CEMU, an emulator that lets people play Wii U games on their PC, has come a long way since it struggled with Mario Kart 8: next month, it’ll be running the latest Zelda game in an entirely playable state.
The emulator’s 1.7.4 update, due in the first week of April, fixes nearly all the glitches and issues you may have seen in earlier footage.
Here it is in action:
Now, this is a weird situation for an emulator to be in. Normally, when we talk about emulated games, there are two arguments: one is that it’s an act of game preservation. The other is a veneer of lip service paid towards copyright, even though most people realise that we’re talking about old games that you were never going to pay for, everyone acknowledges that and gets on with it.
But this...this game only just came out. Like, this month. On a brand new console. Normally it would take years for a game like this to be emulated (PS3 and Xbox 360 emulation is still taking baby steps, for example), but through a quirk of Nintendo’s hardware design and release schedule (simultaneously releasing it on the older Wii U), here we are.
And it’s not like the versions are wildly different, either. The Wii U edition, which should theoretically be worse given its dated hardware, is actually just fine.
So while it’s fun to admire this on a technical level, remember that this isn’t some old arcade game we’re talking about here. It’s a game that is definitely worth the money, and then some.