\your PC name\downloads
In downloads you will see the zips you downloaded click on the Advanced Launcher.zip and it will install the latest Advanced launcher.
I also have a Repositories.zip I linked. First you would unzip that to it’s own folder then in XBMC instead of clicking on AdvancedLauncher.zip you will go to repositories folder you just unzipped and install each repository 1 at a time.

That explains how to install .zip files. Keep in mind the install .zip in XBMC can only install .zip files that are made for XBMC. It won’t just unzip and install any old app that happens to be in a zip format.
You can use Advanced Launcher to integrate any Windows app into XBMC that has an exe.

Okay, you now should have Advanced Launcher installed and should be ready for game/Emulator integration!

To install an emulator that is disc based and you want to use discs instead of ISOs.
First you will need to go into the emulator you wish to setup (PCSX2,SSF,Null Dc,4DO) and make sure to select the disc drive letter. Mine is G:/ yours most likely won’t be G:/ like mine. most setups use E:/ or F:/ depends how many drives you have on your HTPC.
Go to Advanced Launcher right click on Default and select create new launcher then left click on Stand Alone Launcher (Normal .exe). Then browse to location of emulator and select it’s exe.
You should be placing your emulators in C:/Program Files. Using 3DO Emulator as example should look like this for WinXP or x86 OSs C:/Program Files/4DO/4DO.exe. If your using a x64 OS only difference would be C:/Program Files (x86)/4do/4DO.exe.
Pretty simple you also use this type setup when integrating a regular PC game install. Installing emulators with Roms or ISO’s is a bit different most emulators require arguments I will be listing links for as many emulators possible that show what arguments to add.

Here are the links I have available all of these are available on the nets. I’m just going to put them all in one place. Will make the process a little less tedious.
Links will be after the Console and name of Consoles emulator. I will add more as I find them.

Playstation 2/PCSX2: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=PCSX2
Sega Model 2 is an arcade system board/Model_2_Emulator : http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Model_2_Emulator
Dreamcast/NullDC: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=NullDC
Wii,Gamecube/ Dolphin: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Dolphin
NeoGeo,(CPS1/2)/Winkawaks: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Winkawaks
3DO/4DO: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=4DO
Nintendo 64/Project64: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Project64
NES-Nintendo Entertainment system/VirtuaNES: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=VirtuaNES
Super Nintendo/Snes9X: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Snes9X
Multiple Arcade Hardware/MAME-Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=MAME_-_Windows
Sega Master System,Genesis, SegaCD,Sega 32x/Kega Fusion: http://www.gwenael.org/xbmc/index.php?title=Kega_Fusion

There are a few emulators listed some may not know what they are like CPS1-CPS2, Model 2-Model 3 emulators.
CPS1and CPS 2 are Capcom arcade hardware that have been emulated.
Model 2 & Model 3 are Sega Arcade hardware that has been emulated.
MAME-Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. This emulator emulates many,many,many different Arcade hardware even Model 2&3 and CPS 1 & CPS2 hardware. This is so you have all your arcade Roms & ISOs launchable in 1 place. Personally I prefer dedicated emulators I see MAME emulator more for people who want to make an arcade cabinet.
Dedicated emulators will have more options and configurations. MAME will run them all but will run them at spec so no extras like a dedicated emulator will have.

CPS-1 is hardware for these games: Street Fighter II’: Hyper Fighting,Street Fighter II’: Champion Edition,Street Fighter II: The World Warrior,Captain Commando, Forgotten Worlds ,1941: Counter Attack,Final Fight and many other arcade games you may remember in the 1990’s This Hardware powered a lot of hits from 1988-1995.

CPS 2 :Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, SuperStreet Fighter II: Tournament Battle, Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom ,Super Street Fighter II Turbo,Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors,Street Fighter Alpha, X-Men: Children of the Atom, Mega Man: The Power Battle ,Marvel Super Heroes, Street Fighter Alpha 2 ,Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Hyper Street Fighter II ,Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes and many ,many more. This hardware kept Arcades busy from 1993-2003.

