A developer that goes by the online handle ‘@daeken,’ has managed to get Nintendo Switch games to run on Apple’s new M1 Macs, including the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini.
In the video posted to Twitter, Super Mario Odyssey runs on macOS through the ‘Yuzu,’ an open-source Nintendo Switch emulator for Windows, Linux and macOS. While the emulation doesn’t seem perfect and encounters issues related to a “MoltenVK limitation,” according to The 8-bit, it’s fascinating @daeken was able to port Yuzu to the M1 chip so quickly. @daeken also played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and plans to test more titles on Yuzu for the M1 chip in the future.
That said, part of why releasing a Switch emulator for M1 Macs is possible is because both Nintendo’s console and Apple’s new chip are ARM-based.
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
This also means that the emulator could eventually be ported to iOS and iPadOS, though there’s no way Apple or Nintendo would allow the app to be available in the App Store. It would more than likely need to be released by more nefarious means through a developer profile.
“if Hypervisor.framework is ever made available on iOS, porting it would be pretty painless I imagine,” tweeted @daeken.
Of course, it’s also important to point out that while emulators like this aren’t technically illegal, getting your hands on actual games, commonly referred to as ROMs, is.
Still, it’s fascinating that even the video game homebrew community has already started to work with Apple’s new M1 with some level of success.