As always, the lot over at libretro keep on doing excellent job after excellent job and with this release, it’s no exception! RetroArch 1.7.2, a popular multi-platform emulator front-end, brings a major feature that makes the experience better than the real deal, better support for machines that use specific CRT video timing, Direct3D improvements and much more!
What does RetroArch 1.7.2 bring along?
Without further ado, let’s get to what RetroArch 1.7.2 actually gets us:
Runahead latency reduction – This is a huge feature since it makes your experience even better than if you were playing the game on the real console as it totally nukes input lag (if your device is fast enough to use it that is)
CRT Switch Res – This is a feature that allows RetroArch to ask cores for exact video-timing data. This is great if you’re using a CRT monitor and playing arcade games since arcade cabinets tended to have specific video-timing data for their screens.
If you like XBOX-esque achievements, RetroArch has you covered even if you’re on Windows XP!
The DirectX 11 driver got some backwards compatibility and can now be used with some cards that only support up to Shader Model 4.
Apart from that, the DirectX 10 driver also got updates to make it feature complete so now, even older computers can enjoy RetroArch!
Direct3D can now be used to take care of hardware acceleration in RetroArch cores.
Currently, PPSSPP is the only core that supports this but others may soon follow. This is a great addition since some emulators run better with DirectX rendering on certain Windows hardware!
The input remapping system available from the quick menu got improved with lots more features.
Now you can do things such as mapping keyboard buttons from more than one gamepad (for cores like DosBox) among other things!
Other features and fixes such as RetroAchievements getting Windows XP support, the XMB/Material UI scaling properly on high-res displays (like 1440p or 4K) and automatic screenshots!
What exactly is runahead latency reduction?
In a few words, runahead latency reduction is a creative technique developed by libretro to make latency even better. A short explanation:
An image explaining how RetroArch’s latency reducing system works.
All games have some sort of input lag built-in by design. This means that when you press a button, your character will move a few frames after you actually do the press (usually around 1-3 frames)
To eliminate this micro latency and ultimately give you a better experience, the folks at libretro have come up with a creative solution that involves running cores faster.
By speeding up cores, RetroArch can eliminate lag frames and give you instant reaction times WITHOUT making the speed of the game faster so you’ll still be playing at the regular pace.
Obviously, this is a very simplistic explanation and should you wish to read more about it, simply follow the link below!
What will the future hold?
Obviously, the libretro folks don’t like taking breaks and they’re already working on the next release (1.7.3). For 1.7.3, they’re working on:
A proper computer-esque GUI with icons, windows, menus and pointers (WIMP) so that you don’t have to use a GUI that’s targeted more towards console on your Windows/Mac/Linux computer!
PC users rejoice as RetroArch is treating you as proper citizens now!
This GUI will be driven by Qt so porting to different Linux distros shouldn’t be a headache. It’s also important to note that the libretro people are trying not to bloat the rest of the RetroArch too much with dependencies for this computer-oriented GUI.
Many other UI-related things as 2018 is the year of the libretro frontend!
As you can see, this update is a huge update that holds something for almost everybody so it’s recommended you get it, even if it’s just for the bug fixes! To get RetroArch 1.7.2 or read more about it, simply follow the links below:
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.