Yuzu, the Nintendo Switch Emulator for PC, Shoots up Its Performance

Wii U emulator Cemu made leaps and bounds after the launch of Switch and games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. However, after the console was released, the frenzied development of emulators for Nintendo Switch began , where Yuzu took the lead. After development that has progressed quite quickly, Yuzu has received an update that takes console emulation to a new level.

Emulators are very important to preserve the history of video games. However, a console emulator that is in full service life can do a lot of damage to companies. It usually takes a long time to develop emulators that work well, but with Yuzu they have succeeded in just over three years due, above all, to the architecture and restrained power of the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to this, emulating it is not as complicated a task as other consoles.

Yuzu, the Nintendo Switch Emulator for PC

Yuzu incorporates Project Hades for better performance

Yuzu was born with the peculiarity that it is an open-source emulator, like RPCS3. Cemu, for example, is closed source. Being open source, users can grab the code and improve the emulation. That’s what Project Hades sought to do, which rewrote all of Yuzu’s shader decompiler by default.

Shaders are special programs that perform different tasks on the graphics card , usually related to rendering content on a screen. They are usually written using API-compatible languages . Usually there are hundreds or thousands of shaders that command the graphics.

In the case of Switch games, shaders are used to render graphics on the console itself. However, since these shaders are pre-compiled for the console GPU, Yuzu cannot directly use them to render graphics using the host GPU (user GPU).

Therefore, Yuzu basically has to go around translating those shaders, slowing down the rendering process. Project Hades changes all that, and skyrockets game performance. Now, rendering is not only faster and jerks are reduced, but it is more accurate and more natively closer to what the console itself does. Thanks to this, now you can play more games in the emulator , and with more FPS. The results can be seen in the following video:

The next objective of the project will be Project Reaper, which will improve performance at the processor level, in addition to allowing play without limit of FPS and memory leaks in VRAM that caused the emulator to crash. However, it will take a few months for this improvement.

Steam Deck, at the moment, will not be able to run Yuzu well

Many emulator creators have welcomed the arrival of the Steam Deck, stating that it will bring emulation closer to more users. However, the power of the console may not be enough to emulate the Nintendo Switch, which requires a more powerful processor to emulate the hardware of the console. The desire to emulate Switch demonstrates the high demand for playing Nintendo games on other platforms, but looking at the sales of the Switch, it stands to reason that the company has no interest in releasing its games beyond its ecosystem, despite the fact that these can be seen or even played better thanks to running at higher FPS.