We now live in a glorious era where most games are translated to a wide variety of languages and released in a wide variety of regions, but that wasn’t always the case. There are plenty of retro classics in particular that are only available in Japanese, and while many of them now have fan translations, there are still some games you just can’t play in English. That’s where the RetroArch AI Project comes in.
As of today’s RetroArch 1.7.8 release (still on the way for Steam), the emulator platform now features an AI Service which can read Japanese characters, run a machine translation on them into English, and provide the results either through a text-to-speech voice or as an on-screen overlay image.
You probably already know that machine translation of Japanese tends to be pretty rough, but this could still be a major help in getting over hurdles like simple menu instructions and basic button inputs. And let’s be honest here – an AI translation might still be better than many of the real localisation jobs we got back in the retro era.
Check out the translation in action below.
Instructions on how to get the AI Service up and running are available on the official site.
This release also includes a major update for the RetroArch Disc Project, which will allow you to use real CDs from original consoles directly through supported emulators, though this feature “far from finished.”