RetroArch 1.6.9 released

RetroArch released their latest version 1.6.9. Download your copy from here.

From their blog post:

General changelog

– Audio: Fix the Audio DSP picker
– CHEEVOS: Add support for Atari Lynx cheevos.
– CHEEVOS: Add support for RetroAchievements Leaderboards.
– GUI: (MaterialUI) Fix crash that happened on context reset with Vulkan.
– GUI: (MaterialUI) Skip querying and drawing items that are not visible; Cache content height and bbox calculation.
– GUI: (MaterialUI) Fix entry box highlight calculation.
– GUI: (XMB) Skip drawing the fading list when it is already transparent. Optimization.
– GUI: (XMB) Comment out visible item calculation in xmb_draw_items().
– GUI: (RGUI) Prevent crashes when using a non-English language reliant on UTF8.
– GUI: Add menu option for OSD background color.
– GUI: Add menu option for OSD text color.
– GUI: Add menu option to remove frame count from OSD.
– GUI: Allow wraparound of int/float settings when pressing the left key
– INPUT/LIBRETRO: Add support for more mouse buttons (buttons 4/5)
– INPUT/LIBRETRO: Add support for analog buttons
– INPUT: Always show the controls menu even if descriptors are not set
– INPUT: Fix input descriptors not being set on cores that don’t implement the controllers interface
– INPUT: Apply descriptors only for the amount of cores the core supports
– INPUT: Implement keyboard to gamepad input remapping (limited to one gamepad device for now)
– INPUT: Fix absolute mouse move handling on the winraw driver
– INPUT: Ignore keyboard input if window is not active on udev driver
– INPUT: Sanitize the filenames of autoconfig profiles before saving
– LOBBIES: Fix crash on navigating left / right from the lobby menu
– LOCALIZATION: Update Dutch translation
– LOCALIZATION: Update Italian translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Japanese translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Portuguese-Brazilian translation.
– LOCALIZATION: Update Russian translation.
– LINUX/ARMHF: Set buildbot updater URL to armhf location instead of blank string
– LINUX/PI: Broadcom VC4: Add Videocore config option
– LINUX/UDEV: Fix – RetroArch reads keyboard input when not focused with the udev input driver.
– NETPLAY: Fix disconnection not fully deinitializing Netplay.
– NETPLAY: Fix lan rooms when there is more than one room
– NETPLAY: Fix lan rooms on systems where all addresses are treated as IPv6
– COMMON: Fix clear/free loop conditionals in playlists.
– WINDOWS/GDI: Fix flickering of text.
– WINDOWS/GDI: Fix graphics corruption on Windows 98
– WINDOWS/GDI: Allow compiling without DirectInput8 for NT support
– WINDOWS/WGL: Try to use wglSwapLayerBuffers instead of SwapBuffers if possible (for more optimal performance).
– WINDOWS: Fix menubar text corruption on Japanese locale systems
– WINDOWS: Support Unicode file I/O (can now display CJK characters in file browser for example).
– WINDOWS: Support Windows 95, NT3.51, NT4
– WINDOWS: add Makefile.griffin targets for msvc6,2003,2005,2010,2012,2013
– WII: Use custom, embedded libogc SDK.
– WIIU: Initial touchscreen support for WiiU gamepad.
– WIIU: Add Cheevos support.
– SCANNER: Fix archive scanning.
– SCANNER: Support CHD files.
– SCANNER: Support Gamecube ISO scanning.
– SCANNER: Use primary data track of disc images for CRC lookups rather than cue files. This is slower but finds matches more reliably, and is necessary for CHD files to work at all. Update your databases!
– SCANNER: Fall back on looking inside archives when matching MAME/FBA content (most recent cores only). If you had difficulty with content being detected before, you may have better luck now. Update your databases and core info!

Highlights

Scanner system supports more formats

CHD and Gamecube ISO files can now be scanned. A lot of libretro cores have gained the ability to use CHD image files, some of them being all the Mednafen-derived cores (also known as Beetle cores). There is also a new fallback used for scanning MAME/FBA content which looks inside an archive for matching files. If you had trouble having the scanner detect your content before, you might be more usccessful now.

