It was bound to happen sooner or later. The Nintendo Switch has been hacked through an exploit in the games hardware, and now homebrewers are beginning to upload emulation support for tons of older game consoles. The latest proof coming from several tweets by known game modder and dataminer @_Mizumi.
While the Nintendo 64 games have been the focus of the recent emulation on his twitter feed, Mizumi has also proved that numerous classic games, such as Final Fantasy and Spyro the Dragon, can be played on the Switch through homebrewed emulation. Several known emulation softwares have struggled on the Switch so far, such as the 3DS emulator Citra, which suffers from an extremely low framerate of 1-5 FPS.
Mizumi likened the switch to a giant PlayStation Portable. The PSP was renowned for having several exploits that hackers were able to manipulate to run unsigned code on the handheld. This allowed them to port massive amounts of data, including emulator software, onto the system.
The Switch is a bit more complex, but many believe that no firmware updates will solve the exploit (which the lack of a fix to date may indeed confirm). This means the "jailbreak" the Switch are permanent for those willing to try it, leading to the console being a haven for hackers, homebrewers, and Linux users.
This has been an ongoing battle between Nintendo and the Homebrew community for months now, with several hackers able to upload custom firmware and emulators to the console. The tools for hacking the Switch were made public a few months ago, but Nintendo has fired back by banning players from Nintendo's online service.
Concerns have been raised over the legitimacy of this widespread homebrew market. Several hackers, for example, have already made headlines for creating adult-themed content and spreading it online through the Luigi Balloon Game in Super Mario Odyssey. Other concerns fall onto piracy, with Splatoon 2 hackers forcing downloadable content onto unsuspecting players. Other concerns by Nintendo have been raised over the potential of cheating players online as well.
It is unknown how far Nintendo and the homebrew community are going to push the boundaries with the Switch. Nintendo is planning to launch their online services in the fall, which may also complicate things further. Nintendo has positioned their Online Service as the successor to the Virtual Console service, and plan on re-releasing classic games from their back category at a semi-regular pace.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you approve of homebrew emulation on the Switch? Leave your comments below.