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Breath of the Wild PC Emulation


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I think you'd have to be awfully naive to believe that people using this emulator won't be pirating the game. Not all of them of course, but it's giving them the opportunity.  It's careless at best.

 

I agree that emulation is an interesting topic, generally, but this thread is specifically about Breath of The Wild. 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

That adds a lot to the topic doesn't it? No, but it does lead the conversation towards the same old boring stuff discussed earlier in the thread as Isaac says. Emulation is a very interesting topic and it's amazing to see what can be done with one of the best games ever made. Go and make your "piracy is mmmkay?' topic if you insist, but don't spoil this one.

Sorry but when you are enabling piracy of games that have just been released (which is what happened with Zelda) then you dont get to play the 'for the good of the community card'.

 

Anyway, its pretty easy to see what the Cemu devs are in it for:

image.png.4df4bf343fd40c932252e841def90c4d.png

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I’m a big fan of emulation, but it’s more because of the convenience and (yes) preservation of older games. The emulation of modern titles is quite interesting, but my first thought is that it’s impressive how these emu developers can make such swift progress, rather than wondering how long it would take to download an image of the game. Besides, no two configurations of PCs are the same, my own PC is behind the times, and so even if I wanted to obtain and play BotW illegally (unlikely; I've never finished a Zelda and I stopped following the series years ago) it would probably be a complete mess. And that’s before the plugin and configuration hoops you have to jump through with the software.

 

I think emulation has its place when it comes to playing rare or ancient games, and I’ve often found that my favourite emulated titles are ones I’ve gone on to buy via re-releases. I remember once trying to emulate Rez on Chankast out of mild curiosity, even though it was laughably slow and the effect of the musical cues was completely broken. Today I’ve bought about three copies of the game on PS2, one on 360 (the XBLA release), one on PS4 (Infinite) and I’ll probably buy future re-releases too. Another story: I remember posting a question here back in the early 2000s asking why Metal Slug had certain weapon pickups that were animated, and I instantly got the “it’s probably an emulation issue because you didn’t pay for the $2500 Neo Geo cart like you should have” response – I’ve since bought the game via several digital re-releases and compilations. (Oh, and those compilation/digital versions have the animated weapon pickups too, along with visible bullet variations on things like the HMG, so it's clear that each of the animated items is a different pickup of sorts. I had to find that out myself through gameplay because my question had been derailed by emulation politics...)

 

I digress. Emulating older games is neat when it’s the only way that you can play them, but emulating new – current-gen – stuff is usually more hassle than it’s worth, and only really noteworthy because of what emulation today is capable of. I have no interest in emulating the latest Nintendo games and I think that there’s too much of a minefield with hardware compatibility and performance to even try, but I can't say I don't admire the technical achievement. I didn’t think we’d see much progress on current-gen emulation for years (although I haven’t really been keeping up with emulation news) so it’s a surprise to see this happening so soon. Maybe the Switch will end up as its own “virtual console” decades from now. ;) 

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There's nothing wrong with emulators in general, they're open source and operate perfectly legally as they use no proprietary code.

 

What is shady with CEMU in particular is that it's closed source, only worked on by one guy and yet has faster progress than any other emulator out there for any platform. Basically people think it's based on leaked developer stuff from Nintendo and probably using their code.

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1 hour ago, buizel said:

 

Is it? Friend Codes being criticized, lazy Virtual Console and Online implementation are pretty common things that people are vocally displeased about Nintendo things.

 

Looks like I stepped into the wrong neighborhood where sensible discussion took a sharp left hours ago.

 

How is a friend code any different to typing in a username? Most friend additions are made via previous hardware, iOS or Android interactions. You even get to choose from a recently played list. 

It’s a nonsense criticism. 

 

The voice chat implementation is basic, but at least I’m given an option to use an app or discord on a smartphone. 

 

Lazy Virtual Console? We don’t know the details of the implementation yet. The small fee to upgrade previous purchases from Wii to Wii U was a brilliant option to be given. You didn’t have to buy Balloon Fight again. Another nonsense criticism. 

 

Gamer entitlement, built up over such a short few generations of game consoles, is a sight to behold. 

 

Pragmatism be damned give it all to me now!!

 

 

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36 minutes ago, PC Master Race said:

Sorry but when you are enabling piracy of games that have just been released (which is what happened with Zelda) then you dont get to play the 'for the good of the community card'.