Retro Achievements – Leaderboard support

Unicode support for Windows users

Unicode is now supported for file I/O (Input/Output). What this means, is that game content that uses CJK characters and/or other non-ASCII characters can now be read by RetroArch. These files will also show up from within the filebrowser. Useful for our Japanese users.

NOTE: MaterialUI (the default UI on Android) might still exhibit issues displaying Japanese on Android. This is due to a font renderer that will need to be improved in a future version in order to display these extra characters properly.

Kiosk Mode and more


You can now tailor RetroArch’s UI even more to your own personal preferences. You can choose which submenus to hide, and which to show.

There’s also a special mode called ‘Kiosk Mode’. When enabled, you won’t be able to access any settings, and/or install/upgrade any cores. The guy who implemented this feature likely intended it as a parental control feature to make sure that kids don’t get to mess with any of the internal settings by accident that could end up breaking something. There’s also a password lock you can enable so that any access to settings can still be curtailed.

See the PDF article here for a more detailed breakdown of Kiosk Mode –

https://github.com/libretro/RetroArch/files/1320429/RetroArch.Kiosk.Mode.v4.pdf

Input enhancements


The libretro API has been enhanced by David Walters in the following ways:

  • Button input was previously all-digital, now button input can be analog as well. As a proof of concept, this has already been implemented for the Beetle Saturn core. Analog triggers now work as expected. This feature will be necessary for future systems like PlayStation2, where each face button on the gamepad was an analogue button.
  • Mouse buttons 4 and 5 were added. A proof of concept has already been implemented for Beetle Saturn. The mouse on the Sega Saturn had at least 5 buttons instead of the PlayStation mouse’s 2.


Mouse support and lightgun support has also been added to Beetle PSX, a much-requested feature. There are also some proposals on how to improve lightgun support in libretro so that it is more conducive to non-mouse based lightgun solutions. As ever, additions to the libretro API have to be backwards compatible and they should not break ABI, so that existing frontends will not be adversely affected but at the same time new frontends can reap the benefits of these new features all the same.

What’s coming next for RetroArch

We will have a separate blog post on this soon.

In the meantime, check out the addendum to this post –

https://www.libretro.com/index.php/core-updates-since-last-release/

This details all of the changes to the cores that have happened since the last release.

Recalbox 17.11.10

Recalbox keeps on delivering; time for 17.11.10. From their blog:

We keep the release rate quite high with this new 17.11.10 version of Recalbox !

Let’s get in the depths of the new features :

  • If you’re following us, you’ve seen our tease on Hyperion, which turns your Recalbox into an ambilight-like system if you have the right hardware ! See more on this dedicated blogpost
  • Add Petrock’s controlblock quirk to make it recognize the 2 players. Thank you @petrockblog!
  • You can now suffix a .scummvm to the directories name in the scummvm rom folder ! Once you do this, you won’t have to browse in the subfolder to start the game. You can even scrap the directory for better visuals ! Remember you still need the .scummvm file inside the folder. For example : call your Monkey Island 2 folder monkey2.scummvm, scrape, and play !
  • New pads configured out of the box: Nintendo Wii U Pro Controller and Switch Pro Controller, 8bitdo FC30 Arcade (BT and USB), Thrustmaster T Mini Wireless and Orange Controller
  • Added a new Lynx core (libretro-handy) by default. This new core should be less exacting with romsets !

On a side note, we’ve made a big internal change again on the Recalbox repository structure. This was a major step leading to a general upgrade of the Linux we’re built on. The 2nd stage is almost ready and will be open for testers very soon, and the 3rd stage will be that major upgrade ! Oh did I forgot to mention that this 3rd step will bring Kodi 17 ?

We do keep our word with new releases, don’t we ? 😉

Yes, you guys do and it is much appreciated 🙂 Thanks.

Grab the latest version from here.

