Rock64 as a retro-gaming console: personal thoughts
Hi All,

after have struggled for a while with this board I finally found the right way.

At the beginning I was convinced that Lakka image available for this board was able to perform easily the emulation task but it was a truly pain. The emulation was absolutely under the real potential of the board, indisputably there is some issue with the driver stack that is unable to take advantage of the GLES acceleration.

I have been very delusional, with a board I considered pretty useless for my initial scope, I tried the Android version and the Android TV image and I discovered the emulation provided through the Retorarch application on the playstore was absolutely better, beside a better selection of cores available for the android version, it played an important role the video drivers that Android brings to its. This version for Android is able to run flawless PSX with full resolution and N64 emulation (even Killer Instinct) out of the box. I was really impressed by this huge difference between Lakka and Retroarch Android, I had to change completely my opinion.

Between Android and Android tv, I consider the former the best option. By the way also this change was not completely painless; to begin I had to understand that Android expect to be managed through a touchscreen, I have wireless keyboard with touchpad that worked well with it, but my intention was to use a gamepad. To make a gamepad working as touchscreen I used a very nice application called button mapper, with this app I was able to use my PS2 clone pad on Android but not in Retroarch. I even tried to edit manually the retroarch.cfg file but unsuccessfully. To use a pad on Retroarch you need a gamepad that is recognized automatically by Android, fortunately I had a Saturn style pad that was recognized automatically by Android and I was able to use in Retroarch as well. Certainly the Linux kernel in Lakka has a bigger and better hardware compatibility than the Android kernel so my recommendation is to buy a Android Gamepad directly.

When you learned how to handle your R64-Android with your pad or your wireless keyboard, you can take advantage of the benefits to have a light OS on your TV. My suggestion is to install as first thing the F-droid repository in order to install alternative applications that better preserve your privacy and your data. Like using Chromium as default browser instead of Chrome or New Pipe instead of the Youtube standard app. Some apps aren't available because the incompatibility like Netflix, however you can download it from its website but the version I have available on my smart tv is actually better than the one for Android that is designed for a touch screen and is not very friendly to use through the gamepad as well as the keyboard.

Now I am pretty happy with my board the last thing I have to fix is the Retroarch resolution, even if the cores launch their game with the correct resolution the GUI as the resolution at 720 instead of 1080, I hope to fix this soon. I haven't tried yet if the shader work flawlessy on Retroarch however I can still use an overlay layer to safe some cpu/gpu workload. I'll let you know if I am able to use the shaders without losing frames per second.

Messages In This Thread
Rock64 as a retro-gaming console: personal thoughts - by Danielsan - 04-16-2018, 12:10 PM

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