 

Anyway, its pretty easy to see what the Cemu devs are in it for:

image.png.4df4bf343fd40c932252e841def90c4d.png

I get what you're saying, but the game being fairly recent doesn't make it less interesting. The opposite in fact, emulators for last-gen machines are fascinating. The Wii U happened to be released at the ass end of that generation, and thus you have this weird situation that BotW is brand new. Mame encountered a similar issue, with SNK releasing new games that ran on Mame day one - iirc they blocked those newer games but then unofficial modded versions of Mame removed that restriction. But regardless, from a purely tech point of view, last-gen emulation is even more fascinating. Current-gen would be even moreso. And yes, I know not everyone is like me - buying every game I really like even if I'm playing them on Dolphin or whatever. But that's a choice everyone has to make for themselves. I'm just here for the tech stuff.

 

There's two sides to the Patreon stuff. Usually this shit was made by hobbyist enthusiasts for other enthusiasts in their spare time so you can't really expect let alone demand any speedy or quality results. On the one hand I don't mind if these folks are rewarded. Even better, if it allows for better emulation. The main reason there's still no OG Xbox emu is because nobody is willing to dedicate enough time, the interest isn't high enough like it is with PS2. On the other hand, Cemu is definitely coasting on the popularity of BotW. I don't have an easy answer for this, but I do know that as a fan of gaming in general (note for Stanley: I own BotW on both WiiU and Switch) I'm very interested in seeing what an emulator such as this can achieve. I still have my Wii and a copy of Galaxy, but playing it from start to finish on Dolphin in HD with a proper Xbox controller was an amazing gaming experience that I would have missed out on without those fine Dolphin folk.

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20 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I get what you're saying, but the game being fairly recent doesn't make it less interesting. The opposite in fact, emulators for last-gen machines are fascinating. The Wii U happened to be released at the ass end of that generation, and thus you have this weird situation that BotW is brand new. Mame encountered a similar issue, with SNK releasing new games that ran on Mame day one - iirc they blocked those newer games but then unofficial modded versions of Mame removed that restriction. But regardless, from a purely tech point of view, last-gen emulation is even more fascinating. Current-gen would be even moreso. And yes, I know not everyone is like me - buying every game I really like even if I'm playing them on Dolphin or whatever. But that's a choice everyone has to make for themselves. I'm just here for the tech stuff.

 

There's two sides to the Patreon stuff. Usually this shit was made by hobbyist enthusiasts for other enthusiasts. In their spare time so tou can't really expect let alone demand any speedy or quality results. On the one hand I don't mind if these folks are rewarded. Even better, if it allows for better emulation. The main reason there's still no OG Xbox emu is because nobody is willing to dedicate enough time, the interest isn't high enough like it is with PS2. Ob the other hand, Cemu is definitely coasting on the popularity of BotW. I don't have an easy answer for this, but I do know that as a fan of gaming in general (note for Stanley: I own BotW on both WiiU and Switch) I'm very interested in seeing what an emulator such as this can achieve. I still have my Wii and a copy of Galaxy, but playing it from start to finish ob Dolphin in HD with a proper Xbox controller was an amazing gaming experience that I would have missed out on without those fine Dolphin folk.

I'm not the police, but I appreciate you noting the fact you own the game. 

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5 hours ago, buizel said:

 

God it looks beautiful, makes me want Nintendo to hurry up and have their console business fail, cause we'd get a much better looking and running Zelda on PS4 (and of course play it on Vita/ any mobile phone for those saying "only Switch you can play on toilet/bus/etc", seem to forget you can play PS4 games on Vita/Android/iOS). Nintendo and their dev teams make my favourite video games of all time, I just hate how ass-backwards their hardware constantly is.

 

Nntendo hardware is the best hardware. 

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2 minutes ago, the_debaser said:

 

Nntendo hardware is the best hardware. 

Pfft. I'd rather play Zelda on the bus tethering my Vita to my phone on 4G and using PS4 remote play, that back touch screen more than makes for up the lack of L2/R2/L3/R3 buttons. Switch Schwitch.

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RE: Emulation,

I’ve now found my preferred way to play retro stuff is with actual real hardware with the real controllers (which matters a lot) but using a software solution that essentially means you’re running “Roms” on real hardware. Everdrives essential. 

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13 hours ago, buizel said:

I don't know whos to blame - is it the shareholders?

 

Short-term profit-minded management, as it always has been. Sony are no more generous, but they occupy a sideways market of more advanced hardware expectations, where they have to juggle maximum savings with tech that's still somewhat impressive. You'll find out how cheaply put-together PS2s were if you take one apart. The Xbox was actually built too well from a profit PoV.

