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Intrepid hackers are bringing ‘Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ to PCs

Published Mar 22nd, 2017 7:16PM EDT
Nintendo Switch games
Image: Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch has been recording “phenomenal” sales ever since it was launched, and Zelda is a good part of the reason why. Breath of the Wild is the only game anyone has cared about on the Switch so far. But Breath of the Wild also happens to run just fine on the Wii U, and thanks to some clever hackers, it also has a shot at running on a PC.

Cemu is a Wii U emulator that’s been around for a while. Ever since the launch of Zelda, the developers have been working to get Breath of the Wild running on Cemu. They posted a video showing a glitchy demo just days after launch, but it appears we’re much closer to a functioning version of the game now.

In a video spotted by PCGameran upcoming version of Cemu is shown running Breath of the Wild at a stable 30fps, and looking good while doing it. There are still occasional visual glitches, but nothing that makes it unplayable. It’s a big improvement since the first version, which was more of a proof-of-concept than a real emulator.

With this much progress coming in just a couple weeks, it means there’s a genuine possibility that Wii U releases of Switch games will generally be playable on PC. It’s still not a fun or simple process — and unlike the Switch, it’s difficult to take a gaming PC for a bus ride — but for anyone sitting at home still waiting for a pre-order to arrive, it’s certainly better than nothing.