News: Recalbox 6.2, or 6.3, or... well, the next version!

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    Translation courtesy of Pegasus.Doom

    It's been a while since our last update, so we thought it would be a good time to give you some news about the next version of Recalbox !

    As a matter-of-fact, the 6.1.1 is now rather old, and there is still no new version on the horizon ...

    And yet, we have never worked so much on the next version!

    Well then, Recalbox 6.2? 6.5? 7.0

    At first it was going to be the 6.2. But we have added so much, redesigned, consolidated, improved, corrected that it is almost impossible to do just one +1!

    So the version is still a subject to be discussed in the team. For now, we will simply call it "the next version" ๐Ÿ™‚

    So much has changed that we have even hesitated to push until v7.0 and compatibility with new cards. But we preferred to release an earlier version, which as you will see, is already extremely rich in new features.
    That being said, know that we have many other things planned or even already developed (but not necessarily tested) that we preferred to put aside for the moment!

    Let's start with the sore point: The PI4!

    No, the next version will not be Pi4 compatible! But don't panic, developments are already underway ๐Ÿ™‚
    We just don't have enough visibility at the moment to take the risk of waiting for it.

    A team always on top!

    Before getting into the main topic, a few words about internal and external teams.

    In recent months, some people on the Recalbox team have had personal and / or family problems to deal with. Which caused certain features to be put on hold, in the best of cases.
    Rest assured, they are almost all back!

    Illustration: @digitalLumberjack in the middle, and all the team. (source: TeamFortress 2)

    To add to our strike force, we recently had some new talents who offered their services, and who are already working on features of the next next version ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And I can guarantee you, it's heavy ... very heavy!
    Even if I can't reveal anything yet, you can already thank them in advance!

    Illustration: Astho Son of Astrin, and DavidB2111 Son of DavidB2110

    These men working behind the scenes... the beta testers

    A few words for our battalions of beta testers, whom I would like to thank warmly. Without them, we would have seen only a tenth of the problems that were reported (and most of them corrected).

    Itโ€™s sometimes laborious, boring, and binding when we ask them for tests where we need to flash an umpteenth image, modify lots of configurations and files, just for a verification that lasts 30s ... But they have always responded present, and they are an essential aid to allow the project to progress serenely.

    If you too want to become a beta tester, there is no CV to post or form to fill out: Join us on Discord, participate, be nice, and after some time, you may be asked to join the team.
    Illustration: The army of beta testers during the famous battle of New Scraper

    Enough of this chit chat, move on to the news!

    Itโ€™s off for a quick overview of new features and improvements!

    EmulationStation: The foundations

    As we said time and time again, we started by rebuilding EmulationStation. The code had aged badly, and suffered from many genetic diseases and various malformations.
    We opened it, removed the diseased organs, and replaced them. Not all, but a good part already because it is a long-term job. And since the benefits inside are also seen on the outside, there were some immediate benefits that we will detail below.
    This work is not done yet, and there will be more improvements in the next versions.

    The new internal Scraper

    This time, ther's no beating around the bush: We completely rebuild it, starting from scratch. Nothing remains of the old version. Not even a crumb.
    The result is a brand new, much cleaner, faster scraper with lots of options that takes full advantage of your ScreenScraper account (number of threads, quota, ...)


    Search for games and the new virtual keyboard

    Long claimed by our dear users, here it is finally! Quickly search your game collection by typing a few letters ...
    It is a real-time search, the list is refreshed as you type. You can search in names, files, descriptions, or everywhere at the same time.

    Of course, we could not offer such a functionality without thoroughly reviewing the virtual keyboard. Sitting in front of your TV, the pad in hand, what could be more painful than typing on the old full screen keyboard, entering every character, that required too much manipulation.

    We made a brand new, beautiful and much more ergonomic: An arcade style keyboard, with a character wheel or select, erase, move the cursor is a real pleasure. I cannot give all the details but know that almost all the buttons / dpad / joystick of a complete pad are used by the new keyboard! Of course it is natively compatible with a physical keyboard.
    And to make it even better it is semi-transparent, which allows you to see in real time what is happening below.

    Without further ado, a few images!

    Virtual systems, Everywhere!

    Another feature long time awaited, virtual systems (like the Favorites system) among the classics:

    • All games
    • All multi-player games (2 players and more)
    • All the latest games played, sorted automatically by date.

    Without forgetting the Arcade system, which brings together all the MAME, FBN, NEO-GEO systems, ... which will now be activated / deactivated in the menus.

    But that's not all. For those who will rescrap their system with the new internal scraper (Skraper is not yet up to date on this point there ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), new virtual systems by genre can be activated. Yes, you read that right: By genre.
    Fan of Shoot'em up? Platform games? Fighting games? Puzzle? Activate the virtual systems of the desired genre, and they will all be brought together in one list!


    The Pad-to-Keyboard

    Under this barbaric name hides a module which is particularly close to my heart, since it will allow to bring all theses computosaures games back to life, forgotten by all Recalboxers who do not have a keyboard connected, that is to say, almost everyone ...

