Reicast Libretro and Reicast OIT Libretro merged into one! What you need to know…

Flyinghead has succeeded in merging both renderers into one. As a result, we no longer require a separate core for Reicast OIT, and there will be only one Reicast core from now on, simply called Reicast Libretro.

Recommendations

Moving forward, we recommend that you remove the Reicast OIT Libretro core from your cores directory, and leave only the regular Reicast Libretro core instead. This file should be called reicast_oit_libretro.{so/dll/dylib}. You can also remove the core info file that exists for it inside your Core Info directory. We have already proceeded to remove these files from our buildbot, but these files will be left lingering in existing installations unfortunately, necessitating this manual cleanup by the user.

So how do you switch between OIT and non-OIT now?


By default, Reicast Libretro will boot in non-OIT mode. You can tell if this is the case by going to Quick Menu -> Options and checking the ‘Alpha sorting’ option. If it’s set to ‘Per-triangle’ or ‘Per-strip’, the non-OIT GL2/GL3 renderer is used. You can use OIT mode by setting it to ‘per-pixel’ and then restarting the core.

Make sure that just like before, OIT mode (per-pixel accuracy) requires a video card that has OpenGL 4.3 support. Be aware that OIT mode is also much more GPU intensive than either per-strip or per-triangle alpha sorting. You might really need a good discrete GPU in order to be able to play this at decent speeds.

For which platforms is OIT mode (per-pixel alpha sorting) available?

It should be available for both Windows and Linux builds. macOS only supports OpenGL up to version 4.1, so per-pixel alpha sorting has to be excluded from this version unfortunately (since it requires GL 4.3).

Core Updates Summary and more Switch updates – October 2018

RetroArch Switch NSP


We now provide an NSP file for Switch straight from our Download page. The main reasons for using this are:

  • Being able to launch RetroArch straight from the main menu instead of having to boot Hbmenu first.
  • The Mupen64plus core requires more memory to be allocated than Hbmenu currently allows for. Mupen64plus will only work through the NSP file.

You can grab this from our Downloads page here.

Please be aware of the following disclaimer that should pop up before you use this:

WHEN USING THIS, YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED THAT A REAL RISK EXISTS THAT YOU MIGHT BE BANNED [FROM NINTENDO’S ONLINE SERVICES]. USE OF THIS FILE IS THEREFORE DONE AT YOUR SOLE RISK AND IS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND BY US, EXPRESSED, IMPLIED OR OTHERWISE INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF TITLE, FITNESS FOR PURPOSE, MERCHANTABILITY OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. Under no circumstances are we liable for any damages arising from the usage of this file on your Nintendo Switch.

New Switch cores! 49 Cores now!

Just a few days after launch, we already have a few new cores for the Nintendo Switch available for Nintendo Switch! You can grab these new cores by going to ‘Online Updater’ -> ‘Update Cores’ from within RetroArch, and downloading them one by one.

Let’s quickly run through some of them:

Mupen64plus


This is an early port of Mupen64 Plus for the libnx Switch port! Please be aware of the following:

  1. You will need to install RetroArch NSP and boot it straight from the main menu in order to be able to use this core. Mupen64plus requires more memory to be allocated than Hbmenu allows for.
  2. The framerate right now is not great. This is as a result of there being no dynamic recompiler right now, it just uses a cached interpreter core instead.

NOTE: Everybody is completely aware of the lacking performance of the current Mupen64plus. This is simply a proof of concept for now. Remember, once this bounty (which has amassed so far an amazing $1K+ in little over a week) is finally completed, most games will be running at fullspeed effortlessly on Switch with this emulator!

What this core illustrates is that libretro GL works fine on RetroArch Switch. You can expect to see more libretro GL cores being ported over to Switch in the near future. We are excited for what the future holds over this!

Mr. Boom

This is a great homebrew Bomberman clone made by franck. Up to 8 players can play locally, and you can even setup AI bots that will play against you in either singleplayer mode or multiplayer mode. This should be a perfect fit for the Switch with one Joy Con doubling as two controllers.

GW – Game & Watch

This is a Game & Watch simulator. It runs simulators converted from source code for the games available at MADrigal. Each simulator is converted with pas2lua, which was written specifically for this purpose, and uses bstree, which was also specifically written to obfuscate the generated Lua source code as per MADrigal’s request.

For more info, read this article here.

This core is courtesy of leiradel, who personally ported this over to Libretro.

