Nintendo Won't Be Happy About This Switch Emulator

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular and sought-after gaming gadgets out there. But now a team of hackers might have found a way to let you play Nintendo Switch games without needing the console.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The team that has developed the Citra emulator for Nintendo's 3DS is back at it and working on a Nintendo Switch emulator, it announced on Twitter over the weekend. The emulator, which will be known as Yuzu, is still in the works, and the team didn't say when it might make it available to gamers.

Emulators have proven exceedingly popular over the years. With emulators, you're able to play games that were made specifically for a respective console on another device, like your smartphone or computer. The software developers create essentially replicates the entire experience of playing a game on the console for which it was designed.

Emulators have become popular among old-school gamers who want to play titles from long ago. Nintendo itself has capitalized on a desire among gamers to play older titles by offering the NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Edition — modified versions of its old consoles that allow you to play some of their titles on your TV.

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The move to build a Nintendo Switch emulator now is somewhat surprising. Traditionally, folks that build emulators do so on old consoles and find exploits within the old hardware that they can take advantage of. Since newer consoles are readily available, emulators for those devices are uncommon.

However, according to BGR, which earlier reported on the emulator, at the hacking conference 34C3 last month, hackers announced that they had discovered an opportunity to hack into the Nintendo Switch via the Nvidia Tegra X1 chip. That exploit has apparently accelerated Nintendo Switch emulator development and created an opportunity for hackers to move forward.

Still, it's unclear when Yuzu might find its way to the Web and exactly how it might work when it happens.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.