    This module allows using small, very simple configuration files, to map the actions of a pad to the keys of a keyboard. I can see some of you in the back who look at me with dubious eyes ...

    It is very simple:

    • You have a great game on Commodore 64, but you can't play it because it asks to press a key to start a game? No worries: map the START button on your pad to the SPACE key, and problem solved. Launch the game, press START and the game will see that you have pressed the space key on a keyboard.
    • You have a game on Amstrad that is played with the 4 arrow keys and the space bar? No problem: Map the directional cross of your pad on the 4 arrows, the A button on SPACE and play your games as if it had always been made for a joystick!

    Guaranteed 100% without input-lag, and it works on all computosaures!

    We will create special and public sections in our documentation area so that users can add the configuration of their favorite games!

    And no doubt that talented external developers will even be able to make us a small interface to create these configurations without effort ๐Ÿ™‚

    Let the Music Play!

    EmulationStation has long been unable to play anything other than OGG files. Even the popular MP3 was not supported.
    But that time is now over, with the plethora of formats:

    • MP3 files
    • High quality FLAC file
    • OGG OPUS (an obscure format, but as we could make it work, we put it too ^^)
    • Amiga modules! All formats and sub-formats are supported! To you the legendary modules of the demo scene ๐Ÿ˜„
    • WAVE, raw audio format
    • MIDI files! (Attention, they require a soundfont not supplied with Recalbox, but all the info will be given in the readme.txt as well as many links to get soundfonts of different quality and sounds)

    New BIOS analyzer

    Bios are a problem for many users, and we know it.
    Currently, the only way to check them is with the checker available in the WebManager. Practical, but the latter is no longer sufficient.

    While waiting for the new WebManager (damn it, I released a top-secret info! My bad), we have included a Bios Checker in EmulationStation.
    And let's be frank: it's day and night!

    This new checker will tell you if the bios are compulsory, if they are not, if the MD5 signatures must necessarily match or not, it will also tell you what some bios are used for. And it's not over: it also supports multiple different MD5 signatures, and the best part: it will do 90% of the work for you and give you a complete and precise inventory.

    Hello management? Send the pictures!

    Even more options in EmulationStation

    Difficult to detail everything without going overboard, so let's keep it short:

    • Highlighting a region: You have a fullset, but you especially want to play EU games? Activate "Region highlithing" on the EU region, and all games that are not from this region will be halftone. Very practical to locate your favorite versions at a glance!
    • New sorting options in the lists
    • Sorting and fast jump compatible with unicode (our Japanese, Russian or Arab friends will thank us;))
    • New hash calculation for netplay faster than Flash McQueen!
    • Filtering of "Adult" games (subject to scraper with the internal scraper)
    • Menu "License" (which will not please those who are still trying to sell recalboxes...)
    • Return of Netplay popups
    • Simplified Emulator / Core Selections

    And lots and lots of little improvements there and there, which I can't detail ๐Ÿ™‚

    EmulationStation has benefited from many optimizations, the most visible is the startup time. EmulationStation now starts between 5 and 20 times faster than on 6.1.1!
    And it's not over, there are more to come that we are reserving for the "next next version" ๐Ÿ™‚

    A new way to update!

    So there I have good news and bad news.

    The bad one:

    • You will have to make a fresh installation, you will not be able to update versions 6.1.1 and lower.

    The good news, however:

    • This is probably the last time you will have to do this.
    • The new update system is much faster: 5mn maximum for an update (excluding download time of course).
    • The new update system is much more robust: no more updates that crashes and force you to start all over again (even if it was rare, fortunately!)

    But that's not all:

    • The new online updates will be managed by EmulationStation: Progress display, error handling, etc.
    • You will be able to update offline in an extremely simple way: by copying the image of the new version in a directory on the SD card accessible from all OSes: Windows, Linux and MacOS! A small reboot, the system detects the image, operates the SHIFT and presto, finished! I can already see a large smile lighting up the face of all those who have a GPI case ๐Ÿ˜„

    And it's still not over:

    • You will now be able to place your own boot videos, in a directory easily accessible on the network (in \\share) and to choose if the player should play only Recalbox videos, only yours , or all available.
    • For those who wish to tinker the system and end breaking everything, it will be very easy for you to make a "reset" of your recalbox, to return to a system as if it had just been installed, while not touching the roms.
    • No offense (and it's voluntary ๐Ÿ˜ˆ) to those who swindle and steal Recalbox as much as their customers, the Updates can no longer be deactivated in EmulationStation. Only the notification by intrusive popup can be deactivated. But you will still see a non-intrusive popup alerting you that an update is available.


    And everything else of course...

    And there are A LOT!

