What is Flycast? What has Rinnegatamante achieved?
As one can already guess from the title, Flycast is a Dreamcast emulator based on reicast with ‘flyinghead’ being the main developer behind it.
Fancy emulating the Dreamcast on your Vita? Well, with Rinnegatamante’s effort, that’s just become possible … kinda!
This emulator, which is still seeing development to this day, is available on the 3 major PC OSes, Android and even the Nintendo Switch together with the ability to be used as RetroArch core.
Due to this emulator being open-source and already working well on ARM systems, it was chosen to be the one to port to the Vita by Rinnegatamante with initial debugging starting on Saturday. Since then, a good amount of progress has been made including:
Earlier today, a build of the Flycast core with an ARMv7 dynamic recompiler, fixed viewport (where the emulator renders stuff on screen) and a modification to the SH4 dynamic recompiler was demonstrated in a YouTube video (below) – Tweet
How is performance? Can I get Flycast on my Vita right now?
In its current state, Flycast can already load some games like Crazy Taxi although performance is not good enough to be playable in tested titles (Image from video below)
Going by the two demonstrated games, performance at the current moment in the time may not be up to scratch for most games to be playable as Crazy Taxi hovers around the 20FPS mark (60FPS native) while Resident Evil: Code Veronica does around 10-15FPS during gameplay – these results were derived from the YouTube video present below which features a pretty recent build. However, less demanding titles may run better although 2D titles may output corrupted sprites due to the absence of mprotect for texture updates.
If you want to mess around with Flycast on your own console, Rinnegatamante has provided a VPK on Discord containing the RetroArch core which you can install via VitaShell. However, you also need to install the PSM Runtime & ShaRKF00D since the port makes use of runtime shader compilation. After installing ShaRKF00D, you have to check whether “ur0:data/libshacccg.suprx” exists and if so, then you can proceed to install the ‘retroarch_vita.vpk’ file provided which installs the Flycast RetroArch core. Further information on how to install the emulator together with download links can be found in the links below.
While the current state of Flycast on the Vita won’t let you emulate every Dreamcast game ever released with success, things look somewhat promising but it’s important to keep in mind that the Dreamcast is a 6th generation console like the PlayStation 2 so the PlayStation Vita is nowhere near powerful enough to be able to emulate certain titles with playable frame rates although perhaps we may see some less demanding stuff play well.
To follow the latest updates, it’s recommended to head over to Rinnegatamante’s VitaNuova Discord channel and check out the ‘#development’ section.
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.