Lakka 2.1 RC6 released with new Allwinner and Rockchip images and Kiosk mode

The Lakka team just released the newest release candidate for version 2.1 including support for the Allwinner boards and boards with Rockchip. Also very interesting feature is the new kiosk mode, which prevents users from changing settings. From their blog post:

Lakka 2.1 RC6 is available for download. It’s a very important update that brings support for a lot of new boards and fixes many compatibility issues.

You can download the builds from http://le.builds.lakka.tv

Changelog

  • Allwinner images: We now have completely new builds for Allwinner boards, based on the mainline kernel and u-boot. With this new project, we can support many new boards with very little efforts. Being based on a recent kernel increase compatibility with newer joypads and dongles. These new images will replace the a10, a20, H3 and Bananapi images.
  • OdroidXU4 update: A kernel and u-boot update fixes the eMMC boot. It also improves TV detection and adds more resolutions. Special thanks to Hardkernel for gifting an XU4 and the new eMMC modules.
  • Kiosk mode: Enabling the kiosk mode will prevent users to access the settings. You can setup a password to disable the kiosk mode. This work is provided by Brunnis.
  • New Rockchip Images for the Tinkerboard, ROCK64 and MiQi boards, using the latest 4.4.96 LTS kernel and mainline 2017.11 u-boot, provided by Ntemis. With future plans to switch to mainline v4.14 LTS.
  • Parallel-N64 emulator with multithreaded Angrylion.
  • Scanning for Gamecube CDs.
  • Minor UI fixes.
  • Core updates.

Known issues

  • DualShock 4 input bugs on some controllers
  • Keyboard input bug on Parallel-N64 on PC
  • Parallel-N64 crashes on PC 32bit
  • Animated background and audio issues in Shared Context mode (with Dolphin)
  • Typing Wi-Fi password with a keyboard on RPi is broken, use a joypad instead

Future plans

  • An Allwinner 64bit project

Installing or upgrading

You can upgrade from Lakka 2.0 or 2.1 by dropping the img.gz into the Update folder and rebooting.

Recalbox 17.11.02

Recalbox kept their promise with releasing more often then only once or twice a year and came up with a version fixing one or the other bug as per below list. More important is that the release versioning got changed: instead of going with an incremental number, they will use the date going forward. Like for this version, it is 17.11.02. Pretty easy I would say.

Here are the improvements:

  • New firmwares for x86 (mostly for INTEL devices)
  • Moonlight now finally runs without crashing at start
  • Better logs on bluetooth pairing
  • Slightly increased the bluetooth scanning time
  • Fixed a bug on bluetooth that applied a 8bitdo-only fix to any paired device
  • The security option can now be correctly disabled
  • Pad reordering now works with PPSSPP
  • Moga pro pad now supported
  • BlueMSX default options changed (MSX2/60Hz/ym2413=enabled)

Get the latest version from their page: https://www.recalbox.com/diyrecalbox

From their blog: https://www.recalbox.com/blog/en/post/blog-2017-11-01-recalbox-17.11.02/

 

RPCS3 introduces high resolution rendering

RPCS3, the promising Playstation 3 (PS3) emulator, introduces high resolution rendering. What does that mean? That RPCS3 is producing a much nicer picture then the original PS3 could handle. This is achieved by using a much higher resolution which brings many more details of the texture and assets of the games to the light. Have a look at the below video to see the difference:

 

 

Check out their blog posts for further details on this exciting feature the RPCS3 team developed.

RetroArch: Mr. Boom released

One of my favorite games of the 90s was just released in a new version: Mr. Boom is a Bomberman clon, integrated into RetroArch as a dedicated core.

The core supports multiplayer with up to 8 players including netplay.

Worth giving it a try.  See animations below.

And these are the steps required too install (or update) and play Mr. Boom:

  • Select “Online Updater”
  • Select “Core Updater”
  • Select “Mr. Boom (Bomberman)
  • wait until the core got downloaded and installed by Retroarch
  • Go back to the root menu
  • Select “Load Core”
  • Select “Mr. Boom (Bomberman)”
  • Select “Start Core” and play

Have fun.

recalbox 4.1 is out

Not only the Lakka team got news, also the recalbox got an exciting headline after quite some time of development: Recalbox 4.1 just got released with some great features and updates.

