Developers are working on bringing Nintendo Switch games to Apple Silicon M1 Macs through a native port of Yuzu emulator. The emulator for M1 Mac will actually use Apple’s hypervisor.framework in macOS which should allow it to run much faster than an emulator.
At the moment, a proof of concept is up and running by @daeken, which shows Super Mario Odyssey loading up to the menu screen, after which it runs into graphics limitations. Any game that uses geometry shaders is broken for now. Developer daeken is working on a native Metal backend to replace geometry shaders with compute shaders, which should remove the graphical limitations with running complex 3D Switch games in Yuzu on Apple Silicon. The Yuzu port also supports Switch controllers, including Joy-Cons and Pro controller on M1 Macs.
First look at a Nintendo Switch game loading on Apple Silicon M1 Mac
Thanks to the Arm architecture used by Apple Silicon Macs, running Tegra CPU native code on it is not as difficult as it is running it on x86 Intel and AMD chips, which require emulation. By its very nature, emulation results in a performance hit. However, graphics support is still a challenge as MoltenVK, the graphics library that allows Vulkan apps to run on Metal, has some limitations.
I'm so fucking proud of this. It only gets a few frames into the game before it hits the first MoltenVK limitation, but damn. pic.twitter.com/NcLIBLWOPz
— Sera Tonin Brocious (@daeken) December 20, 2020
Despite the initial look, we don’t recommend that you run out to get an M1 Mac just so you can run Nintendo Switch Games yet. This is a work-in-progress and it might be a while before games can start running without any issues.
For now, if you are interested in running Wii and GameCube games via emulation on M1 Macs, you are in luck as old games run really well on Apple Silicon. Check out the video below to see how well they perform.
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