81

81 is a port of the EightyOne (a.k.a. THE Sinclair Emulator) to libretro.

EightyOne emulates a number of ZX80, ZX81, clones, and other computers based on the same hardware:

* Sinclair ZX80
* Sinclair ZX81
* Timex TS1000
* Timex TS1500
* Lambda 8300
* Ringo R470
* MicroDigital TK85
* Jupiter ACE

However, 81-libretro only emulates the Sinclair ZX81 with 16Kb RAM for now. Other machines will be added as time permits. Push requests are welcome.

The port correctly loads and runs some many games I have around in the p format. tzx format is also supported.

EightyOne also emulates some ZX Spectrum machines, but those were left out of this core on purpose. For a ZX Spectrum core for libretro, see the Fuse core.

This core is courtesy of leiradel, who personally ported this over to Libretro.

FUSE

This is a ZX Spectrum emulator.

For more info, read this article here.

This core is courtesy of leiradel, who personally ported this over to Libretro.

FB Alpha 2012 Neo Geo for Wii – Virtual Memory support!

Wiimpathy has now added Virtual Memory support for the Nintendo Wii! Finally, those bigger Neo Geo ROMs that were previously impossible to load on RetroArch Wii can finally be played with FBAlpha 2012 Neo Geo core!

Here are some notes left behind by Wiimpathy:

It uses the Wii NAND flash as virtual memory. The games also have to be converted/decrypted first to cache files with a PC program called romcnv.
This program is a modified version of romcnv used for MVS2PSP.
Romcnv binaries: http://www.mediafire.com/file/xb783jd9mxhgbos/romcnv_R2.zip
Romcnv Source: http://www.mediafire.com/file/14a55bohl5u1suo/romcnv_src.zip

Note that a few games(SNK Vs Capcom PCB for example) are still too large with this method.

Dosbox SVN – Dynarec on 32bit Windows/Linux and 32bit Android

radius has done extensive work on a new Dosbox libretro core. The dynarec has now been made to work on the following platforms:

  1. 32bit Windows/Linux versions
  2. 32bit Android versions

You can now play fairly modernish games like Duke Nukem 3D (from an MS-DOS perspective) on Dosbox at fullspeed!

But there is more! There is even MIDI playback implemented, and netplay works via IPX.

Reicast

Last time we reported on Reicast, we had full keyboard support implemented which was already hot on the heels of full multiplayer online support with zero network configuration. Since then, flyinghead has not been exactly sitting still. An overview of the progress that has been made since:

  1. Lightgun emulation support (House of the Dead 2 (US and EU), Confidential Mission (EU), and Death Crimson 2 (JP) all confirmed working)
  2. Various crucial graphics bugs have been fixed on both Android and ARM Linux. FMVs should no longer show a black screen and Soul Calibur’s characters should no longer be black (due to high quality textures not being rendered).
  3. Threaded rendering mode’s stability has been further increased.
  4. A bug existed that caused white lines on the top and right side of the screen. Various games exhibited this. This has now been fixed.
  5. Further improved CHD image support.

The next thing flyinghead is planning to do is merging both Reicast and Reicast OIT into one, so that we no longer need to have two separate renderers/cores!

RetroArch 1.7.5 – Released!

RetroArch 1.7.5 has just been released! Grab it here.

This latest version has also been uploaded to the Google Play Store. This is the 32bit version. We also have a brand new 64bit version for users with 64bit capable devices. You can grab that one here. More on that version later!

If you’d like to show your support, consider donating to us. Check here in order to learn more.

NOTE: Currently the following versions have not yet been released – Xbox OG. I am working on building those versions as we speak.

Highlights

Launch of Nintendo Switch version


Easily the main event of this release. Read our dedicated blog article here –

https://www.libretro.com/index.php/retroarch-1-7-5-introducing-libnx-switch-version/

Menu improvements – dropdown lists

We were fully cognizant of the fact that it was very inconvenient for many mobile users (such as Android users) to have to repeatedly click on a setting in order to adjust its value. So we have finally implemented dropdown lists now for the majority of the settings!

A dropdown list will appear when you either click on a certain setting or press the ‘OK’ button on your gamepad. Settings that have a dropdown lists are typically decimal/hexadecimal settings, or even string lists.

We have even made the core options feature dropdown lists, and they work uniformly across all currently existing menu drivers right now. So that means the dropdown lists work with RGUI, MaterialUI as well as XMB!

We hope this will smooth over some of the rough edges that have existed in the raster-based UI for quite some time!

