PlayStation Vita port included in sources

GemRB has been running on the PlayStation Vita since roughly the last release, when Taras “Northfear” Rohozhynskyi published his work for the first time. The port includes the necessary input support, some performance improvements, an aspect-ratio preserving display mode and easy launching through its LiveArea content manager. All of the games should be working, but BG2 is still limited by I/O performance, so it’s less playable than the rest.

PS Vita port image
PlayStation Vita GemRB port in action, showcasing the wider display.

As it often goes in porting to new platforms, many of the required changes are quick fixes and hacks, just to get further in the process, uncover any blocking issues and see how much work reallly remains. The result is usually something we can’t just include directly, but something that requires more effort to find the correct solutions, not break functionality for others and so on.

Luckily Taras not only submitted his code for review, but has been happy to work with us to clean it up and find general solutions. As a result, the changes required to make GemRB run on the Vita are now included in our main tree and will benefit from other work going forward. It’s something we’d like to see from porters more often, as sometimes they don’t even get in touch.

We now have broader gamepad support, caching in the SDLAudio plugin and a more performant engine for platforms that don’t have a fast mmap. To illustrate the importance of the last change: it was made before the current release as an optimization, but it later turned out we haven’t accounted for all the platforms we support — a similar complaint was voiced by porters to Amiga and MorpOS.

So thank you Taras for the port, making life easier for other porters and, of course, for making GemRB that tad bit better!