[PSP]PicoDrive v1.50: Sega Pico support, performance improvements, more


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PSP homebrew developer notaz has released a new version of PicoDrive, a Sega Genesis / MegaDrive / SegaCD emulator for the PSP. Actually, you can now add another platform on that list, the Sega Pico.

The Sega Pico was an electronic toy released by Sega in the early 90's. Its games were mostly for children 2-8. Notaz says that the emulator was only given this functionality "just because of the emu name (hey fDave, why have you named it like this?)."

Notaz also notes that there have been several changes to improve performance, and many games that need to run at a full 50/60 fps with accuracy settings enables will be able to pull it off at 200 MHz. Also new is the bin-to-cso-mp3 tool which converts cue/bin files to cue/iso/mp3 format. Here's the changelog for version 1.50:

* Added some basic support for Sega Pico, a MegaDrive-based toy.
* Added proper support for cue/bin images, including cdda playback. .cue sheets with iso/cso/mp3/wav files listed in them are now supported too (but 44kHz restriction still applies).
* Added bin_to_cso_mp3 tool, based on Exophase's bin_to_iso_ogg. The tool can convert .cue/.bin Sega CD images to .cso/.mp3.
* Greatly improved Sega CD load times.
* Changed how scheduling between 68k and z80 is handled. Improves performance for some games. Credits to Lordus for the idea.
* YM2612 state was not 100% saved, this should be better now.
* Improved renderer performance for shadow/hilight mode.
* Added a hack for YM2612 frequency overflow issue (bleep noises in Shaq Fu, Spider-Man - The Animated Series (intro music), etc.). Credits to Nemesis @ spritesmind forum. Works only sound rate is set to 44kHz.
* Implemented some sprite rendering improvements, as suggested by Exophase. Games with lots of sprites now perform better.
* Added better idle loop detection, based on Lordus' idea again.
* "accurate timing" option removed, as disabling it no longer improves performance.
* "accurate sprites" was removed too, the new sprite code can properly handle sprite priorities in all cases.
* Timers adjusted again.
* Improved .smd detection code.
* ARM: fixed a bug in DrZ80 core, which could cause problems in some rare cases.
* ARM: fixed a problem of occasional clicks on MP3 music start.
* Minor general optimizations and menu improvements.
* Fixed a bug in Sega CD savestate loader, where the game would sometimes crash after load.
* Fixed a crash of games using eeprom (introduced in 1.40b).
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