Sega Model 2: Virtua Fighter 2 ,Virtua Cop , Fighting Vipers,Daytona USA, Dead Or Alive, Sonic The Fighters / Sonic Championship,The House of The Dead,Sega Rally Championship and quite a few more. This was in Arcades from 1994-1998.

Sega Model 3:Virtua Fighter 3, Daytona USA 2,Sega Rally 2,Star Wars Trilogy Arcade,Ski Champ,The Lost World: Jurassic Park,Harley-Davidson & L.A. Riders and only a few more games were made for this hardware. Model 3 hardware was really bad ass back in the day but unfortunately Moores Law made this hardware short lived. 1998-2000.

Play Wii on your PC

I’ve always liked Nintendo’s Mario games. But as a PC gamer we don’t get these games from Nintendo they release for their own hardware.
PC’s are made to multi-task and emulate consoles quite well. Well not all of them but the Wii & Gamecube are pretty much emulated perfectly. And since your using a PC we can crank up the resolution to 1080p and beyond something the Wii or Gamecube couldn’t do. And in some cases can also download texture packs to improve really improve a console game.

Dolphin is the emulator that plays commercial Wii & Gamecube games. Dolphins web page is: https://dolphin-emu.org/
Operating system requirements are:
Dolphin will run on Windows (>= XP), Linux and OS X (>= Lion, Snow Leopard is not supported anymore after Dolphin 3.5). Windows will run better than other OS’s and 64bit hardware and Windows is even better.
Hardware requirements: The AMD Phenom II x4 or better Intel i5 or better is best from what I have read. I use an AMD 8 core clocked at 4.0ghz and have no problems.
Intel Integrated Graphics Chips don’t bother even trying this! An Nvidia 8800GT or better. Of course an ATI/AMD GPU of equal power will do as well.
No less than 2gb of system memory but seriously if your on 32bit OS 4gb is seriously needed on x64 hardware 8gb or better.
The hardware I listed is what I think will run games at good speed if you don’t meet these requirements I’d still give it a whirl.
I play New Super Mario Bros.Wii on my HTPC with a Dual core AMD Sempron 145 Sargas 2.8GHz-Unlocked to Dual Core Athlon,4gb of memory and a AMD/ATI Radeon HD 6570. And I play it @ 1080p internal resolution and it runs smooth as butter. Same with Gamecube’s Luigi’s Mansion.

You can use a real Wiimote on your PC. As long as you have Bluetooth & a Wii sensor. (New Super Mario Bros. does not require the sensor) For Gamecube you can map any controller you have to play the games with.
There are no drivers needed to download just need to pair the wiimote to your PC there is no pass code for the pair.
If you don’t have Bluetooth on your PC it’s easily available to purchase and for cheap.

Wireless USB Bluetooth 4.0 V4.0 Bluetooth4.0 EDR Adapter Dongle Stick – OEM $8.99 @ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1ZZ0NK1130
Also can purchase a wireless sensor that will work on both PC & your Wii: Used-$9.99 http://www.gamestop.com/wii/accessories/wii-sensor-bar-any-used/75688
Wii wireless sensor new:$19.99 http://www.gamestop.com/accessories/wii-ultra-wireless-sensor-bar/75732
If you really want to go on the cheap light 2 candles and place them about 12″ away from each other and your Wiimote will respond. I tried this it works got to dim the room and be careful not to burn the house down. Seriously just spend the $10 it’s worth it.
Can also use the Wiimote to control your mouse pointer and other stuff like that if your into that kind of stuff.

Good luck & have a good time playing Mario on your Personal Computer!
Here’s the latest versions of Wii/Gamecube emulator called Dolphin. ” These files are clean I use them myself but still scan them before install.

Dolphin x64: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByA9o2g0Aj55OHVIX0lNcHRHeDQ/edit?usp=sharing
Dolphin x86: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByA9o2g0Aj55QndQRk0za0ZkcFE/edit?usp=sharing

Click on this link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByA9o2g0Aj55aHZzT0t6ZG16TU0/edit?usp=sharing This is a document that has Emulation information and website links to help you choose what emulator or emulators are for you. Also can learn about emulation.

