Rany Battikh

GDEMU Firmware update (May 2020)

Deunan Knute has recently released the long awaited firmware update for his Dreamcast ODE (Optical Drive Emulator), the GDEMU.

Three years after the release of firmware 5.15 , Deunan addressed a few persistent bugs in a couple of titles, with the latest update version 5.20, as well as added the ability to slow down the device’s read speed, manually, by editing the GDEMU.INI file.

The final two games that had issues but were still playable were Skies of Arcadia (the game freezes right after the opening movie plays all the way to the end, unless the user manually skips the whole intro all together) and Resident Evil: Code Veronica (the “eyes of the tiger” puzzle in Disc 2 could not be solved, unless the user bypasses it using cheat codes). With new custom timings applied specifically to the aforementioned games, the GDEMU is now basically 100% compatible (and bug-free) with the entire Dreamcast official library. But it’s important to keep in mind that there’s always a possibility for issues to arise in the future.

Here’s a list of new features found in firmware(s) 5.20.0 and 5.20.1:

  • Game detection fix for CD-XA media
  • System code update
  • Automatic timing profiles for SoA and RE:CV
  • New INI option to manually cap GDEMU speed

GDEMU units that shipped in 2020 can be easily updated by directly flashing the firmware file, through the SD card, and following the instructions listed here. Older units though, that can date back to 2014, require an updater to be flashed first. Then after successfully performing a warm boot once, firmware 5.20 can be applied.

I did encounter a few problems while trying to update my old GDEMU unit but I got in contact with the developer and he provided me with a another version of the updater, and that worked like a charm.

While only very few users reported problems with their older units, I do recommend waiting a bit for Deunan’s official response to those particular issues but recent GDEMU adopters can pretty safely update to firmware 5.20.

UPDATE: It seems like Deunan is currently working on releasing a new version of the updater in the upcoming few days.

More info about adjusting the GDEMU’s read speed: https://gdemu.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/imbrium/

Download links and update instructions: https://gdemu.wordpress.com/firmware/updating-gdemu/



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