 

Nintendo have tremendously talented teams who can only work with what they're given. I'd be happy if they merged with Sony or Microsoft, and exclusives were phased out across the board. Smartphones all have one main job, and yet there remains a competitive two-way market between manufacturers. Apple aside, it only seems to be consoles that inspire this level of tech tribalism, because by and large, we're all united by their games. If I could cherry-pick elements from the Switch, PS4 and One, damn straight I would. (And a Ueda-directed Zelda.)

 

 

12 hours ago, PC Master Race said:

I cant believe people are that stupid to think that getting out of the hardware business would allow Nintendo to keep the same control and level of quality their tent pole releases offer.

 

There's nowt besides bipartite egos stopping them from merging with conditions, such as minimum development times. SEGA are a poor example because they were pretty much done when they offered themselves up.

 

12 hours ago, Shoes said:

Because to make it playable you need a powerful PC. Right? Has anyone got it working on a sub-£300 system?

 

Specious, fella, because has anyone got Uncharted 4 working on a sub-£200 system... An X2 Switch could've managed it.

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6 hours ago, S0L said:

 

Ignoring for the moment how I feel about a recent game running under emulation whilst its still very much for sale (not sure I approve for the record), from a purely dev angle, I'd argue there are various issues on display from even the most cursory glance of the videos you linked.

 

First the aspect ratio is mangled, the field of view also looks out of sorts too. The font rendering is out in a distracting way. Alterations to the lighting have crushed the blacks and muddied a bunch of textures. 

 

There are clear graphical errors with the ripples in the water and a bunch of the particle effects, alpha rendering doesnt seem right in many places.

 

Something is out of sorts with the controls inputs on demo here too, the camera movement is very digital, potentially as its captured using a mix of controller and keyboard.

 

I realise changes to the games shaders and rendering styles may be a personal taste, but rather than improve on the original, it's lost some of that Ghibli-esque feel and now looks over satured to the level it resembles The Curse of Monkey Island.

 

If you are judging this from a purity of emulation angle, I would argue there is a fair way to go.

7

 

I'm going to leave out all of the bit where you go into a discussion about which is the superior way to play (because why does one way have to be superior?) and just address these points. Firstly, the FoV and aspect ratio are obviously off because it's being upscaled to ultrawide. If you want to you can play at the native aspect ratio and FoV and it looks like retail.

 

The lighting changes are completely optional, here's a version of the game running with default lighting:

 

 

and to answer your question about a comparison, it's probably best to post this video here (unfortunately for the Cemu version he's using custom shaders, hence the different lighting):

 

 

'It is done' was perhaps an over-exaggeration if you really want to nit-pick details, but for all intents and purposes if you want to play Zelda in 4K at 60fps that is now possible.

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7 hours ago, S0L said:

This is a firm that cares about sub-second timing on input windows, sometimes to thousands of seconds. Unlocking the framerate will interfere with that to a greater degree I'm sure too.

 

Thousandths would be one-frame links, and there's nothing remotely that tight in it. It maybe dips into hundredths very occasionally for the trickiest reflects, but it's mostly tenths. CEMU won't have a reduced polling rate, but a wonky framerate will disrupt timing on the player's side.

 

It's not the best way to play the game right now, and I agree that its modders are saturation-happy in a sometimes ugly overreaction to its washed-out palette, but it's an insight into what an X2 could've achieved had the Switch gone that way. As much as you're all entitled to dismiss it as a trivial improvement (or a tarnishing, even), I also think it's okay for some of us to feel a tinge of disappointment.

 

And while we all agree on giving money to those who create the games we enjoy, those responsible in this case are mostly on fixed salaries and its great sales have just prevented them from being fired. Did many of them get a pay rise, do you reckon? That's not a defence of piracy whatsoever — you can totally see the flaws in it, but select higher-ups are the ones getting rich at the same time as cockblocking hardware with a bit more juice. Buying another copy at this point won't send a penny to 99% of its staff.

 

Piracy obviously isn't the answer — a more direct channel is.

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2 hours ago, Escaped said:

 

Short-term profit-minded management, as it always has been. Sony are no more generous, but they occupy a sideways market of more advanced hardware expectations, where they have to juggle maximum savings with tech that's still somewhat impressive. You'll find out how cheaply put-together PS2s were if you take one apart. The Xbox was actually built too well from a profit PoV.

 

Nintendo have tremendously talented teams who can only work with what they're given. I'd be happy if they merged with Sony or Microsoft, and exclusives were phased out across the board. Smartphones all have one main job, and yet there remains a competitive two-way market between manufacturers. Apple aside, it only seems to be consoles that inspire this level of tech tribalism, because by and large, we're all united by their games. If I could cherry-pick elements from the Switch, PS4 and One, damn straight I would. (And a Ueda-directed Zelda.)

