Emulation News: mGBA 0.7.3 with many fixes and better Cheat View UI; Flycast (Dreamcast Emulator) coming to the Switch with JIT thanks to m4xw!
The GameBoy Advance is a console that has a great deal of fun 2D games and doesn’t have overly powerful internals making it pretty popular in emulation circles. One of the more popular GBA emulators is mGBA and now that’s been updated to version 0.7.3. Furthermore, we’ll also be looking at improved Dreamcast emulation prospects on the Switch thanks to Flycast!
mGBA 0.7.3 released with numerous bug fixes, improved Cheat UI and updated libnx in Switch port
mGBA, by endrift, is an open-source GameBoy, GameBoy Colour and GameBoy Advance emulator that’s available on a variety of platforms including Windows, Linux, macOS, the Switch and PSVita among others.
The main focus of the emulator is that of speed and accuracy in order to provide a good experience on lower-end systems and consoles but it also has some features that are a tad demanding such as 3D resolution upscaling (Hi-Res Mode) which is currently only available in nightly builds.
Now, mGBA 0.7.3 has been released which brings along:
- Save data initilisation now works properly when emulating original GameBoy games
- A fix for sprites that are broken at the top of the screen
- The emulator no longer crashes when exiting a game with cheats loaded
- On desktop ports, the cheat view’s UX has been improved and some other minor fixes have been applied to the GUI
- The Switch port is now compiled with libnx 2.5.0 which makes it fully compatible with FW 9.0.0 removing the dependancy on Atmosphere’s ‘hid-mitm’ module that’ll eventually be removed
To grab mGBA 0.7.3, check out this link and select the download for your selected platform. Nightly builds contain more features if you feel like trying stuff out!
Flycast emulator gets its Windows CE branch integrated into the main core and work being done on a Switch port
Other than GBA emulation, Dreamcast emulation also received some love and this comes in the form of some positive developments relating to Flycast. Developed by flyinghead, this emulator is the only open-source Dreamcast emulator capable of running Windows CE-based games and Naomi arcade titles making it pretty noteworthy especially to those interested in creating ports for other platforms.
According to a post on the libretro blog, the emulator saw some significant developments recently including:
- The Windows CE variant of the emulator got merged into the master branch
- This wasn’t done before because the MMU codepath required by Windows CE hurt performance in non-Windows CE titles
- Much better performance with an average improvement of around 30% thanks to SSA optimisations
- AICA (the Dreamcast’s sound processor) emulation is now much better and considered to be feature complete thanks to the addition of low-pass-filter and pitch LFO
- Fixes to rendering on AMD GPUs namely in relation to per-pixel alpha sorting
- Some RetroArch core-specific improvements
Other than the above good news, a Flycast RetroArch core is coming to the Switch thanks to work by Datamats allowing for even better Dreamcast emulation on the console. Furthermore, m4xw is working on an ARM64 JIT for the emulator to allow for good performance on the Nintendo Switch.
If you wish to play some Dreamcast games on your Switch now, you can use its port of Reicast which allows you to play select titles pretty well including Crazy Taxi.
In addition to mGBA and Flycast, RetroArch also got another update and it’s in the form of another re-release of version 1.7.8. It brings a couple minor updates with the most significant one being compatibility with iOS 13.
On another note, ‘Neebix’ on Reddit has shared a guide on how to get Minecraft 1.14.4 textures alongside some lighting tweaks on the PSVita’s version of Minecraft which recently lost official support.