Could the Switch run a (N)3DS emulator in the future?

Discussion in 'The Edge of the Forum' started by Zacchi4k, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Zacchi4k
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    Zacchi4k GBAtemp Regular

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    I know that the Switch hasn't been hacked yet, but when it will, could it run a (N)3DS emulator (yes, I know the Switch hasn't got a 3D screen or two screens, but could it theoretically run)?
     


  2. StarTrekVoyager

    StarTrekVoyager Soon™

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    In short: Nope, would be too slow. You need a pretty high-end PC to get your constant 30 or 60fps on Citra, and the Switch is not as powerful.
     
  3. Zacchi4k
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    Isn't Citra just not optimized enough yet?
     
  4. spiderman1216

    spiderman1216 Advanced Member

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    Probably not, unless we get Citra running on a Tegra X1
     
  5. osaka35

    osaka35 Instrucional Designer

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    Very true, but that's assuming complete emulation. The switch runs on arm, just like 3ds, just a newer version. I don't know nearly enough about how many calls and the like are similar enough, but maaaaaybe partial emulation might be possible? I doubt anyone except nintendo would be able to pull it off though.
     
    Last edited by osaka35, Mar 10, 2017
  6. StarTrekVoyager

    StarTrekVoyager Soon™

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    Yeah... But very unlikely. For example, vWii and TWL_FIRM rely back on the console (3DS/Wii U) switching either on a smlaller number of cores, or on a secondary processor. The Switch hasn't anything like that, just its own CPU. Even though it's an ARM architecture, that's still quite different. And anyways, it would certainly be unpractical and useless, unless Nintendo would like to kill early a console that was quite success and still works.
     
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  7. Zacchi4k
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    Zacchi4k GBAtemp Regular

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    Aren't the ARM9 3DS CPU and TWL_FIRM only used for NDS games?
     
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  8. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

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    Remember the N64 using MIPS?
    Remember N64 being emulated on the PSP which happens to also run on MIPS?

    Partial emulation/full emulation of some games may happen if the Switch does run on an ARM architecture.
    Less translation in code, cause basically, that's all an emulator is.
     
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  9. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Addict

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    That doesn't matter. N64 emulators on PSP usually use either an interpreted CPU emulator or dynamic recompilation. They don't run the code directly. Besides that, the hardest part to emulate for N64 isn't the CPU; it's the GPU (RSP).

    For 3DS games on Switch, even if you did manage to use an actual virtualization system (which would be necessary because Switch runs in 64-bit mode, not 32-bit like 3DS), you'd still need to emulate the GPU, since IIRC 3DS games access it directly, aside from some basic setup functions.

    TWL_FIRM is used for DS(i) games. The ARM9 is also used for DS(i) games, but in 3DS mode, it's used for "security" functionality as well. (ARM11 can't access eMMC, SD, or Slot-1 directly; it has to go through ARM9.)
     
    Last edited by GerbilSoft, Mar 10, 2017 - Reason: +GPU
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  10. duffmmann

    duffmmann GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'd like to see Nintendo release a new player for their handheld. Something like the Super Game Boy or Game Boy Player for the Super Nintendo and the Gamecube respectively. Thing is, if any of Nintendo's systesm was ever going to have an adapter to play their latest handhelds, the Wii U was much more well equipped for that than the Switch is. The Wii U has the two screens with the screen in your hand even being a touch screen. Seemed like the perfect set up to play your 3DS (or at the very least DS) games on our home TVs. And I guess we kind of got that with the DS VC titles, but it'd be so much nicer if we could just use our physical games and plug them into an adapter so that you don't have to buy the games again (or hack the system so you don't have to pay for the titles again).

    With the Switch, while its more powerful, it lacks a true second screen, making the idea of playing many DS and 3DS games pretty unappealing. At best you could emulate both screens on the Switch which would leave a lot of empty black space on the screen due to the screen size ratios, or you'd just have to play the games that made little to no real use of one of the screens.
     
  11. Xenon Hacks

    Xenon Hacks GBAtemp Guru

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  12. Roomsaver

    Roomsaver GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Or flip the handheld sideways...?
     
  13. TheRedfox

    TheRedfox Admire our great leader ;o;

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    Nope
    That doesn't matter; the switch uses armv8 which can run 32bit armv7 code natively.
    The 3DS is armv6k but afaik there are no conversions needed for armv6 code on armv8. (only armv5 is really different)

    + it's not like the DS emulation on the 3DS, DS games depended on the clock speed of the CPU. The 3DS is more modern like and games don't suffer from a higher clock speed.

    Only the GPU needs to be emulated, but seeing how citra uses opengl efficiently and doesn't waste CPU cycles on graphics i'm sure that won't be a big issue.
     
  14. duffmmann

    duffmmann GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Yeah, but do the measurements, unless you stretch the screens and lose their proper aspect ratio, you're gonna have a lot of black empty space, no matter how you look at it, it would be ugly and not ideal.
     
  15. Roomsaver

    Roomsaver GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Stretch them vertically and horizontally by a factor of like 2, have black bars at the top and bottom (perhaps space for emulator buttons).
     
  16. dubbz82

    dubbz82 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    This so much. Way too many speculative threads. How about we wait till we have some access to have a better idea of what it can/can't do?
     
  17. Zacchi4k
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    Zacchi4k GBAtemp Regular

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    Yes, of course you will. But I personally wouldn't care.

    The Switch has already got all the buttons you need.
     
  18. Alkéryn

    Alkéryn Master of cookies ~

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    Switch is arm not 64 butts! But no a 3ds emulator for switch won't happen
     
  19. Zacchi4k
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    Uhm... Yes it it.
     
  20. Alkéryn

    Alkéryn Master of cookies ~

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    Nvidia tegra is an arm cpu ...
    And 3DS is arm not 32 bit like @GerbilSoft suggested