Releases: mGBA 0.8 Beta 1 is out with hardware renderer for upscaling graphics, Discord Rich Presence and tons of fixes; SysDVR gets released for the Switch allowing for streaming games to PC!
Thanks to Nintendo’s consoles being hacked more easily and getting emulated quicker, a lot of homebrew/emulation development going on has something to do with them. In this article, we’ll be looking at the release of mGBA 0.8 beta 1, a GB(C)/GBA emulator, and SysDVR for the Nintendo Switch!
Emulation Release: mGBA 0.8 beta 1 released with OpenGL-accelerated renderer for upscaled GBA graphics and more
For quite some time, mGBA has been one of the more popular GameBoy/GameBoy Advance emulators out there and it’s the only one still receiving a somewhat steady stream of new features. This emulator, by endrift, aims to provide accurate GBA emulation, good performance on lower-end devices, a complete arsenal of features and ports for numerous platforms including the PSVita, Wii, Switch and 3DS together with the 3 major desktop operating systems.
Now, mGBA 0.8 beta 1 has been released which finally implements most features that Nightly builds of the emulator received over the last few months. In its changelog, we find mention of:
- The addition of a hardware-accelerated high-resolution renderer allowing 3D sprites in games such as F-Zero Maximum Velocity to be rendered at resolutions up to 3840×2560!
- This feature isn’t available on all ports of the emulator including the PSVita port
- Support for Discord Rich Presence allowing it to broadcast the title of the game you’re playing
- Emulation of BattleChip Gate devices which is an accessory intended for use with Mega Man Battle Network 4
- More information about it can be found here
- GameBoy Colour palettes have been added to original GameBoy games
- Experimental XQ audio support which provides higher quality audio in games using the GBA’s standard sound engine (Sappy) – more info at bottom of this page
- Better debugging tools including a frame inspector
- The ability to use the Switch’s internal brightness sensor for a game titled Boktai
- Ability to load RetroArch-style cheat files in CHT format
- The unlicensed Wisdom Tree Game Boy mapper is now supported
- L2/R2 and L3/R3 can now be mapped on the PSTV
- Dynamic display resizing is now supported on the Switch
- A whole slew of fixes which can be viewed in the emulator’s changelog
To grab mGBA 0.8 beta, follow this link and download it for the platform of your choice under the section titled ‘Preview Downloads’.
Switch Release: SysDVR system module released allowing for streaming games to PC
Thanks to the Switch being fully hacked early in its life, it received a ton of interest from the homebrew community and this time, we have SysDVR by Exelix11.
As its name suggests, this is a system module (similar to a plugin in PSP/Vita jargon) that allows you to stream your Switch’s screen to a PC allowing for gameplay recording without a capture card!
As of right now, there are two versions of the system module with one allowing for streaming via USB and the other via a network (TCP) although for best results the former should be used. From its README, these are some important points relating to SysDVR:
- It can only record the screen at 720p30 with H264 compression (this is a hardware limit)
- Audio is also streamed in 16bit PCM format @ 48kHz stereo
- It requires FW 6.0.0 and only works in games that have video recording enabled
- Unlike udcd_uvc, a PC streaming plugin for the PSVita, this plugin doesn’t allow you to stream the System UI, home menu or homebrews running as an applet
- There’s around a 1 second delay for now so don’t expect to be able to play Switch games perfectly on your laptop’s screen when you’re on the go
- USB streaming only works in handheld mode
For more stuff related to Switch hacking, SkyMM-NX has been released which lets you manage your Skyrim mods. On the other hand, if you don’t have a Switch (yet), the emulation scene has more to offer with the release of bsnes v112 and Mystery of Time and Space, a popular Flash game released in 2001, now becoming playable in its entirety with Flashpoint. Finally, a mod allowing for stackable items in the PSVita port of Darkest Dungeon has been released which might be of interest to some.