Emulation News: RetroArch 1.7.9 released with greatly improved menu navigation thanks to touch gestures and a look at Dolphin’s August/September 2019 Progress Report
Over the last few days, console hacking scenes have been a little quiet but activity in the emulation scene has been in full swing. In this article, we’ll be looking at the release of RetroArch 1.7.9 and taking a quick look at Dolphin’s latest progress report!
RetroArch 1.7.9 released: Improved menu navigation with the introduction of touch gestures among other features
RetroArch is a comprehensive front-end for managing all your emulation and retro-gaming needs as it allows you to launch games for most emulated consoles right from it. Other than having a very large number of cores (different emulators) available for it, it also comes with many features of its own such as Runahead mode (reducing input latency below that of the console that’s being emulated) and support for a whole slew of platforms including Windows/macOS/Linux, the PSVita, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Wii and many more!
Now, RetroArch 1.7.9 has been released and while it doesn’t bring any groundbreaking features to the table, it brings many welcome improvements to the mobile side of things. The things it brings along include:
- Menu navigation has been greatly improved on mobile devices thanks to the introduction of touch gestures
- Currently, only the XMB and MaterialUI menu drivers support touch gestures and there appears to be no word on whether other menus will get the touch gesture-treatment
- The new gestures also work on desktop PCs that use a mouse as their input device
- A full list of gestures can be seen in the link below
- From my testing, the gestures don’t seem to work on the PSVita (XMB Menu)
- On iOS and Android, control overlays automatically rotate when changing device orientation provided that the overlays themselves have portrait/landscape support
- The image detection feature of RetroArch’s AI Service has been made faster allowing for quicker text translation
- Minor features including:
- The PSVita port now automatically detects the system’s language and supports extended memory (extra memory that isn’t automatically available to homebrew)
- Wiimote light gun support has been added on the Wii port
- Many other minor features which can be inspected in the full changelog
- While not related to RetroArch 1.7.9, the folks behind RetroArch have decided to step up the pace with stable releases and they’ll start being released more frequently as the 3 month gap between stable releases made obtaining/adapting to user feedback more difficult
A quick look at Dolphin’s August/September 2019 Progress Report
Contrary to many other emulators that were released over 15 years ago, Dolphin is still receiving active support from numerous dedicated community members. As a result, Wii/GameCube emulation keeps on becoming more accurate while also providing new opportunities for modders to make games look better. About every two months, the folks behind Dolphin decide to give their users a pretty detailed update of what they’ve been up to and yesterday, they published yet another progress report.
To summarise, the main points that the August/September 2019 progress report tackles are:
- The Wii Mini Menu can now run as it was recently dumped thanks to FullMetal5’s Bluebomb exploit which finally hacked the console after 7 years of being unhackable
- EFB Access when using the Vulkan rendering backend on devices with an Adreno GPU (SnapDragon 845/855 and others) has been fixed
- This fixes some rendering issues in titles such as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
- The JIT64 implementation of the MCRFS insturction has been fixed which makes minigames in Super Monkey Ball 2 work properly and the boss of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz not crash the game
- The warning message displayed when improperly signed WAD files are launched has been removed
- Automatic screenshot naming has been improved as it now appends the time/date of when the screenshot was taken rather than just naming the file with the game’s Title ID
- This makes screenshot organisation much better
- Nvidia 3D Vision support has been removed with Dolphin 5.0-10945 although Dolphin 5.0-10943 patched it one last time for those still hanging on to the now-unsupported technology
- Other 3D modes are still supported by Dolphin
To read the full progress report, follow this link and make sure to grab a cup of coffee while reading it!
For more emulation-related news, you can head over to this page to read more about bsnes v111 which was released yesterday or this article from 2 days ago about the release of VBA-M 2.1.4 and ways to improve PS1 emulation on the New Nintendo 3DS.