News: RetroArch 1.8.6 released with a brand-new PlayStation 3 port, savestate compression, added Vita/3DS/Switch cores & more and Catherine: Full Body 720p patch released for the PlayStation TV by cuevavirus
It is that time again when we get yet another RetroArch update and this time, the folks at libretro have brought savestate compression and a new PlayStation 3 port together with other stuff. In this article, we’re also going to look at the release of a 720p patch for Catherine Full Body on the PlayStation TV.
RetroArch 1.8.6 released with a new PlayStation 3 port, savestate & playlist compression, new Vita/3DS/Switch cores and more
If you’ve ever hacked a modern console then chances are you’ve heard of RetroArch as it’s a pretty popular all-in-one emulation solution on the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo Switch with it also obtaining a decent following on the Nintendo 3DS. Furthermore, RetroArch is also available on desktops and comes with a wide variety of features such various UIs to choose from, cores (emulators and game engines) that you can easily update, support for a wide variety of input methods and a good dose of support from the folks behind it thus making it pretty appealing if you don’t mind spending a little time to learn how to use it.
Now, RetroArch 1.8.6 has been released around 1.5 months after version 1.8.5 which changed the default UI to a Switch-inspired one rather than an XMB-inspired one. As per its release post on libretro’s blog, RetroArch 1.8.6 comes with:
- The RetroArch port for the PlayStation 3 is now built with the PSL1GHT toolchain
- This decision was taken because previous versions of RetroArch for the PlayStation 3 were built a proprietary SDK and it was decided to switch over to the open-source PSL1GHT SDK in order to avoid any issues down the line (information from a Reddit comment by hizzlekizzle, a RetroArch developer)
- Unfortunately, this new RetroArch port for the PlayStation 3 is pretty limited as it only supports 3 cores (2048, ECWolf and FreeChaf) and some RetroArch features like the OSD, menu drivers other than RGUI, GPU acceleration and more aren’t working
- For now, it’s recommended to make use of RetroArch 1.8.5 on the console which can be downloaded from Brewology as it contains 43 cores and is in a much better state
- Compression has been introduced in various areas including:
- Save States
- This managed to shrink a 40MB PPSSPP save to a mere 9.3MB and a 16MB Beetle PSX save to just 1.5MB
- Playlists (file size reduced by around 90%)
- SaveRAM (SRAM)
- Save States
- Added and updated cores which are partially featured in the April 2nd Cores Progress Report but another core progress report shall be coming soon to describe what RetroArch 1.8.6 packs in. As per the aforementioned core progress report, RetroArch 1.8.6 at least includes:
- The PSVita obtained a Hatari, P-UAE and Mr.Boom core
- The 3DS got a Lutro, The Powder Toy, Mr. Boom, GME, VICE, ChaiLove and Atari 800 (emulator) cores
- The Switch got a Flycast (Dreamcast emulator) core
- The Ozone menu driver (the Switch-esque UI) received some fixes relating to mouse & touch input while RGUI’s frame buffer is now automatically reduced when running at very low resolutions (down to 256×192)
- Various improvements to playlists including:
- Preventing redundancy when handling M3U content thus removing useless entries generated by the manual content scanner
- Handling of ‘broken’ playlists is now better
- It is possible to do alphabetical sorting on a per-playlist basis
- An issue was fixed on iOS/tvOS in which audio would stop entirely if one plays audio from other applications via the Control Center or if it were interrupted by a phone call
- Some improvements to the OpenGL Core shader driver and now, configuration files are only written to disk if one changes a setting leading to less Disk I/O being performed
- Other more specific and technical improvements which can be read about in the RetroArch release thread below
You may read more about RetroArch 1.8.6 and what it brings along by reading its release post. To grab RetroArch 1.8.6, follow this link and select the platform of your choice. RetroArch’s development may support via Patreon or GitHub Sponsors.
Catherine: Full Body 720p patch for the PlayStation TV released
Switching focus over to the PlayStation Vita, cuevavirus/Marburg of Team CBPS has just released a plugin that allows the highly-popular Catherine: Full Body, for which froid_san released a pretty comprehensive English translation patch, to be rendered @ 720p (1280×720)! This marks the first time that a commercial PlayStation Vita game is able to be rendered at a resolution past the Vita’s native 960×544.
As per its release thread on Team CBPS’ forum (link below), Catherine Full Body runs at around 20-30FPS @720p if you set the CPU frequency to 444MHz and it is important to keep in mind that a 494MHz overclock offers no noticeable performance difference. It also noted that PSVShell crashes the game so one should use other plugins such as LOLIcon or lolita444/500 to up the PlayStation Vita’s CPU speed to 444MHz from the 333MHz default frequency as these are confirmed not to crash the game.
Installing the plugin is pretty straightforward as it has you installing the SharpScale plugin, enabling the ‘Enable Full HD’ option in SharpScale’s configuration application then adding the plugin under the *PCSG01179 section in taiHEN’s config.txt
You may read more about the plugin and download it by visiting its release thread on Team CBPS’ forums
In other news, DeadalusX64 0.2 (N64 emulator) has been released for the PlayStation Vita with numerous improvements over the first alpha build including asynchronous audio, wait rendering (fixes artifacting in some games at a potential performance hit) and various improvements to MasterFeizz’s dynamic recompiler. On the 3DS front, TWiLightMenu++ 15.0.0 was released which fixes numerous bugs and adds a 12-hour clock alongside nds-bootstrap 0.35.0. When it comes to the Switch, ReiNX 3.0 was released with support for Firmware 9.x/10.x after no updates since June.