Work In Progress PCSX2 Libretro core in development

PCSX2 is a PlayStation2 emulator with a fairly high degree of compatibility. For over two years we have ran a bounty hoping that somebody would be able to port PCSX2 to libretro, so that it can run for instance inside a libretro frontend like RetroArch.

Today, I can happily report that we are nearing the point where the core is becoming quite usable. It might not be long before we can finally make our first initial release. Watch our YouTube video premiere here that shows you a variety of games running on an in-development PCSX2 core, running on RetroArch of course.

Let’s discuss briefly what to expect in the weeks ahead when the initial release version launches. So far there is only a 64bit x86_64 libretro core. There might be a 32bit core in the future, but it’s contingent on improvements made in upstream first. The OpenGL and Direct3D 11 renderers have both been hooked up. Direct3D 11 renderer should be a bit faster on Windows than OpenGL, but on the flip side OpenGL has slightly more features (higher blending accuracy modes for instance).

Things NOT to expect for now:
* Android support. Totally dependent on upstream efforts to make PCSX2 more portable. This will remain for 64bit x86_64 PCs for now.
* No Mac support. GSdx has OpenGL 4.x requirements and Mac doesn’t meet them. Standalone should be the same in this regard.

We are hugely grateful to aliaspider for finally getting this core up and running in libretro. Together with Govanify we have also found some x64 dynarec bugs that he managed to solve, so games like Drakengard and Klonoa 2 work now with the 64bit dynarec. Govanify has some plans to make the PCSX2 codebase much more portable than it is now, but this is a long-term project.

PS. Keep checking our RetroArch YouTube channel. We will be showing you many games running on PCSX2 / RetroArch in the upcoming days ahead.

RetroArch – In Development – World-first text to speech in emulators – Update!

Earlier this month we showed you RetroArch’s world first text to speech implementation for emulators. You can read that previous article here.

Since then, this feature has been immeasurably improved. Onscreen character recognition and live text to speech translation is now done at the press of a button. You bind the AI Service key to a button or key of your choice, and as soon as you press it, a scan of the image will be taken in real-time. Any characters that were recognized as text will then be translated from text to speech.

In this video, we are running a local instance of vgtranslate on the same computer. This cuts down a lot on the latency you could perceive in the previous video. The other big difference is that the core no longer has to be paused manually and then unpaused to do the OCR scan – you now press a hotkey and the game continues running without any interruption. This provides for a much more smooth and seamless experience.

Shown in this video is a test run of several cores and games: Quake 1 with the Tyrquake core, Mega Man 4 with a NES emulator core, Trials of Mana/Seiken Densetsu 3 with a SNES emulator core, and finally Castlevania 3 with a NES emulator core. The OCR/text to speech system works with ANY libretro core that does not use hardware acceleration right now. So any core that doesn’t rely on OpenGL/Vulkan/Direct3D in order to function should be good to go.