    Bulk list:

    • Adding a script to switch to an external monitor on laptop computers (will soon be integrated into EmulationStation)
    • GameCube bios support
    • New Nintendo 64DD system
    • New core MAME latest version (support for romset 0.220)
    • New Neogeo pocket core (& color) based on performance
    • Libretro Flycast available on rpi3, xu4 and x86
    • Renamed PrBoom in Doom (finally!)
    • Libretro PUAE updated to support Amiga CD32
    • Amiberry updated to version 3.1.3! A big bump!
    • Bumped DosBox in r4290 version! Big bump too!
    • Improved support for pads in ScummVM
    • ScummVM and ResidualVM updated
    • Addition of new pre-configured pads
    • Dolphin update
    • Addition of proprietary drivers version 390 and 440 on PC versions
    • Updated OricAtmos and SamCoupรฉ emulators
    • Retroarch (cheats and assets also) updated to version 1.8.5:
    • All libretro cores have been updated
    • Theodore updated (support for Thomson TO7 and TO7 / 70)
    • XU4 fan speed and noise issue fixed
    • EMMC boot problem on Xu4 fixed
    • Boot videos on x86 / x64 corrected
    • Apple II and OricAtmos work in full screen on x86 / x64
    • The "Quit" menu is accessible everywhere
    • Various management problem with favorites fixed
    • ... many other minor advances / fixes

    We particularly thank @littlebalup for its tests, and for all the fixes it has been able to make (and it continues to do) on the XU4, but also on PC and Pi!

    We haven't forgotten about advanced users either!

    Those for whom Recalbox is not only a small box that you plug into the TV, and who wish to connect other devices, such as external monitors, will now be able to connect to EmulationStation, via scripting and via the MQTT protocol to trigger actions, pilot equipment or do whatever they want, in reaction to events (start, stop, start a game, end of a game, system course, game course, ...)
    We provide them with turnkey documentation and tools.

    A module to control secondary TFT screens has already been developed, and allows you to launch system videos, to have scraping info while playing, etc ...


    And ... when is that?

    Let's be clear: We have NO date.

    There are still bugs to fix, adjustments to be made, etc ... All the available devs' are on the bridge, and an army of beta-testers is also at work.

    We can only say one thing: SOON!


  • Mother of beautiful Love! What an overturn you have given him! Looking forward to the new version! I understand that there will be some improvement for the videosnaps, right? Millions of thanks for so much effort. A greeting. Dany

  • Wow, that is amazing news! Thanks to all the team for all the great work and looking forward to try it whenever it's ready ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks for all the work!!! Eager to isntall the new version of Recalbox.

  • Amazing! Thanks guys!

  • @Bkg2k I have a question Please, is it possible to bump Scummvm to the lastest version 2.1.1 in order to have better performance on Blade runner?

    As far as I sse in gitlab the version that you are adding is 2.1.0


  • Amazing work! Thank you!

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    @kelv I bumped almost all cores about a month ago, and will do it again shortly before the next release, so don't worry ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • How does one become a beta tester? One of the areas I've found improvements in other systems is the implementation of controls for Dolphin and I'd love to see if I could test that here as well.

  • amazing! great work!
    i question

    I understand they don't add drastic,
    because it is not open source, but in other systems they add the option of easy installation, in recalbox is it possible to add something like this in the future?

    it's just a suggestion, you guys do an amazing job, and I've always preferred recalbox

    And lastly another question, flycast libreto that you added for rpi3 is WIN CE compatible? I would like to try halflife1 dreamcast but I understand that you need compatibility with WIN CE, it would be great to try it!

    last congratulate them for the great job they do!! thanks!!!!

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    @daniel86 drastic will not be added following the philosophy of recalbox... open source emulators, so no chances to delevelop any integration. But maybe drastic will go open source this year, and then surely we can integrate it.

    There is no flycast_wince anymore, so the code is there. I haven't tested any WIN CE games on a rpi3 though... it struggles with normal dreamcast games, so I wouldn't hold my breath. Even if it runs, it is very likely to be slow.

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    @ordovice out of the first post ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If you too want to become a beta tester, there is no CV to post or form to fill out: Join us on Discord, participate, be nice, and after some time, you may be asked to join the team.

  • Banned

    This post is deleted!

  • @koumal31 no interest in your comment. Just wickedness.

  • Staff
    Global moderator

    And a new perfect integration


  • @Bkg2k OpenBor!!! Great news! Thanks!

    Some questions about next release:

    1. Will we need to download any new romset (for example MAME)?
    2. Will we need to download new bios files?
    3. Will we need to do a new scrap for all we already have?

    Thanks for all your effort!

  • Staff
    Global moderator


    Will we need to download any new romset (for example MAME)?

    As always, if MAME is bumped, then you should update your romset. Please check the changelog when available.

    Will we need to download new bios files?

    You'll be able to check within Recalbox interface if all your bios files are up to date.

    Will we need to do a new scrap for all we already have?

    No ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @OyyoDams said in News: Recalbox 6.2, or 6.3, or... well, the next version!:


    Will we need to download any new romset (for example MAME)?

    As always, if MAME is bumped, then you should update your romset. Please check the changelog when available.

    Will we need to download new bios files?

    You'll be able to check within Recalbox interface if all your bios files are up to date.

    Will we need to do a new scrap for all we already have?

    No ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Hello.

    Could be it possible to add more contrast to the blue stripe in game list selection, please?



  • Last time fresh install? Is there hope for a smooth pi3b+ to pi4 transition in the future? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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