Nintendo and Nvidia have a working GC/Wii emulator for Tegra X1

dragonbane

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,324
Germany
I'm a glitch hunter of the 3D Zelda Speedrun Community and recently we managed to get our hands on the Chinese NVIDIA Shield and Twilight Princess on it. This was made possible by a generous member of my TP community who took the risk of importing a Shield from China for $250 with 0 guarantees it would actually be possible to make it work. Buying the game from the Chinese store proved to be difficult, but a member from this very community here at resetera went ahead and used her wechat account to buy the game for us.

2 days ago Pheenoh, the person who imported the shield, did a full playthrough and glitch testing on this version. You can find the VOD here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/224297805

The most remarkable things about this version is how well it performs. It doesn't crash, it has no graphical issues, the framerate is locked at 30 fps pretty much throughout the entire game and the loading times are on par with the Dolphin Emulator with fast load times enabled, so pretty much instant.

There was one thing that hit our attention however. 2 notorious consistent game crashes on the original GC did not crash the game on the Shield. Interestingly enough the same 2 glitches that also didn't crash Dolphin until very recently where an option of proper Memory Management emulation became available.

With the hints mounting up, yesterday we went ahead and dumped the APK from the shield. After extracting it I immediately found the native executable that should be the game executable if this was a true port of the game. But taking a look at it it didn't match its GC counterpart whatsoever - especially crucial game asset strings that are required to run the game are missing.

What I did find however were the following strings:



Note: OSPanic is a GC function called by the game when it encounters a critical error







This leaves pretty much no doubt that the executable I'm looking at is in fact a GC emulator. A GC emulator that runs one of the most demanding games on the Cube very smoothly on the same hardware as the Switch. Something tells me this emulator wasn't created to just emulate 2 Nintendo games on a niche console in China :P

EDIT:

Title is maybe a bit misleading. Wouldnt mind if a mod changes it to: "Nintendo has theoretical access to a highly capable GC/Wii emulator for the Tegra X1"
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
8,068
Well, for Nvidia shield. I’m sure the switch could run it, but that’s up to Nvidia to port it.
Would be smart as part of the deal, I’d think
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,094
Well, Nvidia hired one some of the Dolphin crew for this project, so I'm not surprised it runs well. Also GCN VC when?
 

Vashetti

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,492
Is the resolution increased in these games, or do they run at their original 480i/p?
 

Zeroneo

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
381
Why would you say that this is for the Switch when it's running on a Shield? Is it just because of similar architecture?
 

RAWRferal

Member
Oct 27, 2017
486
Release this shit already. Switch has been selling gangbusters as is.

This takes it to another level.

EDIT: When I say release I mean in any form. I'll pay for games.
 

Jof

Member
Nov 3, 2017
185
This is so interesting.

How is the emulation, in regards to resolution etc? Did they also introduce new textures etc for all of the button prompts? Any other noticeable changes?

I'm very curious how the Super Mario Galaxy release works without the Wiimote being used to control it. Did they just get rid of all the pointer-star stuff?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,397
Now what would be cool: Gamecube games are part of the online service, you get them free within your 20$ online subscription.

Considering Nintendo charges 10$ for even older games (SNES, NES) this seems unlikely but never say never. It certainly would be a great value
 

Kokonoe

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
7,323
Give me Super Mario Sunshine so the world can know of a greater 3D Mario game than Galaxy and Odyssey.
 

WestEgg

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,787
Good work! I never doubted the technical feasibility of GC virtual console, just the financial (from Nintendo's POV). However, this makes me think we'll get a few surprises when the mysterious online service is finally revealed.
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,052
Going by your reasoning about Dolphin not crashing in the same scenario I thought you were going to conclude Nvidia is using Dolphin code in their emulator. Glad that's not the case!
 

Deleted member 1067

User Requested Account Closure
Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,860
Give me Super Mario Sunshine so the world can know of a greater 3D Mario game than Galaxy and Odyssey.
Sunshine is a little weird though because it needs analog triggers to really work right. Nintendo has came up with stranger reasons not to do something though, and it wouldn't shock me if they just sit on this entire thing for years before selling anything. It took them years before they even started selling Wii games on the Wii U eshop despite it being a no brainer since launch day.
 

Tailzo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,144
I’d buy Phantasy Star Online, Skies of Arkadia and Super Monkey Ball again for Switch, if they were in HD and with true widescreen.
 

Kokonoe

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
7,323
Solution to IR:

Allow gyro usage in the left Joy Con for pointer and leave right Joy Con for Wii gyro. Touchscreen usage for portable mode pointing.
 

jmga

Member
Oct 27, 2017
266
Madrid
The Switch has a heavily underclocked Tegra, the title is completely misleading and it is just based on assumptions.
 

TC13

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
4,072
Gamecube is only a matter of when. Wii is a little more complicated as there's no way of replicating IR pointing without both a sensor bar and Wii Remote style controller.
We're getting Mario Galaxy on Shield, aren't we? Will they just completely cut the IR parts out?
 

wiill64

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,592
This is some great work! Hopefully Nintendo start talking about their plans for their classic games on Switch soon. Portable F-Zero GX would be amazing.
 

Bomblord

Member
Jan 11, 2018
3,052
Doesn't the Shield CPU run on double the clock of the Switch CPU?
I'm not entirely sure about the CPU but I remember someone on the old forum did some in depth testing and found the Shield GPU throttled to to the exact same clockspeed as the Switches docked mode when under load for an extended period of time. It's also worth noting Android and it's API's have some pretty significant overhead compared to the Switches barebones OS and the Switch has an addition GB of RAM.
 

TC13

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
4,072
The Switch has a heavily underclocked Tegra, the title is completely misleading and it is just based on assumptions.
I wouldn't call it "heavily underclocked" since in practical situations the Shield TV throttles and ends up performing about the same as the Switch, with 1GB of RAM less too.