Here you go:

At last … After more than a year of development, several public unstable releases starting from February with quite much feedback from all of you, dear community, and many other changes that you wouldn’t see (new blog, new infrastructure, new way of developing/building/releasing, and much more …)

We are really glad to release this 4.1 version of Recalbox ! Here are some of the main features of this new version:

  • Bluetooth has been totally reworked (and I DO mean totally rewritten) so we can support the Pi3 internal bluetooth. Please note you MUST pair again all your devices, that’s something that can’t be upgraded.
  • New supported boards : Odroid XU4 and C2, PC X86 (32 and 64 bits) … as well as the Pi0-w !
  • Regarding the EmulationStation side : many new translations, contextual help, new favourite icons, update download progress percentage, Screenscraper natively supported, audio output device selection, many bugs solved … and a virtual keyboard!
  • A new web manager, thanks to DjLeChuck. Go to http://recalbox (Windows only) or http://recalbox.local (Linux and MAC)
  • New drivers for XBox360, DualShock3 + DualShock4 pads supported on bluetooth (all pads generations may not be compatible)
  • New systems : AppleII, DOS, PSP, Dreamcast and … Commodore64 ! And even Gamecube and Wii (but only on PC 64 bits)? Those systems are not available on all boards. If you see no new folder in the roms directory, then the system is not supported on your board.
  • New MAME emulator : advancemame 3.4 (only available on Pi for now)
  • Better support for TFT screens
  • No more trouble with FAT32 formatting ! Recalbox is now also available as an image format !

And many other new features that you’ll discover as soon as your Recalbox is updated ! So join us on the forums to celebrate this new release and to share your feedback (and bugs … eventually … I hope not !)

One last thing : please be patient during the update. Recalbox will have to reboot several times, the screen can turn black for a while … Do not worry, it’s al under control ! Just let your Recalbox work !

PS : Want more ? Have a look here for the complete changelog (that will anyway be displayed once your upgrade is over), .img are available on the complete download page.

And if you ever feel unpatient during the update and want to spoil yourself with some new features of 4.1 have a look on the 4.1 Youtube playlist.
Source: Recalbox

Lakka 2.1 RC5 released with improved Dolphin support and experimental ASUS TinkerBoard support

The Lakka team released their newest release candidate RC5 with many improvements for Gamecube fans and users of the Asus TinkerBoard. Directly from their blog post:

We are proud to announce the release of Lakka 2.1 RC5!

This version required a lot of teamwork. We merged in LibreELEC 8.2 Beta changes, updated RetroArch, and updated all the emulators and other libretro cores.

Ntemis added support for some Rockchip boards, including the ASUS Tinkerboard. These new images are still experimental.

You can download the builds from http://le.builds.lakka.tv

Changelog

  • LibreELEC 8.2 Bêta merged
    • Kernel updates for PC, RPi and more
    • New wifi drivers and fixes
    • SAMBA 4
    • RPi firmware updates
    • Switch back to OpenSSL
  • RetroArch updated to 1.6.7
    • RetroArch is now able to run Dolphin without having to manually switch to shared context
    • Scanner fixes
    • Favorites ROMs tab
    • UI Performance improvements
    • Playlist entries can be renamed
    • Updated translations
    • Countless minor fixes
  • All the libretro cores updated to their latest version. A few notable changes:
    • Important Atari 800 improvements
    • Important Dolphin update, improved performance
    • Reicast now builds for i386 and ARM (but still unable to run ROMs)
    • SameBoy fixed
    • FB Alpha update
    • Important Beetle-PSX update
    • New game engine by Rob Loach: ChaiGame
    • Important Citra update
    • Nestopia fixed
  • New Rockchip based boards supported (experimental)
    • ASUS TinkerBoard
    • MiQi
    • ROCK64
    • RK3328

Known issues

  • DualShock 4 input bugs on some controllers
  • Keyboard input bug on Parallel-N64 on PC
  • Parallel-N64 crashes on PC 32bit
  • Animated background and audio issues in Shared Context mode (with Dolphin)
  • Typing Wi-Fi password with a keyboard on RPi is broken, use a joypad instead

Future plans

  • Merge all Allwinner projects (A10, A20, BananaPi, OrangePi) into a single project
  • Switch to the open source GPU driver on Raspberry Pi
  • DragonBoard port

Installing or upgrading

You can upgrade from Lakka 2.0 or 2.1 by dropping the img.gz into the Update folder and rebooting.

