When it comes to gaming companies, Nintendo is particularly notorious for being allergic to any kind of piracy or perceived misuse of their intellectual property. Despite this, Nintendo Games and Nintendo Console Games lead the emulation community like no other – and this community has already figured out how to emulate the Switch on the similarly shaped Steam Deck. Nintendo, of course, has none of that.
Nintendo has always been tough on any form of piracy, and anything it might consider piracy. One of the biggest news stories of 2021 concerned the draconian punishment meted out to a key figure in a company creating and selling hacking tools. The man’s name was Bowser.
This zero-tolerance policy has hurt fan projects, curation, emulation for years and years, alongside actual piracy. The latest target for Nintendo’s ever-vigilant legal team is emulation on the new Steam Deck.
It was really inevitable that we would end up here. The Steam Deck is, for all intents and purposes, a PC despite its portable form factor. As such, you can do all the PC magic you would on any desktop or laptop computer, where emulation thrives. It looks a lot like the Nintendo Switch, so naturally people would try to emulate games from the console.
As PC gamers are used to doing, they succeeded. The Deck proved to be an excellent emulation platform, and software such as Yuzu Switch made emulation downright easy. Content creators like ThePhawx have uploaded videos of the Switch emulation test on the Deck, showing impressive results – these games varied, but in some cases like Super Mario Galaxy, the Deck performed better than the Switch .
Ever since news of the Deck’s emulation prowess spread, Nintendo has been generous with DMCA takedowns. ThePhawx was among those affected, and the company is also distributing teardowns to other emulation-related videos. Of course, once something is online, you can’t really get rid of it – and the cat is out of the bag.
Switch emulation will not be stopped by Nintendo’s efforts, as they can only slow the spread of interest and know-how. Ultimately, it just goes to show that Valve has created an extremely versatile and flexible platform with the Steam Deck – and if they manage to reduce weight and bulk, that really makes the Switch obsolete in a way. .