RetroArch + Bliss-Box Partnership


RetroArch is partnering with Bliss-Box to bring their unique, modular solution for using original gamepad hardware to RetroArch/libretro’s numerous retro-gaming cores. The partnership creates a single solution for retro-gaming with original controllers without the need for configuration workarounds or external launchers.

This functionality has been quietly added to RetroArch for a few versions, but we think most of the kinks have been worked out, so in honor of that, we’re offering a special discount on Bliss-Box bundles for RetroArch users. By clicking on the referral link on this page, you’ll get two cables for free and a small portion of the proceeds will go toward continuing development of RetroArch and libretro:

Core Updates Since Last Release (v1.6.7)

In anticipation of RetroArch 1.6.8, let’s detail all the work that has been performed on the libretro cores since the last frontend release (1.6.7).

higan

Themaister came out of retirement to collaborate with byuu on an upstream-friendly libretro-ization of higan. Currently, only the SNES emulator is available, but we hope to extend this to include all of his suite of emulators. Only the mainline ‘accuracy’ profile is available from the Online Updater currently, but we hope to add hex_usr’s ‘balanced’ profile soon. In the meantime, you can get it pre-compiled for Windows from his nSide github repo.
Notably, the higan core includes Super Game Boy support, including all special features, such as borders and music. Instructions for setting it up are here.

Yabause

raelgc has backported many commits from upstream, including a ton of accuracy and performance improvements.

Citra

j-selby has been keeping the libretro core up-to-date with upstream’s amazing progress. The version available in the online updater is lagging behind these updates a bit, since the buildbot is having trouble building it lately, but we hope to have this resolved soon. We also hope to get the recently announced network support hooked up to the libretro core, but no promises there.

PicoDrive

notaz provided a massive update to bring the libretro core up to date with upstream. This update included many accuracy improvements, along with some nice features like 68k overclocking.

mGBA

sergiobenrocha2 did the legwork to merge/update mgba-libretro to match the upstream 0.6.1 release, including a big pile of accuracy fixes from endrift.

Snes9x-git

hunterk backported qwertymodo’s MSU1 fixes, which should alleviate the crackling that some users reported, especially on Android devices, and he also added RTC support for the recently completed Tengai Makyo Zero (Far East of Eden: Zero) translation.

In addition to this, a hack got backported from Snes9x2010 which should prevent an annoying resolution flicker which occurs when switching from field mode to battle mode in the game Chrono Trigger.

Snes9x2010

Upstream Snes9x dev OV2 provided a patch to check for invalid VRAM access, which makes Hook work without massive artifacting.

ParaLLEl-N64

Massive amount of work from mudlord, AIO, bparker and Twinaphex to get the threaded angrylion RDP integrated. It started as a port of the angrylion-plus-rdp plugin, but the libretro version is now quite different, including being a true software renderer (that is, compatible with all video driver backends, including d3d). This plugin is very fast in Windows, reaching full speed on relatively modest CPUs, while Linux is only slightly faster than non-threaded angrylion. We hope to identify what’s holding back performance on non-MSVC compilers in the near future.

Beetle-Saturn

hiddenasbestos brought the libretro port up to parity with upstream v0.9.47 v0.9.48, which gives a few ton of nice accuracy improvements and the much-awaited savestate support (savestates made with the v0.9.47 version are not compatible with the v0.9.48 update, so beware if you made a bunch of states in the short time between updates). Tatsuya79 and retro-wertz provided a number of improvements to the overscan and cropping behavior.

Beetle-PSX

bkoropoff and simias did a lot of work on the CD reading code, including reduced stuttering during reading and a core option for increased CD loading speed. This *greatly* reduces the loading times on games, from the standard 15-30 seconds down to as low as 2-3 seconds. Do note that this is very much an experimental feature though, and it won’t work correctly for all games. r5 also added the ability to use unsupported BIOS files, which should make the core a little less picky about BIOSes. simias also backported new and improved triangle code from upstream, which unfortunately causes some issues with the PGXP features in some games. Zapeth also added support for CHD files.

Beetle-SuperGrafx

retro-wertz aded support for cheevos/RetroAchievements.

MAME

r-type continued his fantastic stewardship of the up-to-date MAME core, keeping it in lockstep with upstream releases.

MAME2016

Oggom backported support for the awesome sidescrolling Cave shmup Akai Katana, support for which was just added to upstream mainline MAME.