Source:  Lakka team log post

 

RetroArch Snap Packages Now Available

Good news for users using Snap packages: RetroArch snap packages are now also available.

If you got a snap package manager installed, you can get the package directly from here:

https://uappexplorer.com/snap/ubuntu/retroarch

Or Ubuntu (or any of its derived desktops) users just need to search for RetroArch within the software store.

If you like to know more about Snap packages, this is a good site to start from: https://snapcraft.io.

Source:  https://www.libretro.com/index.php/retroarch-snap-packages-now-available/

RPCS3: Progress Report: August 2017

The RPCS3 team reported on their progress from last months. Besides some general emulation improvements, there are also fixes for various titles.

Lets have a look at the major highlights:

Rewritten Vertex Processing
This is the first step of reworking how vertices are processed in the graphics emulation. In the absolutely simplest term possible, computer graphics are usually drawn by a method called rasterization. If a game programmer wants to show a basic triangle on the screen all one needs to provide are three dots which are then connected to form the triangle. These dots are also called vertices. Every game seen in this progress report is rendered with this method, there are just a lot of vertices to connect. Previously the processing of vertices was done on the CPU which was a real bottleneck in many games, especially games with complex graphics. But vertex processing is now moved over to the GPU where the process belongs. This is a potentially huge performance boost, especially on slower CPUs. One example can be seen above, but many of the game mentioned later in this report also got faster from these changes by kd-11.
[more]

SPU Improvements and liblv2 fixes
During the last few hours of August, Nekotekina pushed a mega commit containing various changes mostly in the areas of SPU and liblv2. The PS3 processor has six special SPU cores and then there are various options for game developers to manage these. Nekotekina fixed RawSPU which is basically a way of managing synchronization primitives on the SPU cores and allows great freedom for game developers. This isn’t commonly used but some high end games like the PS3 versions of the Crysis games uses this. Incidentally Crysis now goes past the RawSPU crash it had and… dies 0.1 seconds later on something else. There were also other SPU related changes around how code can be loaded and managed.
[more]

Savedata Manager, Input Manager, and Initial Trophies
pi_rho_man added a savedata manager in RPCS3. This allows one to easily view every save file in every game and also to delete them. The image says it all really. It is a very useful little tool to check for example playtime, or if a save taken from a real PS3 got decrypted properly.

GalCiv with the help of hcorion added the option to configure multiple and mixed controllers. It is now possible to play games with co-op or splitscreen with, for example, an Xbox controller for one player, keyboard for another, and a PS3 controller for the third person. One game that this works very well in is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game which many people have played co-op on already.

Lastly, pi_rho_man started to fix the backend of trophies and also add some graphics when they are unlocked. This is still work in progress and not finished or available on the master branch yet, but seen above is a first test of a trophy unlocking. First make it work, then make it work better. Naturally, the look and feel of this system will be improved before it is merged.
[more]

Dedicated Forums, Improved Compatibility List, and Website Dark Mode
Ever since RPCS3 was started by DH and Hykem back in 2011 emunewz.net had been the home of the project, providing an RPCS3 subforum that was for many years only used to discuss the few homebrew and later commercial games that even displayed a black screen. However, since those good old days and especially this year when full time development happened thanks to Patreon, RPCS3 has come to outgrow the old emunewz forums. Therefore we made our own forums here on rpcs3.net, and there is a post going into much greater detail on why the new forums were started and what the future looks like. Visit the new forums to learn more. Of course every old post was imported and old user accounts can very easily be too. If you want to import your old account, the forum post above explains how to do so.
[more]

Games
So many games were improved this month that it would be impossible to cover all of them. Instead, here are 11 select games or groups of games that are either interesting in some way, popular with our users, or that represent a certain change in a clear way.

Check out their blog post for further details.