Would Backwards-Compatibility be Possible with Homebrew?

Discussion in 'Switch - Emulation, Homebrew & Software Projects' started by Nicro, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. videogame57

    videogame57 Touch Fluffly Tail

    Apr 27, 2014
    Right behind you
    The CPU in the Switch is heavily downclocked from the normal X1, but I believe he is talking about the GPU. The Wii U GPU is about the same performance as the Switch in handheld mode, if not slightly faster in some areas.

    But back to the CPU, the Wii U has about half the memory bandwidth and half the total RAM but it does have far more CPU cache. The fact that games like BotW are on both platforms and run pretty much the same supports this.
  2. Dodain47

    Dodain47 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Jan 1, 2017
    Yes that´s what i meant. Thanks. I think i heard it from an digital foundry video where they said the switch in handheld mode is downclocked compared to the docked mode to prevent overheating and save battery life.
  3. subcon959

    subcon959 teh retro

    Dec 24, 2008
    It's a big underclock too, 768Mhz > 300Mhz.
    nmkd likes this.
  4. Praxis

    Praxis GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    United States
    I'll try to answer this:

    There's two cases:
    (A) We unlock "Homebrew" on the Switch- custom code can run.
    (B) We actually "Jailbreak" the system, such as a custom firmware, to run unsigned code (or sign our own code).

    Scenario A allows emulators and the like.

    Scenario B allows actual Nintendo games to be loaded, and thus piracy of Switch games and hacks of them, in addition to emulators.

    In either situation, for the most part, the results are about the same: We can run emulators of old games, *IF* we ever get to this point.

    We can assume the Switch will be able to easily emulate anything N64 and older. Can the Switch emulate GameCube, Wii, and Wii U?

    The Wii U accomplished this easily, but the Wii U shared a CPU architecture. It didn't need to fully emulate the CPUs- it was basically like a VM. Emulating the CPU sucks out a lot of performance. You usually need, for a rough back of the thumb estimate, 10x the performance or more of the underlying system to emulate it. Look at how much gaming PCs struggle with Dolphin, for example.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say outright- no, the Switch will never be able to emulate a Wii U at full speed. And even if you could, a lot of the games would be unplayable due to only one screen.

    Can it emulate a GameCube or Wii?

    Maybe. We won't know until people write one. And it will be a lot of work. So maybe, maybe not.

    Can the Switch emulate a DS or 3DS? Probably pretty easily, actually, since they use ARM processors like the Switch does.
  5. Praxis

    Praxis GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 26, 2009
    United States
    Yeah, I'm going to say it's impossible for the Switch to ever emulate a Wii U. You need a big performance lead to be able to emulate another architecture and run it's software at full speed.

    GameCube and Wii are even questionable. The Wii U can run GC/Wii software because it shares the architecture- it's more like a VM than an emulator.

    The Switch is obviously way, way more powerful than a GameCube, but is it sufficient enough to run a GameCube emulator?

    People have run Dolphin on Android tablets (notably the NVidia Shield) with equal specs, so I'm going to say probably yes for GameCube, maybe for Wii.
  6. TheCyberQuake

    TheCyberQuake Certified Geek

    Dec 2, 2014
    United States
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    The wii u cpu managed to heavily bottleneck the gpu from what I've read. Even with higher clock it just sucks. It seems the switch is basically on par with wii u graphically.
  7. Nicro

    Nicro Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    The Void
    Thanks for the info. I'm sorry for upsetting people this much and the title could really have been worded better. Though it can only be changed by staff as far as I know. Anything else I could improve the thread with?
Quick Reply
Draft saved Draft deleted