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RetroArch 1.9.11 released!

RetroArch 1.9.11 has just been released.

Grab it here.

If you’d like to learn more about upcoming releases, please consult our roadmap here. The next version of Lakka (with an updated RetroArch 1.9.11 version) is scheduled to be released very soon!

Remember that this project exists for the benefit of our users, and that we wouldn’t keep doing this were it not for spreading the love to our users. This project exists because of your support and belief in us to keep going doing great things. If you’d like to show your support, consider donating to us. Check here in order to learn more. In addition to being able to support us on Patreon, there is now also the option to sponsor us on Github Sponsors! You can also help us out by buying some of our merch on our Teespring store!


Steam information

In case you have missed our previous announcement, take the time to read this article.

TLDR – we switched over to the Soldier runtime for Steam Linux builds which should increase compatibility with various Linux distributions.

As for how things are progressing on Steam, we are currently waiting on new depots before we can add the next batch of core DLCs. Stay tuned!

Miyoo – Pocket Go, PowKiddy Q90-V90 and New BittBoy now supported

We now have an official build (dubbed Miyoo) for the cheap impulse purchase handheld consoles listed below:

These are cheap, low-spec ARM handheld consoles powered by OpenDingux that can be bought for $50 or less. Currently we have only a few cores available in this official version, but expect us to expand the cores list significantly soon. And as a result of the initiative Project IO, expect cores to become more suitable for low-end devices like this and its ilk as well. We care very much about continuously improving our cores so that they become more suitable for the low-end spectrum of devices. And the nice thing about that is that this ends up benefiting the high-end devices as well.

NOTE: We are not affiliated or have any association with the companies behind these devices.

HID subsystem unification – WiiU Gamecube adapter now works on Mac

Previously, the WiiU and Mac ports used a completely different HID subsystem. This has now been unified, so that both WiiU and Mac use the same underlying system.

Thanks to this, Mac RetroArch gets some nice additions, such as Gamecube WiiU adapter support. It should also work on WiiU RetroArch itself. Currently it only works with the first gamepad in controller port 1.

Further, author gblues remarks: “I don’t have any of the devices in order to confirm, but I think the other HID devices (SNESUSB, HID-capable PS4 controllers, etc.) should start working.”.

NOTE: While the WiiU side has been tested, there might still be things that don’t work like they did before. Hopefully whatever issues are found can be patched up in subsequent versions.

RetroArch PS2 – Resolution switching support

1.9.11 provides the ability to change the resolution for RetroArch PS2. The approach used is based on how it was implemented in the past for the Wii.

We finally have 240p support for RetroArch PS2! 240p probably is recommended to play on CRT. However, 480p is recommended for HDTV (component cable is needed however for progressive scan).



You need an RGB SCART cable for 240p/288p video modes.
You need an AV component cable for 480p/576p. Be aware that 576p is only available for the latest PS2 console versions (SCPH-750XX and higher).

Project IO – Wrapping file I/O

We have put in an extraordinary amount of work into our core library and trying to update them one by one so that they no longer use direct file I/O where possible. We are of course nowhere near done with this yet, but along the way it has given us the opportunity to do quality control checks on cores, and fix issues where necessary. Think of it as a glorified quality control check if you will.

Here are the cores we managed to cover thus far:

As you can see considering this list and how many cores Libretro/RetroArch has in total, We are nowhere near done yet of course.

Why are we doing this? Both the UWP/Xbox port and the Android port require it. Direct file I/O is more and more beginning to get sidelined on these platforms due to ‘security concerns’. In order to achieve this, each core that needs to use disk I/O will need to go through libretro’s VFS layer (Virtual File System).

Along the way, we have investigated if certain cores are not better off doing away with file I/O altogether, and if the input file can just be passed to the core as a memory buffer. For some cores, we have done just that. Other issues we found in other cores were memory leaks (sometimes related to disk I/O), and we took the time to plug those leaks.

Other design considerations along the way involve a core writing to multiple config files – for the cores we maintain ourselves, we try to avoid this. Instead, settings should just be part of the core options instead. So to that end, we will be modifying cores like Prboom (the Doom engine core) so that it no longer writes an auxiliary prboom.cfg file inside the saves directory, but instead writes those values back to the core options. This is going to be a bit tricky since the Prboom core allows you to access and change the settings in-game with its built-in Setup menu. In order to accomplish being able to change core options on the fly programmatically, jdgleaver graciously implemented an extension to the libretro API that allows us to do this.

It might be worth mentioning what kind of approach we take to file I/O in a core.

Expect us to be going over more and more of the cores. The Google Play Store (and Android itself) is pretty much going full-force in sandboxing disk I/O, and Xbox UWP has its own issues when it comes to direct file I/O (apparently it copies files that use direct disk I/O over to a temporary dir first before touching them or reading them, which can get clogged up fast). So it’s important that a lot of the cores have been covered by the time 1.9.12 rolls out.

Project IO – Improvements to cores

Here is a small example of the kinds of improvements that have been made to various cores as a result of Project IO that users will be able to appreciate and notice:

Direct3D9 driver works again!

RetroArch’s Direct3D9 driver finally works again after a long period of downtime. This is important because of our commitment to old hardware. You will find that many GPUs on Windows might have either spotty OpenGL drivers or they have no OpenGL support beyond OpenGL 1.0/1.1 (hopelessly archaic, a spec dating back to the late ’90s). Your previous options when faced with a graphics card that either doesn’t support OpenGL 2.0 or Direct 3D 10/11 would have been SDL or OpenGL 1.0. Now there is a viable third option – Direct3D 9.

Just to temper expectations:

Of course, if your GPU is more than capable, we’d highly encourage you instead to use Direct3D 10/11/12 drivers in RetroArch. Use Direct3D9 only as a last resort when your GPU absolutely does not support Direct3D 10 and/or later.

NOTE: It will be very unlikely Direct3D9 will get Slang shader support. Most likely it will be limited to the old-style Cg shader format (since HLSL on Direct3D9 is nearly equivalent to Cg). It is our hope that we will be able to reuse the same Cg shaders for both the Cg and HLSL backends, and that people will be able to switch inbetween the two backends. For now, the HLSL and Cg backends are non-functional until further notice.

It is worth mentioning that RetroArch supports a wide variety of Direct3D versions. There is a working driver for Direct3D 8, Direct3D 9, Direct3D 10, Direct3D 11, and Direct3D 12. We do this to cast a large wide net so that we can support as many older GPUs as possible without having to resort to non-hardware accelerated rendering. Direct3D 8 driver will be unlikely to ever get shader support because pixel shading was very much in its infancy back then. Direct3D 9 will likely get Cg/HLSL9 shader support. Direct 3D 10/11/12 meanwhile fully support the new modern slang shader format that other video drivers also use (such as OpenGL 3/Core, Vulkan, and Metal).



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