Kronos 1.7.0 (Sega Saturn) – New renderer

Kronos 1.7.0 is now available on the buildbot ! The major change since 1.6.0 is a complete rewrite of the glcore renderer by its author FCare over the last 6 months, it allowed to fix a ton of graphical issues.

As usual, the emulator is a good alternative to beetle-saturn if your CPU isn’t fast enough, or if you want features like resolution upscaling.

The minimal requirement is still a GPU with OpenGL 3.3 support. On a sidenote, there are probably still issues with some Intel gpus, especially on windows, sadly the issue is clearly on Intel drivers’s side so we have no plans to search for a fix any further. However if there is an Intel gpu guru around, help is welcome !

One last exciting thing, writing a Vulkan renderer has been added to the roadmap, don’t ask for an ETA though.

Introducing Kronos: a new Sega Saturn/ST-V emulator

Kronos is a fork of YabaSanshiro, which is itself a fork of Yabause. The project was started by François, his main goal was to have an emulator benefitting from YabaSanshiro improvements, while being friendly with x86_64 architecture and desktop computers.

Over time, several new features were added :

  • Sega ST-V emulation (the arcade version of the Sega Saturn)
  • Modern OpenGL Core support, it should now have a fair compatibility, even with intel GPUs, the minimum requirement is OpenGL 3.3 Core, and 4.2 if you want to benefit from gpu tesselation

Additional things to know :

  • It’s using a high performance SH2 cached interpreter, albeit different from the dynarecs used in YabaSanshiro, the CPU frequency requirement is still around 30% lower than an emulator using a classic SH2 interpreter like beetle-saturn
  • It’s compatible with beetle-saturn savefiles, there is even a core option to load them from the same path
  • It’s compatible with zipped cue+bin+wav isos, you don’t need to uncompress them or convert them to CHD
  • There are several core options to improve rendering (tesselation, upscaling, …)

Shining Force 3 on Sega Saturn :

Cotton 2 on Sega ST-V :

Things to do/fix :

  • Improve compatibility with non windows/linux platforms, in the case of MacOS X we’ll first need a retroarch with OpenGL 3.3 enabled
  • Improve input lag, we are 1 frame behind beetle-saturn at the moment
  • Add CHD support
  • Hook optional YabaSanshiro SH2 interpreters as core options, while they are not cross-platform, they could be interesting to further improve performances on their respective platforms (x86_32,arm,arm64)
  • Hook alternative input devices (lightgun, mouse, keyboard, …)
  • Fix the “toggling fullscreen/windowed” issue (it will result in a black screen if you do that while playing)
  • Fix game specific issues, detailed reports are welcome at

There is a compatibility list available here