Rock64 as a retro-gaming console: personal thoughts
#1
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.
#2
Recalbox in a few days. I have mariokart64 running full speed at 1080p Smile
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#3
(04-16-2018, 01:16 PM)Luke Wrote: Recalbox in a few days. I have mariokart64 running full speed at 1080p Smile

That is super cool if I continue to format my sd card soon I am going to throw it on the garbage... Big Grin
#4
(04-16-2018, 01:29 PM)Danielsan Wrote:
(04-16-2018, 01:16 PM)Luke Wrote: Recalbox in a few days. I have mariokart64 running full speed at 1080p Smile

That is super cool if I continue to format my sd card soon I am going to throw it on the garbage... Big Grin

This will be an alpha ... so not the last time you'll be reflashing that SD.
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#5
I saw that a guy was able to emulate a Dreamcast pretty flawless on Androird root, look at this video (min 9:00):




That was very impressive, perhaps Recalbox may perform even better!
#6
I tried Reicast and it works pretty good, I am very impressed! The only dissatisfaction is Android, I have a really bad relationship with it on whatever device. When is it going to be released Recalbox for R64?
#7
(04-20-2018, 01:42 PM)Danielsan Wrote: I tried Reicast and it works pretty good, I am very impressed! The only dissatisfaction is Android, I have a really bad relationship with it on whatever device. When is it going to be released Recalbox for R64?

We're (more like mrfixit2001) are working really hard on it; the fault is all mine, I shouldn't have said anything in the first place. Regardless, Its really quite good already but there are a few outstanding issues (reicast is funny enough one of them) that need some polish. The aim is to have a testing image sometime this weekend or early next week. Just to stress again - this will be an alpha - and the sole reason that its being released is to collect information regarding: 1) what doesn't work 2) what works poorly 3) system crashes and bugs 4) potentially also overclocking stability (not sure if OC will find its way into the first image).
You can find me on IRC, Discord and Twitter


#8
Hi Luke,

sorry to make leaked you info... Angel

But after seen how much can achieve this board I can't resist anymore... Big Grin
#9
Yes, Buttonmap is a good app to manage touchpad. There is some issue in this that should be improved it because  It is hard to play with Touchpad


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