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.
Flyinghead is adding MAME ROM support to the arcade side of BeetleDC Libretro.
Here is what has currently been implemented:
NAOMI M1 cartridge support
NAOMI M2 cartridge support
NAOMI M4 cartridge support
Things you need to know
Right now, only non-merged romsets work. A merged rom is a ROM without parent, it contains all the files needed.
NAOMI M4 cartridges require a special BIOS file to be put inside your System directory. The M4 bios should be in a “naomi.zip” file in the BIOS folder (/dc ). The file in specific which hsould be inside that zip file is called ‘epr-21576h.ic27’.
Other important additions/changes
in the past, NAOMI games would only work with BeetleDC Libretro if you loaded .lst files. .lst files are no longer necessary now. You should be able to run an arcade game with BeetleDC Libretro using the plain .bin/.dat file instead now. So theoretically it should now be capable of just loading Demul-compatible ROMs instead.
Ring Out 4×4 now allows for up to 4 player support due to adding dual I/O board support for this game.
What are the list of MAME ROMs that are compatible?
NOTE: This feature currently works properly in BeetleDC Libretro non-OIT. BeetleDC Libretro OIT will require some more work before this feature will start rendering properly.
Thanks to RetroSven, here is another major new feature!
It is now possible to display the VMU screen ingame! You can also specify the exact positioning of each VMU, whether it should be positioned at the top left, top right, bottom left, or bottom right corner of the screen. You can also specify the opacity of each screen and the exact size of the screen. You can display all 4 attached VMU screens at the same time onscreen!
For those that don’t know, the VMU was the Dreamcast’s memory card which also could be used as a standalone device. It was powered by a ring battery, had a D-pad and some face buttons, and it was even possible to play some minigames on the VMU.Games could download VMU minigames onto the system and you could then play these minigames when used as a standalone device.
Samurai Shodown VI (NAOMI) renders properly now with Extra Depth Scaling option!
Reicast Libretro now has a new feature – Extra Depth Scaling. By enabling this, the graphics in Samurai Shodown VI (Naomi arcade game) will render properly.
Note that even with this enabled, BeetleDC OIT Libretro will currently have some display bugs that the non-OIT core won’t have. Hopefully the two can become just as good later on.