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RetroArch 1.9.3 released!

RetroArch 1.9.3 has just been released.

Grab it here.

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Release notes

We have a roadmap now (see here), and you can expect more frequent releases from this point on. We are aiming for a new version every two weeks. We were initially aiming to have the Lakka version ready to be released concurrently with this version, but had to postpone it. We are definitely aiming to have a new Lakka version ready with future releases of RetroArch though.

We have implemented core info file caching and enabled this by default for the console platforms. This should lead to significantly reduced startup times and content loading after the first initial startup. The first time RetroArch starts up (and/or new core info files are added), it will need to build/rebuild the cache. After that though, it only has one cached file it has to load at startup instead of having to sequentially read every single core info file. This used to take a very long time on platforms with slow disk I/O (such as game consoles). PSP/Vita and 3DS users in particular will definitely notice these improvements.

WiiU users get a couple of new cores, such as bk (the Oberon RISC emu), xRick (the Rick Dangerous game engine reimplementation), and REminiscence (the Flashback game engine reimplementation).


Core info file caching

It seems that on platforms with slow disk I/O (mostly all game consoles), it takes the same amount of time to load a file no matter how large it is (within reason) – so ~300 ms to load one info file, and the same ~300 ms to load everything stored in one cache file. Loading ~80 info files takes forever – and basically constitutes almost all the startup time on these systems. This reality is what has led to a new feature called ‘core info file cache’. An anecdotal report from the person who implemented this – previously without core info file caching t took 29 seconds just to boot XMB. With the core info file cache, it only takes 12 seconds. On RGUI, it boots in 3 seconds or less. Significant reductions to be sure.

Things you should know about the core info file caching

(Static Platforms) Add option to not restart RetroArch when launching content with the currently loaded core

Before, whenever content was loaded using a static build of RetroArch (i.e. most of the console ports), a new process is forked. This basically means that RetroArch in it’s entirety is reloaded, which can be quite slow.

This kind of ‘reload’ is required when changing cores (since each is a stand-alone application) – but if the core we want to launch is already loaded, then it’s wasted effort.

1.9.3 adds a new Always Reload Core on Run Content option under Settings > Cores on statically built platforms. When enabled (by default on consoles), the current existing behaviour is maintained. When disabled, launching content with a core that is already loaded will skip the process fork/reinitialisation and just load the content directly.

On an o3DS testing setup, this reduces content load times by 60%-70%, depending upon the core.

Important caveats:



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