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Nintendo Switch emulator yuzu gets a huge performance boost

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Emulation coding is tricky business done by some people that are clearly 100x smarter than I am, and now the Nintendo Switch emulator yuzu devs are just showing off.

In their April 2023 progress report, they talked about a big performance improvement landing thanks to a rewrite of most of their old buffer cache code, plus work in other areas. The result is that you could see up to 87% better performance, although they said for most people it will probably be about 50%.

Just look at these differences (click to enlarge):

They said nothing special is needed to get this boost, you just need to be up to date and set GPU accuracy to "Normal".

Plenty more was mentioned like asynchronous presentation with Vulkan, which is behind a tickbox, because in some cases it might make frametimes less consistent but for a lot of people it might actually make things smoother. It needs more testing for them to be sure where to enable it.

The Linux side of yuzu got some nice improvements too like fixing up the initialization of the Vulkan swapchain on Wayland, making it work better for NVIDIA GPU owners and also a crash with Flatpak was solved too.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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54 comments
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legluondunet May 12, 2023
The gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.
Redhacker2 May 12, 2023
Quoting: legluondunetThe gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.

Emulators don't cost them anything. Anyone who pirates wasn't going to buy the game to begin with for the most part, nor were they going to buy the console.

To play legally, you both require an actual hackable switch's key and your own dumps from a hacked switch.

Also, Nintendo is one of the most anti-consumer companies to exist in the gaming industry right now.
Cybolic May 12, 2023
Quoting: legluondunetThe gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.
That's only if use the emulator to play pirated games, which is quite the assumption to make.
I see emulators more like when it became possible to play DVD films on PC DVD drives; the movie industry immediately saw this as piracy, but in reality, people just wanted to play their movies where they wanted.
Emulation is the same, it allows people to play their purchased games where it's most convenient for them, with the added bonus of ensuring the games don't become unplayable when the original hardware eventually dies / goes out of production.


Last edited by Cybolic on 12 May 2023 at 4:29 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy May 12, 2023
Quoting: legluondunetThe gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.
I don't see how. My understanding of the business model for consoles is they lose money on the consoles but make it back on the games. If they can make money on the games without having to first sell a loss-leader console, then money-wise there is no downside.
I'm sure Nintendo are still very unhappy about it, but that's because they're Nintendo, not because it loses them money.
mr-victory May 12, 2023
Quoting: Cybolicwhen it became possible to play DVD films on PC DVD drives
Wait, it wasn't possible initially?
MadWolf May 12, 2023
Quoting: Redhacker2
Quoting: legluondunetThe gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.

Emulators don't cost them anything. Anyone who pirates wasn't going to buy the game to begin with for the most part, nor were they going to buy the console.

To play legally, you both require an actual hackable switch's key and your own dumps from a hacked switch.

Also, Nintendo is one of the most anti-consumer companies to exist in the gaming industry right now.

"Anyone who pirates wasn't going to buy the game to begin with" That depends if the pirate is an ethical pirate one that downloads the game and plays it to see if it is worth buying and if it is a good game they buy it

IMHO the AAA game industry's actions make people pirate the games not having demos to test the game or the DRM being so S**t the pirates get the better experience or the cost of the games selling a digital game at the same price as a physical copy of the game or closing down the digital shops


Last edited by MadWolf on 12 May 2023 at 5:30 pm UTC
Klaas May 12, 2023
Quoting: mr-victoryWait, it wasn't possible initially?
At first it was only possible with special player software. Only after the crappy DRM was “broken” the quality of the players increased.
benstor214 May 12, 2023
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1. Emulation does not equal piracy.
2. Actual studies show the vast majority of people who pirate would have never bought a legal copy. To say „But there are SOME that would have!“ is just stating irrelevant facts on the global scale.
3. The sole reason that there is already a well working emulator for the Nintendo Switch is that the first models could be easily hacked because of a vulnerability in the TEGRA chip.


Last edited by benstor214 on 12 May 2023 at 5:47 pm UTC
eldaking May 12, 2023
Quoting: legluondunetThe gap between today's consoles and working emulators is narrowing. We had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale. I don't think it's ethical to publicly release an emulator of a console that's still on sale, in my view, developers should at least wait for the end of life of a console. Nintendo is an innovative company and produces user-friendly games, switch emulators must be costing them a lot of money.

Lol, most people that make games don't sell hardware, and most hardware makers don't make games, and running software on arbitrary platforms is completely normal for everyone else but shitty console companies. Competing with them on hardware for running their games is all well and good, and should be incentivized - people should make more switch-compatible devices and compatibility tools.

The idea that being able to play software on some "non-authorized" platform is costing them money is ludicrous. Maybe they are failing to earn some money that they expected or wanted, but that wasn't already theirs, that they weren't entitled to or guaranteed to get. And if their earnings depend on manipulative, controlling tactics to make people buy hardware they don't need and that they can't control, enforcing restrictions that go beyond the laws and make technology shittier and more wasteful, then I'm be more than happy to see them earn nothing. A well-deserved "loss".

Again, this has nothing to do with piracy. Piracy exists just the same for PC games that don't need emulators. It is bad enough that they make it somewhat difficult for people with perfectly legitimate copies to transfer their games between devices, but there is no ground for going after emulators at all - the emulator violates no copyright, period.
Mar2ck May 12, 2023
Quoting: legluondunetWe had never known an emulator that emulates a console still on sale.
Not true, it happened with the N64 (UltraHLE), the GBA (NO$GBA) and the DS (Desmume). Citra was running most 3DS games about half way through that console's sales period so you could say that one counts too. This isn't a new phenomenon.
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