Retroarch Ps1 Classic

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I was able to successfully load my old game saves into PCSX ReARMed and relive some old gamer memories. Here are roughly the steps I undertook to get this going.

Hardware Used: PC, PS3, USB Memory Stick for both PS3 and PC, PS3 Memory Card Adaptor

  • In Retroarch, I've read that PS1 games run better with the video driver set to glcore, and N64 games run better with the video driver set to gl. Is this still true today? I've always just left it default to glcore for everything since it'd be a pain in the butt to switch back and forth.
  • When I boot up my PS Classic again, controls work fine in the menu. However, once my game is booted up in Retroarch, the analog on my controller doesn’t work while the d-pad still does. My settings are saved when it comes to Retroarch so it’s still on Dualshock when in OptionsPlayer 1Dualshock.

Get RetroArch Going

  1. Head on over to RetroArch's website, download the program and install or unzip it.
  2. Download the 'Sony - Playstation (PCSX ReARMed)' core
  3. Grab your desired PS1 Disc and use RetroArch's Dump Disc feature to store your disc locally and relieve of it of its spinning duties
    1. Check your RetroArch's downloads folder to confirm files and their sizes. You should see 1 cue and 1 or more bin files with names that represent a timestamp of when the dump was started
    2. You may rename these files and if you do, make sure to edit the cue file with any text editor to refer to the renamed bin files.

PlayStation Classic: BleemSync 1.2.0 released with RetroArch 1.7.8, network support, folders & more If you’re not in the loop when it comes to PSC hacking, BleemSync is the earliest and most well-known comprehensive hacking solution for the mini-console. RetroArch is a frontend for emulators, game engines and media players. It enables you to run classic games on a wide range of computers and consoles through its slick graphical interface. Settings are also unified so configuration is done once and for all. In addition to this, you are able to run original game discs (CDs) from RetroArch.

Grab your Save Data via PS3

  1. I performed some of these steps years ago but basically, you would need to use a PS3 Memory Card Adaptor to copy your save data from your PS1 Memory Card to your PS3's HDD. This process is documented on PlayStation.com's Help Library.
  2. Stick a USB memory stick into your PS3 and copy your desired game's save files over. Unfortunately, I had to do them one at a time and couldn't figure out a way to copy multiple saves at once.
  3. Safely remove the USB memory stick and plug it into your PC that's running RetroArch. You should see a PS3Export folder structure with a bunch of PSV files.
  4. Keep them handy for the next step

Convert your PSV

  1. Search for download Shendo's MemcardRex and download it from a reputable source. It is also available on Github but there are no releases so you'll need to build it.
  2. Run MemcardRex and in a new Memory Card tab, import one game's PSV file(s) into a free slot. I specify one game because RetroArch creates and uses a unique save file for each dump it runs. To efficiently mimick this, we'll need to use MemcardRex to save one memory card file for each game.
  3. Hit the Save button and choose (*.mcr) as your save file format. The file name needs to match the name of your disc's image file.
  4. If you have multiple game saves, make a new Memory Card tab, import another PSV and save out the MCR. Repeat as many times as needed.
  5. Next, you'll need to change the file extensions from MCR to SRM.
    1. If you have many MCR files, you can use a batch renaming tool or a simple command line argument like 'ren *.mcr ???.srm'
  6. Place these files in your RetroArch's saves folder. Alternatively, you can run your game once, identify the created SRM file and replace it with the one you made.
  7. Run your game with Load Content and verify that the save data can be accessed and loaded.
  8. Optional: back up your PSV and SRM files.

It's a few steps but if you've spent hours playing a game, the save data represents actions that were made, memories that were created and time that was spent. It is valuable.

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RetroArch is one of the most impressive tools for classic gaming. It is a front-end for launching multiple different emulators, but it has grown into so much more. A good example of that is the software’s most recent update, which uses artificial intelligence to translate Japanese text to English with the press of a button.

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The LibRetro team responsible for RetroArch showed the translation working with ActRaiser for Super Nintendo. With the press of a button, a voice can read out the text in English. Alternatively, it can create a new dialog box that replaces the original Japanese characters with English. It all seems like magic.

“Welcome to the future,” RetroArch developer Daniel De Matteis wrote in a blog post. “Sometime ago, a RetroArch bounty got posted proposing Optical Character Recognition and Text-To-Speech services [for] RetroArch. Some months later, and here we are — a bounty hunter valiantly took on the challenge, and there is now a fully fledged AI Service up and running that works seamlessly with #RetroArch.”

How RetroArch AI translation works

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This feature has two modes.

The first is “speech mode.” When you hit the AI-service button, it scans the screen for text, and then it reads that text back to you. This does not interrupt the game. Instead, the game will simply read the Japanese text in English whenever the AI server returns the translation.

In “image mode,” RetroArch pauses the game. It does this because it is actually creating a new text box filled with translated English to put over the original Japanese text. When you are ready to move on, you can restart the game and continue playing.

This is another huge step forward for accessibility of classic games. While many retro releases have fan translations, you can find many that no one has ever done the leg work for. Now, you may enjoy those games without having to rely on your smartphone and Google translate.

Setting up the translation on RetroArch is a bit complicated at the moment. It requires you to either set up the AI service in the cloud or on a personal server. And then you can connect that with RetroArch. The full instructions are on the LibRetro blog. Still, this is the first implementation, and the process is likely going to get easier in the future.

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