Since the Nintendo Switch first launched, there have been plenty of software tinkerers trying to figure out how to modify the system. Hackers were able to poke around the inner workings of the Switch just one week after release. Since then, some have managed to get Linux up and running on the console, while others have been working on emulation. Two emulators in particular are starting to show promise, as they are already able to boot commercial games.
There are two Nintendo Switch emulators currently in the works, one known as RyujiNX and another known as Yuzu. At this point in time, both are able to boot three games: The Binding of Isaac, Puyo Puyo Tetris and Cave Story+. The games don’t run particularly well just yet, but this is a good start.
As the developers behind the Yuzu emulator explain, even getting to the point of booting Switch games hasn’t been easy. They described it as “a massive reverse-engineering challenge”. It took the developers behind the Dolphin emulator several years to be able to boot Wii games, so progress on Switch emulators is going at a much faster rate.
The next challenge for the developers behind RyujiNX and Yuzu is getting more games to run. Beyond that, they want to get games to the point where they are rendering frames properly, but emulating the Maxwell GPU inside of the Switch is proving to be challenging.
KitGuru Says: Given how popular the Nintendo Switch is, there is going to be plenty of interest in emulation. The fact that games can already be booted up is an impressive feat just one year after the system’s launch. That said, I’m sure Nintendo are keeping an eye on this.