It’s been a pretty busy end of the year for the BeetleDC core. Most of the work consisted in finalizing and improving support for Naomi and Atomiswave arcade ROMs.
Naomi / Atomiswave
Naomi GD-ROMs are now supported and this adds more than 120 Naomi games to the list of supported arcade games.
ROMs archived with 7zip as well as parent/split ROMs are now supported as well.
Another new feature is the use of per-game input descriptors: so instead of binding “Button 1” or “Axis 1”, you’ll have descriptive names such as “JUMP” or “STEERING WHEEL”. Not all games have input descriptors but more will be added in the future (and pull requests are welcome.)
In addition, many bugs have been fixed allowing many arcade games to now be fully playable: 18 Wheeler, Airline Pilot, Cosmic Smash, House of the Dead 2, Jambo Safari, Ninja Assault, Shooting Love, Virtual Athlete, Virtual On Oratorio Tangram and probably more.
On the Dreamcast front, a recent but notable improvement is the automatic setting of the BIOS date and time at boot. So you should never see the date/time setting screen again. In the same area, a new core option allows to choose the BIOS language, so you don’t have to boot the BIOS to change it.
Using the Libretro disk control interface, disk swapping has been implemented. When asked by the game, you can now virtually eject the current disk and select a new one without restarting. Some multi-disk games require this feature such as D2 or Pop’n Music 3 and 4 append disks.
Another new feature for both console and arcade is the Synchronous Rendering core option. This option is only active with Threaded Rendering. When activated, it will pause the emulation thread instead of dropping a frame, which results in less dropped frames and thus a better and smoother frame rate.
Finally, Restart has been implemented so one can reset a game without having to restart the front-end.
Happy and Peaceful Holidays!