This is a guest post by PtitSeb from the Open Pandora/Pyra community. Box86 is a new Linux Usermode X86 Emulator. While still young (read full of bugs) and missing a JIT (read slow), it’s already able to run a few games, and even some full speed, even on a slow device like the Pandora (more games runs perfectly on powerful devices like the ODroid XU4).Read More
It’s been a while since we did not talk about PPSSPP, the open source PSP emulator available across most platforms, including the Pandora. Last time I mentioned it, it was for the 0.9.6 version, and since then there’s a lot to say about it. Obviously the Pandora is nowhere near powerful enough to run most games made for the PSP (especially the 3D intensive ones), but there’s now a good collection of games that run pretty well.
With the recent recompilation of DosBox 0.74, bundled with the DBGL GUI interface, PtitSeb has provided better support than ever for DOS games on the Pandora. There’s a bunch of stuff that simply was not running too well before to be playable, that it’s really worth coming back again on what this new release can do and what this changes for the Pandora.
BAfelton posted an excellent tutorial on the Pandora boards on how to set up and use UAE4ARM on Pandora. I thought it was great and deserved a full post here as well. You’ll find the exact same instructions below, with some additions from my part as well… and new screenshots, since I replicated all steps to make sure it worked as expected on my side too.
Guys, calm down. This is not an announcement. Actually what I’d like to share with you is what Exophase mentioned at the end of March 2015 about the possibility of 3DS emulation on the Pyra. At this stage, nobody is working on it, so there is no point in getting excited – this is simply a reflection of whether or not it’s even possible.
Ola. Hold your horses, Sir. I know this survey was conducted in October and I see your gun pointed at me, asking me why it took so long to deliver the results. Well, analysis is one of the stuff that requires time and skills. And the more data you get, the more time it takes to go through to make good value of it, and look at segmentation and stuff like that (and you are never really over with it). Hopefully by reading this article you will understand why it took a while.
For a long time, most developers could not make good use of DSP comprised in the OMAP architecture of the Pandora SoC. Sure, there was TI’s dispbridge driver in the Pandora firmware for a long time, and a few developers like MH-T or Hdonk tried to make use of it – but the key issue was always linked with the latency to call the DSP or high CPU usage. Then BSP came with his deep knowledge of the architecture, and was able to package a kernel driver, a DSP component and an ARM library to make better use of it. Unfortunately, while the DSP can certainly help to relieve your CPU of certain tasks , it requires to re-factor your code and separate it into parallel processes to be used in concurrence with the main program thread. With the exception of a few demos by BSP, MH-T and Hdonk, no one had yet fully completed that kind of work. Notaz’s latest PCSXReARMed build now makes full use of that architecture.
Remember. A couple of weeks back, just before we were about to close 2014, I was lamenting the fact that while we had a bunch of great developments in 2014, there were a few disappointments, and among them was the lack of DSP usage. Bsp had brought the DSP function to life through his work, Notaz had included it in the firmware for everyone to use, and then… Poof. Nothing happened. Until yesterday. Notaz has just released a new version of his PS1 Emulator, now using the DSP.
Are you surprised? Maybe not ? Well, it’s true that a while back, Lunixbochs from the boards was able to make the Unreal Tournament demo run through a modified build of QEMU and glshim to make it run on a Pandora 1 Ghz, but if you remember the result was less that stellar in terms of framerates. Now, a new solution is available (while still in development), and it’s coming from a Russian company called ElTechs.
The latest build of PPSSPP, numbered 0.9.6.34, is really worth a try. This is simply the best build so far in terms of stability and speed… and maybe compatibility as well. Let’s review in more details what we can do this time with it…