MAME2003

gamez-fan has been backporting dozens of patches and drivers from later versions of MAME to make more games work (or work better) with this core. markwkidd also fixed up a lot of the core’s reporting to correctly distinguish between working and nonworking games.

MAME2003_Midway

gamez-fan added in some speedhacks and fixed Rampage World Tour for this low-power spinoff of mame2003.

Final Burn Alpha

barbudreadmon continued his stewardship of Final Burn Alpha, bringing in many fixes from upstream and fine-tuning controls for specific problematic games.

FBAlpha2012

sergiobenrocha2 backported many fixes from the mainline FBA core for this low-power spinoff.

VICE

tschak909 added support for loading VIC-20 games. r-type improved screen resizing and handling for PAL/NTSC regions.

MrBoom

frranck greatly improved the AI in MrBoom, making it possibly the most advanced Bomberman AI in existence.

blueMSX

meepingsnesroms added disk swapping and, along with Tatsuya79, provided some nice quality of life improvements for this core, including machine auto-selection.

NP2Kai

AZO234 added a number of improvements to this core, including support for more disk formats (floppy and SCSI HDD), sound fixes and new soundcards and better savestate support.

Genesis Plus GX

nukeykt added a fantastic, cycle-accurate sound core. The older, MAME-derived core is still available for low-power devices. bkoropoff also added support for overclocking and the ability to remove per-line sprite limits (i.e., the cause of sprite-flickering).

gw-libretro

leiradel fixed some issues with high scores not updating properly and controller popups appearing behind game sprites.

FCEUmm

retro-wertz continued his work on this core, providing many fixes and updates for the mapper code, as well as greatly improving the Zapper functionality.

SameBoy

radius worked with LIJI32 to get the libretro-ization upstreamed in this extremely accurate Game Boy emulator. radius also hooked up savestates and SRAM/in-game saves, along with a variety of options that weren’t previously exposed to the libretro port, such as audio and video tweaks and rumble, while leiradel added cheevos/RetroAchievements support.

melonDS

radius worked to keep this core in lockstep with upstream. hunterk fixed an issue that was causing the red and blue color channels to be swapped and also closed a significant memory leak.

DeSmuME

moose65468 fixed loading Dragon Quest 5.

Nestopia

meepingsnesroms added support for 2x overclocking, while rdanbrook added preliminary Famicom Mic support (get ready to yell at those Pols Voices) and Tatsuya79 provided some edge-case fixes for Zapper functionality.

Atari800

nanoant fixed building on Android and made the core look for BIOS ROMs in the libretro ‘system’ directory, which puts this core more in-line with good libretro behavior. Meanwhile, r-type added support for more keys.

PPSSPP

Twinaphex collaborated with hrydgard to get an updated PPSSPP core ported over and to upstream a few things that should make it easier for the libretro port to stay up-to-date.

PCSX-ReARMed

meepingsnesroms fixed some polygon issues and radius fixed building this core for Windows. However, it’s still not something people should use on non-ARM hardware for general purposes.

DOSBox

Tatsuya79 fixed an annoying key-repeat bug.

Across many cores, bparker added support for Travis continuous integration, so we can better determine whether commits will break building on the many platforms we support, yoshisuga added support for arm64 builds on iOS targets and radius added support for mapping cores’ keyboard keys to the retropad, which is very useful for classic computing cores. Also, retro-wertz fixed a bug that prevented the beetle-* cores from cleaning up after themselves when loading zipped ROMs.

NES Homebrew Carts from Mega Cat Studios

Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement. RetroArch/libretro are not affiliated with Mega Cat Studios in any way and received no compensation for this post.
After hearing about Sheep It Up!’s physical cart release, Mega Cat Studios contacted us about their own physical NES releases:

New, artisinal gaming experiences for the original Nintendo.
We just listed some awesome new NES games for sale this AM. Including an awesome, one of a kind collectors edition.
Creepin It Reel is an NES chiptune album with NES rendered, officially licensed Dancing Pumpkin Man dance moves and a fully playable pachinko game full of treats.
Creepy Brawlers marries monster movies & boxing to the NES.  An achievement system, counter attacks and enemy evolutions to keep the scares high and health bars low.
 
Justice Duel is a four player couch co-op action game with a full featured single player campaign, mech-eagles in top hats and an array of weapons
All games are available for sale at megacatstudios.com.
Any homebrew authors who would like to distribute their freeware games through RetroArch’s free content distribution service can contact us via email, IRC (#retroarch at Freenode IRC) or Discord.