This week in emulation (24 Sep – 1 Oct): No$gba updated to 2.9b, official RetroArch releases for the Nintendo Switch coming soon, MAME 0.202 released and more!
Like every other scene, some weeks in the emulation scene aren’t as alive as others but this week certainly isn’t one of those. Among what was released this week, we find an update to one of the earliest GBA/DS emulators, No$gba, an update to MAME and news about an official RetroArch port for the Switch among others!
No$gba 2.9b and MAME 0.202
No$GBA, by Martin Korth, is one of the oldest and most well-known GBA/DS emulators as work on it started back in 2001 with the first public release being in early 2002. As a result, it’s one of the most mature GBA/DS emulators as it’s been receiving updates for 16 years straight from its first release. Curiously enough, it wasn’t always free as it required a registration fee until July 2004 to use it. With that aside, let’s look at what the minor update version 2.9b brings along:
- Technical bug fixes and additions which help with accuracy
- A Patreon page so that you can donate for further development of this emulator
On the other hand, MAME is an arcade systems emulator that brings us monthly updates. With MAME’s enormous library of supported cabinets, you’ll probably never run out of arcade games to play and you can also be sure that your favourite childhood arcade games are somewhere to be found in the supported list. MAME 0.202 brings along:
- Support for the Japanese versions of Four Trax, Midnight Landing, River Patrol and Midnight Run: Road Fighters 2 among other arcade cabinets
- Numerous bootleg arcade machines, such as a TouchDown Fever 2 bootleg and a Spanish Pac-Man bootleg on Galaxian hardware, are now supported
- Some ancient and obscure computers, such as the East Germany Ju-Te-Computer, can now be emulated
- Various bug fixes such as input fixes in some titles and the correction of release dates in the MAME UI database
Official RetroArch releases for the Nintendo Switch closer than ever
With the work of developers such as @natinusala, mw4x (plus other people who helped with RetroNX) and many others, the RetroArch port for the Nintendo Switch has become mature enough to start featuring in the stable (official) release branch. Due to this, RetroArch will start releasing stable Nintendo Switch builds in the very near future, probably with the release of RetroArch 1.7.5. The port is mature enough to have:
- Support for more than 42 cores including SNES and GBA ones
- Split joycon support which allows for quick and easy local multiplayer
- The material-inspired Ozone menu system with access to the file system
If you want to use RetroArch on your hacked Nintendo Switch right now, you can do so by grabbing a nightly build from this link. Remember that nightly builds sometimes don’t work or have some bugs so you should try other nightlies if the most recent one doesn’t work.
Apart from No$gba 2.9b, MAME 0.202 and updates on the RetroArch port for the Switch, this week also saw:
- The setting up of an ARM64 dynarec bounty by libretro (I know it was added on the 23rd of September but it’s a pretty important for emulation on many platforms so I decided to throw it in here)
- J2ME Loader version 1.3.4
- Redream, a Dream emulator, updated to version 1.3.1
- The release of Ape which is yet another PC emulator
- The Mu Palm OS emulator is now running apps (22nd September but it’s pretty significant)
- Flashpoint 5.0
- Other updates such as the libretro Dreamcast core being updated with support for online multiplayer
To get the releases mentioned above, simply follow the in-line links. Any bugs/issues should be reported to the developer of the emulator you’re using on websites such as GitHub or emulation forums.
Article/featured image by Leonidas