Apple’s M1-powered line of Macs has already developed a repo of packing quite the punch in terms of performance. Keeping true to that theme, we now have a demo of the M1 MacBook Pro successfully emulating Nintendo Switch games.
Apple’s custom chip has been known to handle certain emulation tasks way better than its Intel-powered siblings, but the ability to play Nintendo Switch games through an emulator on a Mac has our complete attention.
Sera Tonin Brocious (@daeken), a developer on Twitter, has managed to use the open source Yuzu Emulator to run the said game, but it too has its limitations.
I'm so fucking proud of this. It only gets a few frames into the game before it hits the first MoltenVK limitation, but damn. pic.twitter.com/NcLIBLWOPz
— Sera Tonin Brocious (@daeken) December 20, 2020
As informed by The 8-Bit:
In their video, the developer fires up the emulator and chooses to play Super Mario Odyssey. The game loads with intuitive instructions on how to play it using Nintendo Switch controllers. Then, the game boots into the main menu where there are two options: to start right away or to play in assist mode. When the developer chooses to start right away, the game runs into a MoltenVK limitation, according to the developer. So, it’s not perfect but it works.
The emulator uses the Vulkan API, which is a cross-platform 3D graphics and computing API used in games and interactive media. MoltenVK, on the other hand, is a runtime library that maps Vulkan to Apple’s Metal graphics framework on iOS and macOS.
It further notes that with the ARM processor being the commonality between the Switch and M1 Mac, “emulating a Switch CPU on Apple Silicon seems to be easy”.
No instructions on how to emulate Switch games on the M1 Mac have been provided for now, but who knows, maybe we might just see something come to us soon.
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