A new version of RetroArch is here, and as usual, it brings plenty of new features to the table. For this update, the Libretro team has added some visual updates, with the highlight being support for high dynamic range, or HDR. If you're using Direct3D 11 or 12 drivers, you'll be able to enable HDR, as of v1.9.9, at least on Windows. HDR support is planned for modern Xbox systems as well, though it currently is buggy and disabled in this build. In other RetroArch news, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution is now usable with the frontend as well. This allows for cleaner graphics in most games, and can be used with any core.
We have had to update our Direct3D 11 driver to allow for the use of Shader Model 5.0 when your GPU supports it, since this shader requires SM 5.0 features and wouldn’t work on D3D11 without it.
The contributor mentions in his pull request that implementing AMD FSR as a pixel shader seemed to work out just fine despite AMD insisting it is supposed to be implemented as a compute shader.
On top of this straight port of FSR, he also took the time to remake the SMAA shader. It is now supposed to be less of a port and just uses the original library unmodified, while adding a few features and higher quality search textures. The contributor wasn’t too happywith the quality of this AA and wanted to check if it could be improved, mainly because FSR requires good looking AA (Anti-Aliasing) otherwise it wouldn’t make much sense.
In the end, quality gains were marginal, pretty much imperceptible. Despite that, there is also an AMD FSR+SMAA preset that you can use.
You can see some comparison images down below – to the far left is the image without any shaders, in the middle is AMD FSR, and to the right is AMD FSR + SMAA applied.
The last major update new to 1.9.9 is bottom touchscreen support for RetroArch on the Nintendo 3DS. Now you can have a handful of options available to use at all times, including creating and loading restore points, as well as the current framerate. According to the developers, there shouldn't be any negative performance issues as a result of the new touchscreen capabilities, though you can disable it in the settings if you run into any problems.
RetroArch 1.9.9 is currently available for a variety of different systems, so if you want to play around with these new features, be sure to update, or grab the latest version from the official site.