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The RetroArch team have put up another fresh release of their front-end for emulators, game engines and more. RetroArch 1.8.6 comes with some big new tricks.

A major optimization is included with this releasing to do with their config system. They've reduced disk I/O overhead, by ensuring RetroArch doesn't write to the config when it's just not needed so you might find it feels a bit snappier and nicer on SSDs.

Multiple new compression options were added, which can help save space. These are:

  • Playlist compression - playlist file size is reduced by ~90%. Plus they said on one of their Linux development machines, it resulted in quite a speedup (20%) on loading time and smoother scrolling.
  • SRAM Compression - Savings are quite small overall but again can help wear on SSDs.
  • Savestate Compression - Much bigger savings than the above, and again helps SSDs. Some of their examples showed a decent saving like saves on the "Mupen64Plus-Next OpenGL" core going from 17mb to 1.5mb.

Even the OpenGL Core - Slang Shader saw improvements to texture loading in this release, and while the fixes are subtle visually it's more accurate now so that "filtering and wrap mode are recorded correctly".

There's also a ton of fixes and improvements to their 3DS emulation, the newer Ozone UI sees mouse input improvements and text rendering enhancements, updated translations for Portuguese Brazilian / Spanish and Japanese, multiple bugs in their Playlist were solved and more.

Overall it's a solid quality of life update for those of you using RetroArch regularly. Fantastic to have such free and open source software to keep classics alive easily.

See more on their release announcement.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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1 comment

TheSHEEEP May 6, 2020
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Whenever I see any kind of Retroarch news I get this itch...

I have to remind myself: "No! Not now! Your backlog is way too long already without you playing console/arcade games from 30 years ago!"

Sometimes, I forget or willfully ignore my reminder.
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