PSVita News: Frangar making progress on RetroArch GPU Acceleration Bounty as a runtime shader compiler has been implemented – Bounty has now risen to $1067!
Following an article on the bounty for GPU acceleration in RetroArch and its cores on the PlayStation Vita, various individuals pledged some money to it in a last attempt to strengthen the Vita’s emulation capabilities. Now, the bounty’s value has increased by over $560 and Frangar has just made some significant progress that we’ll look at in this article!
What’s the bounty about? Why is it so important?
Initially, the bounty was mostly about getting 3D hardware acceleration in RetroArch cores namely for platforms such as the PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 with improvements to 2D emulation, such as shader support, also being mentioned.
Later on, when Frangar took the feature request on, the bounty was split into two phases namely:
- GXM Drivers for RetroArch which would allow for a smoother UI, shader support and HW context available for cores
- Both a native GXM and VitaGL driver may be included for this phase
- Work on implementing 3D support in cores like PCSX-ReARMed, Mupen64Plus and perhaps melonDS in the future
- Frangar notes that phase 1 must be done before work on phase 2 can start.
- Mupen64Plus, a Nintendo 64 emulator, has an ARMv7 dynarec which increases the chance that we’ll see a functional native Nintendo 64 emulator for the PSVita which could emulate some titles. Currently, DaedalusX64 can be used for N64 emulation via Adrenaline but only a handful of games work well enough to be enjoyable
Currently, there is still no word on whether the $1067 bounty will be granted after phase 1 is completed or after both phases are completed. Frangar believes that the best way forward is to create another bounty for the hardware accelerated cores (Phase 2) but there’s still no official word on that.
What about recent progress?
In the last 8 days, there’s been an uptick in interest in the bounty and the following developments have arisen:
- Frangar is thinking about writing a GXM specific HW rendering driver for PCSX-ReARMed allowing for rendering of some PS1 games at higher resolutions for a better quality image
- A status update, published a short while ago, in which Frangar discuss the progress he’s already done. This includes:
- Getting Runtime Shader Compilation to work which is instrumental in allowing cores, such as ones for the SNES/GBA, to make use of filters and shaders on the PSVita thus making games look better in some instances.
- The Vita2D driver has been updated to the latest version
- Scissoring support for the menu driver is being implemented. This is used for rendering the Ozone driver (Switch-esque UI) and menu widgets
- A promise to take a look at the Ozone driver and menu widgets presumably after finishing the scissoring support mentioned above
- Apparently, the final RetroArch driver will be based on Vita2D not GXM/VitaGL as was initially stated. An HW context for cores and shader pipelines will be implemented to it as well
The status update above demonstrates that a good chunk of phase 1 has already been finished indicating that some form of release to improve the RetroArch experience while allowing shaders to be used in cores may not be too far off.
If you’re interested in future updates as they happen, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye on the bounty’s Issue page on GitHub as that’s where Frangar is posting updates. Furthermore, if you wish to pledge some money to the bounty to encourage further development relating to emulation on the PSVita, check out the BountySource link below and read the FAQ!
BountySource’s FAQ (you should read it before contributing): https://github.com/bountysource/core/wiki/Frequently-Asked-Questions
Disclaimer: Neither I or Wololo.net are affiliated with the bounty or BountySource. As a result, we bear no responsibility as to what happens to the bounty’s money.