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Zelda: Breath of the Wild already up and running on PC

Joy-Cons shown working on PC, too.

A group of programmers are trying to get Nintendo's Wii U and Switch masterpiece Zelda: Breath of the Wild running on PC.

The team have been working since 2015 on the CEMU emulator, which runs Wii U games on PC with (currently) varying degrees of success. Zelda is up and running already, although it is still early days.

A work-in-progress gameplay clip shows Breath of the Wild's opening scene working more or less as expected, although the frame-rate hovers around the 15fps mark and bugs plague the rest of the game.

Regardless, team members have spoken on reddit of how they expect the full game to only be a couple of months worth of work - which seems no time at all to get such an enormous game running as intended.

Here's how it looks so far, recorded on a i7-4790K PC running a GTX 780 and 8GB RAM (thanks, PC Gamer):

CEMU is funded through Patreon. The team is supported by some 1857 people at the time of writing, who collectively donate $7782 per month (around £6300).

In many ways, CEMU is a spiritual successor to Dolphin, the GameCube emulator whose progress we've followed over the years. Provided you have the PC power, it will let you run Super Mario Sunshine at 60fps, and now boot every game in GameCube's library.

But like Dolphin, or any other emulator, CEMU runs pirated copies of games. While the success of getting Zelda (sort of) working on PC so quickly is worthy of note, it begs the question: would those who will download and play it have bought a Switch or GameCube copy of the game legitimately instead?

After all, a year subscription to CEMU's Patreon at its average donation level is enough to just buy the game.

Nintendo takes a dim view of unofficial emulators. In a FAQ on the official Nintendo website, the company calls emulators "the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers", adding "emulators developed to play illegally copied Nintendo software promote piracy". Our own Chris Bratt investigated Nintendo's thorny relationship with emulators in the video, below.

Watch on YouTube

In other Switch PC news, fans have found that you can use the console's Joy-Con controllers on PC - just as you can Switch's Pro Controller:

Watch on YouTube

The difference with the Joy-Con is that only one can be used for a single-player game, although both can be used for local multiplayer.

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