Adaptive V-Sync implemented for OpenGL (Windows/Linux)

We have implemented the “swap_control_tear” extension for OpenGL when using WGL on Windows or GLX on Linux. In order to take advantage of this, your GPU needs to support either the “WGL_swap_control_tear” extension (for Windows) or “GLX_swap_control_tear” (for Linux).

Adaptive V-Sync is basically a conditional V-Sync mode. V-Sync is enabled until performance falls below the target refresh rate. If it falls below the target framerate, it will conditionally disable V-Sync. Basically the logic behind this is that tear lines is preferable vs. a sudden halving of the framerate (under a normal double buffered V-Sync configuration) from 60 fps to 30fps, and from 30 fps to 15fps, and so on. This can minimize stuttering when performance falls below real-time, and can be more energy efficient. It can also help with very intensive shaders that makes the framerate fall below fullspeed.

Adaptive V-Sync is commonly seen on current-generation game consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation4.

Improved Vulkan performance (especially for Nvidia cards) – mailbox emulation

Thanks to Themaister’s latest patches implementing mailbox emulation for Vulkan, there should no longer be frame pacing / stuttering issues with Vulkan on Windows when using Nvidia graphics cards.

Please read his blog article for more details.

Easy recording/streaming options (for versions with ffmpeg support)

RetroArch video streaming feature was revamped with GUI support, automatic file naming and quality presets.

Live Streaming to YouTube and Twitch is now possible with a single click (after setting up your stream key of course). You can go to Settings -> User -> Accounts and configure your Youtube/Twitch stream key there.

UDP Streaming to another RetroArch instance

In addition to streaming to YouTube and Twitch (and to file) you can now stream to another RetroArch instance.

This is meant to be the backbone for Discord spectate mode. And streaming netplay (think parsec, gfe co-op)

An interesting fact about this is that you could stream at 1x without shaders and playback in another instance with shaders and at any scale you want.

Of course all these things still need more work, GPU assisted recording, custom FFMPEG, etc. But I’ll get there eventually.

To playback on another instance just do:
retroarch udp://127.0.0.1:56400

General changelog

– CAMERA: Fix Video4Linux2 driver that broke years ago.
– CONFIG: Add ‘Reset To Defaults’ setting in Configurations. This will reset your config file to defaults.
– CHEATS: Add support for Rumble when increase or decrease by the rumble value.
– CHEATS: Add cheat variables to allow for updating large portions of memory.
– CHEEVOS: Prevent loading states before achievements are fully loaded.
– CRT: New porches and interlaced bug fix.
– CRT: New functionality, ability to switch between 15KHz and 31KHz, etc.
– COMMON: Support for “OEM-102” key (usually ‘\’ on Euro keyboards).
– DISCORD: Add ‘Ask To Join’ Feature.
– EMSCRIPTEN: Add stb_font support.
– INPUT: Add new menu toggle combos ‘L3 + R’ and ‘L + R’ (useful for Switch).
– IOS: Use safe area to account for notch for iPhone X and adjust main view.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Portuguese / Brazilian translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Japanese translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Polish translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Spanish translation.
– MENU: Add dropdown lists for many settings.
– MENU: Fix crash that could happen when changing core’s options on Android.
– MENU/QT/WIMP: Add option to rename playlists.
– MENU/QT/WIMP: Add option to filter extensions inside archives when adding to a playlist.
– MENU/QT/WIMP: Rename playlist entries with 2 single clicks.
– MENU/QT/WIMP: Fix shader parameter checkboxes not working
– METAL: Add screenshot support.
– NETPLAY: Save lobby details received back from server after first announcement.
– OPENGL/GLX: Implement Adaptive VSync – GLX_EXT_swap_control_tear.
– OPENGL/WGL: Implement Adaptive VSync – WGL_EXT_swap_control_tear.
– RUNAHEAD: Fix performance degradation that could happen over time (after approx. 30 mins). Fixed input IDs outside of range 0-35 causing slow performance in runahead.
– SWITCH: Add stb_font support.
– SWITCH: Add Retro Achievements support.
– SWITCH: Add networking support.
– SWITCH: Add touchscreen support.
– SWITCH: Add OpenGL support.
– SWITCH: Merging of RetroNX Nintendo Switch port, based on libnx SDK.
– VULKAN: Fix race condition in threaded mailbox emulation.
– VULKAN: Maintenance fixes.
– WIIU: Fix menu lag when built with DevKitPro r32.