Emulation News: More Progress on PS2 RetroArch with fully working QuickNES core, melonDS 0.7.3 released and Status Update on BleemSync 1.0 (PlayStation Classic) which will come with a UI app for PCs and built-in RetroArch!
Now that the Christmas season is up, some homebrew/emulation developers are sharing the hard work they did in the past 2 weeks. Thanks to this, the emulation scene got a few cool updates including a fully working QuickNES RetroArch core for the PS2, melonDS 0.7.3 and further work (and a status update) on BleemSync.
QuickNES RetroArch core fully working on the PS2
If you’ve following news recently, you know that work on a RetroArch port for the PS2 was announced last October (2018) and in December, the port of the QuickNES core got so far that it could run Super Mario Bros (NES) on the PS2 albeit with a messed-up greenish palette.
While getting SMB to run was great news, more work needed to be done and thankfully, @fjtrujy kept on developing RetroArch for this console. As a result of this continued development, @fjtrujy shared some exciting news about his progress on the PS2 port of RetroArch which includes:
- The QuickNES core is now running at full-speed and also has audio support so you can listen to your favourite NES soundtracks
- Local multiplayer has been implemented so now, you‘ll be able to play some multiplayer Contra on that PS2 that’s probably collecting dust
- Ability to open the RetroArch menu if you keep holding START when you’re in-game (i.e when a core is running)
If you have a working PS2 that you’re willing to tinker a bit with, you can grab the latest RetroArch nightlies in ELF format for the console by following this link. As of right now, there are only two cores available, namely the QuickNES core and the 2048 one.
melonDS 0.7.3 released with more accurate timings, saving fixes and UI improvements
For quite a while, melonDS, a new(er) kid on the block in DS emulation, has seen a lot of updates and was even ported to the PSVita by Rinnegatamante (there’s no VPK available at this time). This time around, StapleButter updated it to version 0.7.3 which brings about some noteworthy stuff such as the main emulator loop being rewritten which translates to a more stable emulator that does its job more accurately while also providing a performance boost.
Other than this, melonDS 0.7.3 comes with:
- Improvements to the saving mechanism as a new saving database has been implemented which uses ROM serial codes rather than their CRC32 so that ROM hacks could also have proper saving
- Apart from improvements, this also fixed the saving in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon – Explorers of Sky!
- Support for hot-plugging joysticks (controllers)
- The main window now remembers its size more accurately and the GUI now works better on hiDPI displays when on Windows
- You can now also set the window size according through an integer scaling factor
- A fix for flickering issues in Colour Cross and numerous bug fixes including timing improvements
If you want to get the latest version of melonDS so that you can play the DS Pokémon games in all their original glory, you can grab the executables from here or get the Switch version through here. Otherwise, you can wait for future releases which should bring a hardware accelerated renderer and upscaling capabilities among other stuff
BleemSync 1.0 status update
If you have a PlayStation Classic, then you probably already know that BleemSync is the best solution available to mod your mini-console. Thankfully, the folks developing BleemSync are still working hard on it and Swingflip has posted a status update about it on Reddit which includes their plans for:
- The upcoming release will be version 1.0 rather than the previously promised 0.7 release
- According to Swingflip, this will be coming next week
- A UI-based application for PCs so that you don’t have to muck about with the command line to get BleemSync installed on a pen drive
- The UI application is to be available for Windows, macOS and Linux computers so that you can run it on virtually every computer you own!
- New features (other than those in the promised 0.7 release) which include PBP support, a customisable boot menu, custom RetroArch themes and more!
- Greatly improved boot times over 0.7 as the 1.0 payload will load much faster while including lots more features over the 0.4.1 release which is currently the latest version
- As stated in the release notes for the promised 0.7 release, the 1.0 release will also come with RetroArch built-in so you can emulate other systems or use a different emulator to play PS1 games!
For those wanting more emulation stuff, you can check out the recent Cemu 1.15.1 update that was publicly released and follow libretro on Twitter as many development on emulators these days has one thing or another to do with them!