Software Update: Retroarch 1.9.4

Version 1.9.4 RetroArch has been released. RetroArch is an open source and cross platform api that uses so-called cores to emulate a variety of game consoles and game engines. Downloads are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS, as well as PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, Wii and GameCube. The release notes for this release can be found below.

release notes

Be sure to also read our Libretro Cores Progress Report – lots of work has gone into all of the various cores that are maintained (either by us or elsewhere), and it’d be a shame if the work goes unnoticed. Read it here.

There were some issues with RetroArch on PlayStation TV devices which should now be resolved. Additionally, it’s possible to run RetroArch at 720p now on a PSTV if you use the Sharpscale plugin.

Just like in version 1.9.3, we have been going back and improving code in RetroArch to improve file I/O performance, something that is very important for systems suffering from slow disk storage. Most game consoles would fall in this boat because all file I/O tends to be typically unbuffered on homebrew SDKs. In the process, we have discovered some parts where RetroArch was being inefficient when loading files from compressed files (such as .zip or .7z files). In the past, it would extract this file first to a temporary directory on the disk, and then it would read from this file and load it into the RAM buffer. Now we load it into the RAM buffer directly from the compressed file without first extracting it to disk. As if that wasn’t bad enough, on any platform that supports runahead, we would have to create another copy – even when runahead is disabled. And if cheevos are enabled, that’s another copy. All things combined, it would take 128MB of RAM to load one 32MB GBA ROM. As of 1.9.4, this RAM usage is severely cut down for cores that set ‘need_fullpath’ to false.

PlayStation2 users get a new core, prboom (a Doom 1/2 game engine). Thanks to a new and improved toolchain for PS2, this runs at a very impressive framerate, targeting 60 frames per second with stock settings. There might be some minor dips to the 50s in the busier scenes but nothing too serious, and disabling settings like ‘Wiggle Geometry Fix’ might help alleviate that.

Version number 1.9.4
Release status Final
Operating systems Windows 7, Android, Linux, macOS, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10
Website libretro
License type GPL

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