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Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB and the Sega Saturn

  • I heard the Raspberry Pi 4 and 4B just came out very recently. There's four models available, pretty much with different RAM sizes that go as high as 4GB.

    The Raspberry Pi 3B+ was never truly powerful enough to emulate the Sega Saturn and if one got it working the games were pretty much unplayable. Many people have stated that current PCs are more than powerful enough to run Saturn games properly but I've never been a huge fan of "console" gaming on my computer. There's been talk that perhaps when the newer Pi units release there may be enough power to run this console emulator without having messed up music and awful framerates.

    After a little digging I've already found on a Saturn fan site from the UK that someone has managed to get one of the better Sega Saturn emulators running properly with terrific framerates on about 75% of the games. Those that aren't working properly either have bad framerates, garbled music or in a few cases, both. Reports state that some games have some issues when driving 3D polygon type games but generally the 2D sprite-based games are running impressively well, even on 4K TVs.

    Long story short: I will wait patiently for RetroPie's Devs to figure out the new Raspberry Pi 4/B in order to determine how to get RetroArch properly running with my favorite emulators. I will also patiently wait for the day they are confident enough to give more support to the Sega Saturn and its small helping of iffy emulators. I've been waiting for this day since I learned about the Pi 3B+ and spent dozens of hours fine-tuning my EmulationStation until everything was exactly where I wanted it and I have absolutely zero qualms about doing it with an even more powerful device. Learning what little I could and ham-fisting my way through Linux, not knowing a thing about what I'm doing has been a real blast. Getting some games to properly work that I haven't been able to play for nearly twenty years has nearly brought tears to my eyes.

    Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.

  • @ultrakev9
    I personally tried the emulator, lr-yabause, on my 2Ghz overclocked pi4 on a nightly build of Lakka.
    Basically, 3d intensive games run at around ~30-40fps and 2d around 55-60fps. This is unoptimized and the drivers need work. It's not even using the better version of the saturn emulator. Since Lakka only runs retroarch cores, I can't find out how much better the standalone version of yabause performs.

  • This is good news either way. It gives hope for those of us a little less technically oriented that there's a solution for ~mostly~ proper Saturn emulation on the Pi.

  • Personally I can't wait till Retropi hits the 4B - I have the 4gb model and it is amazing.

  • Dreamcast seems to run preety well on pi4.

    Follow this guys channel, he is experimenting with pi 4 and Saturn, psp, dreamcast and N64. There are a lot of games tested

  • Good deal. Yeah, when I say Pi 4 I'm including the Pi 4B which is what I'll want due to the configuration.

    I'm currently using a PSP emulator on 3B+ and it ... works. Not terrific but it's good for those impossible to find games or imports that haven't been available for forever. Not to mention, I can try a few minutes of something out and if I really like it then I can try and find a hard copy and run it on my PSP knowing it will work properly.

    I already have the cables so I can hook my PSP to my TV but we'll see what happens if emulation on the 4/4B works just as well. Perhaps the picture can be upscaled without looking completely awful? That's currently the biggest problem with running the handhelds on TVs.

    Speaking of which, I really appreciate the work that was done to make the DS work through emulation. I was able to get through DQ9 without getting a month of neck pain like when I finished DQ6. I'd much rather sit back in my nice chair and watch the big screen even if the DS screens were greatly reduced they were still far larger than they would've been on the actual DS. I played a couple of hours on the DS and was getting phantom neck pain and had to stop playing. Glad I was able to get it to work properly (even with all the weird extra steps due to the stylus controls) and play it with my head at a more natural angle.

  • @Darksavior I find 3D Saturn games like Dragoon and Nights run poorly on that emulator, on an Overclocked Pi 4. Am I missing something in Settings?

  • Sega Saturn is one of the most difficult hardware to emulate, it’s 2 cpus and 8 different processors, in my opinion, nothing different from a traditional PC, x86 architecture will be able to run satisfactorily.

  • @wmarcio Panzer Dragoon Zwei does run okay on my Pi, and 2d stuff is fine. Nights is not happening though.

  • @AdamBeGood You have two options for saturn right now but first you have to overclock to at least ~2Ghz and v3d to ~750Mhz.
    Go to this thread:

    1. Get the lr-yabasanchiro build script that's not done and throw it in to your retropie-setup folder and then go install it. Some 2d games are full speed. Panzer Dragoon 1 is around 45-55fps without frameskip and no crt shader. ~60fps with auto frameskip. Sega rally is around 30-40fps.

    2. Get the desktop installed then install one of the binaries from that thread and run it that way. It's around 10fps faster than the libretro version. No idea if anyone got it properly built for retropie.

    Overall, it has visual bugs and in some games it's so much that I don't recommend playing those games like Panzer Dragoon 1. Seems to be a problem with the pi4 mesa drivers that has no fix yet. Both versions of this emulator don't have the problem of getting scratchy audio if it hits below 60fps.

  • @Darksavior Option 2 sounds a bit involved to me, so I'll try Option 1. The thread is vast, is the link to lr-yabasanchiro within that? I am trying to read through it but there is so much of it. Could you just confirm it is in there somewhere, and isn't just something I should be Googling? Thank you!

  • @AdamBeGood it's located here

    Edit: don't forget the shader hack/patch as well

  • @quicksilver I don't even understand how to get the files here, so this might be a lost cause for you. Feel free to duck out of helping!

    Do I take the text from within the section I've screenshotted, and save the files as they are titled in the top line? Then put that in the folder you suggest, and then my Pi will see it and be able to do the install?

    github screenshot.png

    I'm sorry for being poor, I am trying to suss it out.

  • @AdamBeGood ill make it easy on you. :)

    I have attached a link for the install script and shader hack. Place both the script and the lr-yabasanshiro folder in /home/pi/RetroPie-Setup/scriptmodules/libretrocores/Then once they are in place you will be able to install it from the experimental modules section of retropie setup.

  • Amazing! I find temperamental both on my PC and phone, quite often nothing happens when I click on links (and that is the case here). Eventually I will get in though, and I will try this then! Thank you very very much.

    On Chrome and IE, I get this with I get nothing on my phone browsers.


  • @quicksilver Works an absolute treat! Sound seems slightly on the quiet side in some games (Daytona for one), but compared to the stock emulators it is streets ahead. Nights Into Dreams is playable!

    Thank you! Really, this is great. I don't understand why it isn't on RetroPie by default, the cores that are included are certainly no better!

  • Global Moderator

    @AdamBeGood said in Raspberry Pi 4B 4GB and the Sega Saturn:

    Thank you! Really, this is great. I don't understand why it isn't on RetroPie by default, the cores that are included are certainly no better!

    because you are running an unaccepted fix - we're waiting for the lead developer to have a look into this issue. once it's resolved the core could be added.

  • @dankcushions Oh I see. Well, it seems to be running pretty well anyway, hopefully it will be available to people who don't have your help soon! Thanks again.

  • @quicksilver I have seen glitches with the emulator now. Alien Trilogy goes a bit mad sometimes, but usually comes back before too long. I also saw this on Slam 'n Jam 96. Most games have been perfect though.

    Oh, and there are no sound effects in PowerSlave. Alien Trilogy really isn't playable, I've persisted with that a bit now. Slam 'n Jam is playable, despite seeing glitches occasionally.

  • Just wanted to say thanks to quicksilver for posting the script to get it running.

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