RetroArch Disc Project – Disc dumping to internal storage now possible!

We’ve written about the RetroArch Disc Project some time ago. To refreshen your memory, we want to make it possible to play physical optical discs with RetroArch.

It is our full intent to ship an initial beta version of this in a future version of RetroArch (maybe the next one?).

So far, we have added CDROM support for the following systems:

  • PlayStation1
  • Sega CD
  • Sega Saturn
  • 3DO

Disc dumping

We’ve now added disc dumping as well! Go to the Main Menu, go to ‘Load Disc’. If you have more than one physical drive, you’ll see several disc drives. If no disk drives are detected, it will show nothing here.

Assuming you have a disc already inserted, select the disc drive menu entry and it should now start dumping your inserted media disc to RetroArch’s internal storage. During this time, you can go do something else while you wait for it to load. For instance, you can go load another core/game and just play it while waiting for the menu widget to finish.

By default right now, RetroArch will store all dumped CDROM images to the ‘Downloads’ directory of RetroArch. There might be more options for this coming up soon in the  near future.

Disc images are dumped in bin/cue format. Most of the dumped images work generally very well, but games which rely a lot on redbook audio might still have some random issues

Parallel N64 Multithreaded Angrylion update

Here is a quick update on some new patches we have pushed to the Parallel N64 core –

1 – You can now get anywhere from a 6fps (conservative) to a 10fps or more performance boost with multithreaded Angrylion core by enabling a new option called ‘Send Audio Lists To RSP HLE’. Instead of sending audio lists to the low-level RSP plugin (cxd4), it will instead send these to the HLE (High-Level Emulated) RSP plugin instead. Note: If a game does not use the RSP for audio processing, you will not notice a speedup by enabling this. Nevertheless – many games benefit from this already.

NOTE: Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine might have bad audio with this option enabled, my guess is that the MusyX HLE audio code is still not perfect or we need to have something backported still to make it so. Will look into that tomorrow.

2 – We followed the advice of ata8 (the original Angrylion RDP Plus plugin) and refactored some of the RDRAM code. As a result we are getting a very minor performance boost now on Linux. It’s still not anywhere near it should be compared to the Windows version but it is an improvement nonetheless –

Mario 64 – VI overlay on – 77fps (after) instead of 72fps (before)
Mario 64 – VI overlay off – 87fps (after) instead of 84fps (before)

Hope you enjoy these low-hanging fruit performance gains. Back to getting RetroArch 1.6.8 ready!

RetroArch Snap Packages Now Available

Adding to our existing FlatPak packages for distro-independent installation, RetroArch is now available as a snap package, as well. We’re using Canonical’s SnapCraft.io build service, which produces i386, x86_64 and armhf builds. Canonical’s official instructions for installing snap packages on a variety of distros are available here:

https://snapcraft.io/docs/core/install

If you already have the snap package manager installed, you can download the snap package directly from uApp Explorer:

https://uappexplorer.com/snap/ubuntu/retroarch

and Ubuntu users can search for and install RetroArch directly from the Ubuntu Software store:

If you run into any issues with the snap package, please report them at the retroarch-snap meta-repo, located here:

https://github.com/libretro/retroarch-snap

This package includes assets, database, cheats, joypad autoconfig, info cores, overlay and shaders. After installation, you’ll also need to connect 2 interfaces to get joysticks working:

sudo snap connect retroarch:raw-usb

sudo snap connect retroarch:joystick

If you’re going to use any cores that require BIOS files, you’ll probably want to stop by settings > directory and select a system/BIOS directory, as well. Other than that, you should be good to go!