Neo Geo Pocket Color: glitchy sound & mediocre performance

I‘m using the Neo Geo Pocket Color (which is a real gem) core called mednafen on image .21 with an up-to-date retroarch.

I have heavy sound crackling (latency is already set to 128) and framerates just below 60. There is also a lot of screen tear. Any suggestions? Is there a better core (using the one from the Retroarch core downloader)

This is exactly what I was about to write. There is a lot of sound crackling, and this is not an heavy core for sure. Any idea about how to optimize this? There are some very good games for this system, especially because it is a portable one and a very good fit for the GameShell.

I now have smooth performance and no sound issues. :grin:

It takes quite a few steps to get there though:

  1. Upgrade to OS 0.3 and set the video driver to Lima
  2. Build a current Retroarch from source using the script by @hpcodecraft: How can I Retroarch 1.7.0 to 1.7.3?
  3. In the retroarch config change the following lines before downloading cores. This will ensure that the cores have hardware support for ARM NEON, which the Gameshell hardware supports
core_updater_buildbot_url = ""
video_driver = "sdl2"

  1. In an override file just for the mednafen_ngp_libretro core set these values:
; Workaround for aspect ratio issue in Neo Geo Pocket and Game Boy cores
aspect_ratio_index = "12"
; Prevent blurry pixels
video_filter = "~/video/Normal2x.filt"
  1. Optionaly set a launcher shortcut to the Neo Geo Core by copying and modifiying action.config from somewhere below /home/cpi/launcher/Menu/GameShell/

Thanks for the hint, I’ve updated my setup script to use the NEON cores now!

I did all of this after a clean install on 64G sd and making sure it stretched to the size and no matter what I do I can’t get the NGP roms to load properly. Additionally, now retroarch won’t even load and I’ve reinstalled/updated a few times. I’m just about to give up on this hardware, as I’ve had it since launch and have had so many issues getting it to work properly with anything no matter what kind of different setups I try.

Probably your Retroarch Config is messed up. Use a launcher shortcut as described in point 5. And don’t forget to set the video driver to lima in the settings. It’s also possible that the current nightly of retroarch is unstable. There are generic instructions on this forum to git clone a specific build of retroarch.

Don’t give up on the Gameshell. Especially Neo Geo Pocket Color Games on the device are great fun.:slightly_smiling_face:

I would be less willing to give up if they had actually explained what the lightkey module was from the beginning and that the controls on the front were actually keyboard key mappings, etc. etc. etc. As of right now I’m stuck with a system that won’t play most of anything, doesn’t have enough buttons for almost every system I want to use (because I didn’t know what a lightkey module was since the launch didn’t say it was necessary for more than the front buttons and that those buttons won’t even map properly for things like GBA, etc.) and they refuse to sell them separately to those of us who had no idea. I’m just ready to sell things thing off to the next sucker and be done with it. How many times do I have to rebuild just to get one thing to work only for everything else to stop working? lol It’s maddening!

I’ve now redone my system, from scratch, about 4 times and keep hitting the same problems no matter what order I do things. Update retroarch, make the action.config files for NGPC, try to run a game, retroarch never works again until i completely reinstall everything from the get-go. Anyone wanna buy this stupid thing from me? lol I can’t do this anymore. I’m ready to blow my brains out.

I followed the instructions in this post as well and now my Retroarch shortcut on the shell starts and then just dumps back to the shell and Retroarch never starts. I think the hardware is great but everything I do to it causes issues. Retroarch, Pico-8, reconfiguring Free Doom. It could have used a bit more support for how to do things.

Alright, in the config I rolled back the change to the video driver from SDL2 to SDL to get it to boot. SDL2 just crashes retroarch. After that, all cores crash when loading content. I’ve tried updating all cores and various configurations but I’m done for tonight. No dice.

I have problem with RetroArch I don’t have music, game music while I’m playing the neo geo games. I try to reset the settings but the same problem appears again. I will try this NeoPop Emulator if someone has a better suggestion let me know.

Sorry to bother, how does your action.config file look like for the neo geo pocket color?

@belos Did you get that neo pop emulator to work?