 

 

 

There's nowt besides bipartite egos stopping them from merging with conditions, such as minimum development times. SEGA are a poor example because they were pretty much done when they offered themselves up.

 

 

Specious, fella, because has anyone got Uncharted 4 working on a sub-£200 system... An X2 Switch could've managed it.

I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you implying that Zelda BoTW was delayed and in development longer than expected because of egos? Could it not be that the game we ended up with is as good as it is because Nintendo had the luxury of being able to delay it, and dedicate more resources to it? 

 

Could it also be possible that because they designed the hardware they have a better understanding of how to use it, and the hardware itself is designed around the games they prefer making?

 

All that would be lost if they went multiplatform. And why should they anyway if their own hardware is shifting more than the competition? I can't imagine sales in Japan would be as good as they are if they were relying on Xbox One, which sold less than 100 units last week.

 

 

When you see a Switch game advertised you're not just seeing the advert for the game itself, but also the platform. This reinforces their brand and leads customers to buy more of their games. This would be lost in a sea of homogenised third party releases as they compete alongside Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty. Games such as ARMS would be considered a failure.

 

I'm sure the choice of whether to use the X2 chip was on the table, but was considered too costly. But to be honest, if them doing the best they can with limited hardware is giving us games such as Zelda and Mario, then it's not really an issue.

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1 hour ago, Escaped said:

And while we all agree on giving money to those who create the games we enjoy, those responsible in this case are mostly on fixed salaries and its great sales have just prevented them from being fired. Did many of them get a rise, do you reckon? That's not a defence of piracy whatsoever — you can totally see the flaws in it, but the select higher-ups are the ones getting rich at the same time as cockblocking hardware with a bit more juice. Buying another copy at this point won't send a penny to 99% of its staff.

 

Piracy obviously isn't the answer — a more direct channel is.

They're on fixed salaries and able to continue making games because of contiuned sales. So yes of course purchasing the game helps them.

 

By all means send a message to their senior management that you're dissatisfied with their weak hardware by voting with your wallet. But that doesn't then give you the right to enjoy their games for free.

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31 minutes ago, Darhkwing said:

Is there a website specifically that deals with mods for this game? 

 

Anyone "dropped" in any character models into BOTW?

 

It's your usual array of mad shit.

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, S0L said:

But as the best way to play, this definitely won't nor can ever be.

 

Yeah, but you can play as Naruto riding Thomas the Tank Engine while a giant Shrek lumbers after you so that niche crowd will be made up!

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9 hours ago, S0L said:

You can get close with emulation, but it'll always be different in some key way. You may feel its 'good enough' but I can tell you now, the people who worked on that game will be able to quickly point out how the emulation will have broken the experience they intended in ways that make it a lesser way to experience their vision properly.

I get what you're saying and that you take pride in your work. But you're making it sound like emulation and even user-created content is by definition always inferior to what the developer intended. You almost make that vision sound sacred. Now, as a fan I respect the work you guys put into your art. But the way you put it makes it sound like the Elder Scrolls games - for example - aren't far better with mods. That the borders in The Evil Within are indeed part of a sacred vision and not annoying as fuck. Developers are, at the end of the day, also human and no game is perfect. Even Nintendo, just look at Galaxy - I would argue that that game is far more enjoyable on an emulator if only because the controls are more precise. Nintendo wanted waggle über alles and so the spin move is relegated to a waggle motion instead of a straight forward digital button input like it was in Super Mario World. Not everyone agrees with this, but the point is that the game is far more enjoyable to me on Dolphin than it ever was on the Wii. Same with Dreamcast games; by your argument every DC game was designed with that specific hardware in mind. But the controller is far from ergonomical and it hurts my hands really bad now that my arthritis has gotten worse. No such problems with the 360 and XB1 controllers however because they're designed better. I still have all my DC games (it's one of my favourite platforms) but I'm using emulation to occasionally replay those games. And it's a far more enjoyable experience compared to busting up my hands on the original hardware for which those games were designed.

Also, there are constant re-releases of old games running in emulator by the original developer or publisher, or at the very least under license. Capcom and Konami, among others, feel emulation isn't just good enough - it's good enough to charge money for. Nintendo uses emulation in the NES and SNES classic. Hell, Microsoft's entire BC solution is a very smart implementation of emulation - in my opinion, and lots of others seem to agree, those games are better than they ever were. Far better than on the original hardware. So much better that they feel like actual remasters at times. 

So while I agree with you and respect you as a developer, I think you're dismissing emulation far too easily or at least too broadly. It's far more than just "an interesting feat of reverse engineering" and the original product is not by definition always superior.

