A group of Nintendo fans have managed to get The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild running on PC. Though the project is still very much a work in progress — the frame rate lags at 15 fps and there are still bugs galore — the group behind the undertaking feels confident they can have the whole thing up and running the way it’s supposed to in just a few months.
The project is an initiative from the people behind CEMU, a Wii U emulator, that a few months ago got Super Mario to run on PC in 4K resolution. According to the devs, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was ready to run on CEMU pretty much straight out of the box, requiring very little work on their part to get it going initially. The trick of course is to now getting it running well, without the stuttering frame rate or the game breaking bugs.
As there is no emulator for the Nintendo Switch (yet), CEMU is running the Wii U version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which shouldn’t impact the experience too much despite the differences in resolution between the two consoles. The fan-made video above was captured on a PC running mid-range hardware — i7-4790K CPU, GTX 780 GPU, and 8GB — which shows that the demands the game places on a computer system are fairly reasonable.
Technical issues aside, it remains to be seen what Nintendo thinks of this development: the Japanese corporation takes copyright infringement pretty seriously, even suing a company that arranged Nintendo-themed go-kart tours of Tokyo for that very reason. When it comes to projects like CEMU, the company has been a bit more unpredictable; Pokemon Uranium was shut down as quick as Nintendo could manage, while GameCube emulator Dolphin has been going for years.
However, as the Switch and The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild have only just rolled off the production line, it could be that Nintendo will be a bit more militant than it is with Dolphin, especially as there is no way for CEMU fans to get their hands on a copy except through piracy.
How this will play out will be revealed in due course, but it could very well be that PC gamers will be able to play the newest Zelda game on their preferred platform in just a few months.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now available on the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Wii U.