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The incredible team building the Nintendo Switch emulator yuzu have a new progress report out for June 2023 and it's quite a doozy. Yes June, they're running over previous work. As usual, it's a lengthy read full of technical speak and exciting features and fixes so I'm here to summarise the important bits for you.

Picture above is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which now has much improved rendering thanks to all their working going into improving anisotropic filtering at higher values without rendering issues, improving image quality and it fixed up an old rendering bug for Mario Kart 8 too.

yuzu itself now ships with "virtually all" time zone data that the Switch has by default, so one less thing needed from a firmware dump.

They fixed a problem when "a memory page is being used by the GPU and written by the CPU at the same time" which solved various graphics bugs in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild & The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition and more games.

Improvements were also made for people with lower RAM, managing a "99.6% reduction" in RAM use for shader recompiling. Especially useful for people with 16GB or less RAM.

Games that use Unreal Engine 4 should no longer have broken textures with the Vulkan API (mostly an issue on NVIDIA), plus another improvement for UE4 games thanks to test the Pikmin 4 Demo that was crashing (and now solved).

One change that people with 4GB or lower VRAM might not appreciate is their Vulkan memory manager change. They adjusted it to "prefer (instead of require) using device local memory (VRAM) for image memory, which ends up allowing up to 50% of shared memory (system RAM) to be used by the GPU". This makes most UE4 games stable, but Tears of the Kingdom and other VRAM intense games may stutter more once VRAM gets close to full.

Speaking of Tears of the Kingdom, you can now safely upscale it higher without breaking the ambient occlusion effects.

OpenGL API rendering also saw some improvements, with the implementation of a local memory warmup shader for NVIDIA. They also extended persistent buffer maps from the texture cache to their buffer cache which they said "more than doubles the performance of OpenGL on NVIDIA hardware" and they said they expect to see similar results with Mesa on Linux too.

They still suggest Vulkan for being smoother but keeping up OpenGL improvements helps older hardware.

A Linux-specific fix was also implemented recently to hopefully prevent you needing to adjust the vm.max_map_count setting in your system for longer play sessions.

For the exact details head along to the yuzu blog post. There's a lot more, I'm just cherry-picking some fun stuff.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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ticktok Jul 13, 2023
Hell yeah. This actually reminds me, since I've been playing a lot more yuzu post totk release, I need to reactivate my Patreon subscription to them. Support this kind of effort.
Mrowl Jul 13, 2023
These are exciting times, especially with the handheld PC market finally underway. If Nintendo sticks to a similar architecture, similar OS and API's, etc, I have a feeling Yuzu may even be able to emulate Switch 2 games, in a similar fashion to how Dolphin could emulate GameCube and Wii games.
ssj17vegeta Jul 14, 2023
Eagerly waiting to test it !
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