Software Modify your Wii.

Older model Wii’s are best. This is just my opinion the reason I say older is better is because newer models can not play any DVD+R/-R media at all. Which means your Wii will only be able to play backups on an external HDD connected to the USB port on back of the Wii.

There’s isn’t any serials to verify or anything just assume any Wii made in 2011 or later can NOT play DVDR backups.
Software modding the Wii really opens it up you no longer have to pay to play older games like N64,Super Nintendo or NES. As a matter a fact not only can you play all N64 games and SNES, NES but once software modded you can play Sega Saturn,Playstation one, Neo-Geo CD,Nintendo DS and many others. Can also run Linux on it if you are into that.
Where do you find the version # on your Wii?

From the Wii menu, go to Wii options (down left corner), then go to Wii settings (the left option).

Now, on the upper right corner, you will see a number, this is the version of your Wii.
the two shown numbers are the firmware installed on your Wii (ex. 3.2, 3.4, 4.0) and then a letter.
“U” means that your Wii has the USA firmware installed on it, “J” is for Japan and “E” for Europe.

What is modding?

There are two different ways of running unsigned code on a game console. One is through soft modding (modifying software, normally using a softmod) to allow the user to change data contained on its hard drive in the case of the Xbox. Another type of modding, known as hard modding, exploits the BIOS of the console to run unsigned code, or games. This form of ‘modding’ (more correctly termed as hacking) is very popular as it is able to ‘run’ many different types of software. But soft modding is even more popular because of its ease of installation and its relatively low price (it can even be done for free with the right tools).

Another type of console modding is about appearances, much like computer case modification. Which includes, adding lights (most likely LEDS, cathodes or other electro-luminescent lighting). Cutting the game system case, to fit hardware and/or expose the internal systems. Cooling is a large part of console hard ‘modding’, including: heat sink upgrades, more powerful or quieter fans, some even go so far as to abandon common heat exchange to air all together by liquid cooling a console (most notably in the Xbox 360, which initially had some heat problems).

Start here if you want to soft-mod your Wii.
Just be sure to read over the process at least 2-3x before the attempt. When ever you hack something there’s a chance it can get bricked.
I’m only adding links to solid places that are confirmed legitimate/reliable sites.

I did not create any of these procedures located on the links I posted. . Our Wii has been soft-modded since the day it was purchased for my children in 2008.I followed the guides from the site listed.

http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Main_Page (Learn about the Wii and modification)
http://forum.romulation.net/index.php?topic=35411.0 (Read through here completely. Be sure to follow guide as listed and read more than 1x!) Sign up for an account in case you have questions also may need to register to download needed files.

wii_homebrew_benefits

Nintendo Wii HDD game screen

homebrew

Still playing with HTPC & XBMC

Last post was in June and was regarding the build and install of HTPC. For those in the not know HTPC= Home Theater Personal Computer:-)

It’s been 3 months and all I can say is the HTPC is by far my favorite PC in the house. I love the PC I’m on it’s 10x faster can play games insanely fast. But it just doesn’t stand close to the HTPC I built. I’ve gotten all the rooms to access the HTPC & HDHomerun for live TV access also access to all TV & movies that are shared through the Network/HTPC. Started implementing games into XBMC. Not so much PC games just console games HTPC can now launch and play Nintendo Wii, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo 64 & Gamecube. Last but not least 3DO is finally up and running on HTPC through XBMC.
I’m using Windows 7 32bit as base OS with XBMC as the GUI for media/Entertainment. If anyone out there is reading this blog and has same setup as I do Win 7 32bit & XBMC 12.2 and is having issues with 3DO getting error: script failed! addon.py when launching a 3DO game through Advanced Launcher. The issue is UAC it must be turned down for the 4DO emulator to launch through Advanced Launcher.
Only way 4DO will launch is with Run as Administrator check marked in properties/Compatibility tab. But unfortunately if it’s check marked 4DO will not launch in Advanced Launcher. This is why UAC must be turned off.