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Yup, Mario Galaxy is a perfect example of a game that's more fun to play emulated than on its original platform - the decision to put the spin move as a waggle rather than a button was the only real flaw of an otherwise incredible game.

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51 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I get what you're saying and that you take pride in your work. But you're making it sound like emulation and even user-created content is by definition always inferior to what the developer intended. You almost make that vision sound sacred. Now, as a fan I respect the work you guys put into your art. But the way you put it makes it sound like the Elder Scrolls games - for example - aren't far better with mods. That the borders in The Evil Within are indeed part of a sacred vision and not annoying as fuck. Developers are, at the end of the day, also human and no game is perfect. Even Nintendo, just look at Galaxy - I would argue that that game is far more enjoyable on an emulator if only because the controls are more precise. Nintendo wanted waggle über alles and so the spin move is relegated to a waggle motion instead of a straight forward digital button input like it was in Super Mario World. Not everyone agrees with this, but the point is that the game is far more enjoyable to me on Dolphin than it ever was on the Wii. Same with Dreamcast games; by your argument every DC game was designed with that specific hardware in mind. But the controller is far from ergonomical and it hurts my hands really bad now that my arthritis has gotten worse. No such problems with the 360 and XB1 controllers however because they're designed better. I still have all my DC games (it's one of my favourite platforms) but I'm using emulation to occasionally replay those games. And it's a far more enjoyable experience compared to busting up my hands on the original hardware for which those games were designed.

Also, there are constant re-releases of old games running in emulator by the original developer or publisher, or at the very least under license. Capcom and Konami, among others, feel emulation isn't just good enough - it's good enough to charge money for. Nintendo uses emulation in the NES and SNES classic. Hell, Microsoft's entire BC solution is a very smart implementation of emulation - in my opinion, and lots of others seem to agree, those games are better than they ever were. Far better than on the original hardware. So much better that they feel like actual remasters at times. 

So while I agree with you and respect you as a developer, I think you're dismissing emulation far too easily or at least too broadly. It's far more than just "an interesting feat of reverse engineering" and the original product is not by definition always superior.

I broadly agree with this, although I also agree with SOL in that the most important thing to focus on is getting the game running as accurately as possible first before altering lighting and colour saturation etc . Clearly this version of BOTW isn't finished and there's no way these hobbyists will ever have the insight or resources that Nintendo do to test every aspect of it thoroughly enough, even if they might have insider knowledge or access to Nintendo's own code. 

 

I think what it boils down to is that it falls into a grey area where they're emulating what is essentially now last gen hardware but the focus is on this one game which has also simultaneously released on a brand new platform. 

 

Some people might see it as an interesting engineering project or whatever but personally I don't think they should be earning money off the back of Nintendo's work, and in the process enabling piracy. The only thing that makes it interesting for me is the game itself, not the technical side of emulating it. 

 

I just think the timing is off. Give it a few years and it wouldn't seem as bad. Releasing it now when there are already perfectly acceptable ways of playing it seems irresponsible. 

 

 

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I completely agree that the timing is questionable for this specific game. But I just thought that in your first post you were a bit too critical of emulation in general, and a bit too fanatical in your "play it as intended" stance. You said it in such way that it sounded like you were criticising emulation in general to such a degree that even mods would be an affront to the creative vision of the developers. But it's also very interesting to read your take on it all which is obviously different from my take, as a consumer and fan with no programming knowledge at all. I can only tell you what feels right and what plays better to me. All imo, and hence my Galaxy example.

 

That being said, I have no intention of playing BotW on Cemu or even just quickly checking it out. It looks good enough (for now) on the Switch and I love how it plays on that hardware. I'm only following this thread and looking at the YouTube vids because I think it's fascinating how much they've achieved with relatively recent hardware. I'm similarly fascinated by the PS3 emulator, even though I have no interest in testing it myself until games are properly playable and the emulator presents a significant advantage. That can be convenience (having to dust off, make room for, and hook up an old console), comfort (like the Dreamcast controllers hurting my hands really bad or hating motion controls that feel needlessly tacked on), or even a lack of other options (my console broke but I still have all these games and there's no BC). Or simply that the original game suffered from terrible performance on the original hardware, with framerate drops and tearing and the like, while playing it on an emulator smooths out all these rough edges. This is not unheard of.

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Hence the clarification. I realise there is a whole other debate on the legality/morality of it, it feels that has been had already in this thread plenty of times so I didn't want to get into it from that angle.

 

Anyway, I think I've made the point I wanted to perhaps a little better this time!

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