Shortly after last week’s announcement/release of the Raspberry Pi 4, questions were raised about the product’s backward compatibility with previous retro gaming related software and hardware released for the first 3 iterations of the RP.
First, on the software side of things, Libretro, the team behind the multi-emulator frontend RetroArch, explained through a statement on their website that the new RP4 is powerful enough to support their infamous “runahead” feature; that’s what they had to say about that:
Thanks to a tester called Namanix, we can tell you in no uncertain terms that runahead with RetroArch works great on Raspberry Pi 4 for systems up to and including the GBA. With runahead configured right, you can get latency BETTER than the original console (on a CRT)!
I repeat again – with Raspberry Pi 4 and RetroArch, latency is NOT A PROBLEM thanks to runahead. You don’t need magic controllers or any fancy tech – but I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.
Their statement is followed by a few testing results obtained by using different cores within RetroArch.
Second, it seems that one of the RP’s major RGB solution is not (yet?) compatible with the new RP4, as the RGB-pi team warned its users about buying the RP4 on Twitter by saying:
Don't buy the Pi4, we are doing tests and for the moment it is not compatible, when we have news we will communicate to you here.
No compréis todavía la Pi4, estamos haciendo pruebas y por el momento no es compatible, cuando tengamos novedades os lo comunicaremos por aquí.
— RGB-Pi (@RGB_Pi) June 26, 2019
It is unfortunate to see old peripherals not working on newer hardware revisions but at the same time, there’s plenty of room for improvement as proven by Libretro. It’s just a matter of time before we start seeing hardware solutions follow down the path of great software development.
Libretro’s full statement: https://www.libretro.com/index.php/retroarch-runahead-and-raspberry-pi-4-the-results-are-in/