Wii U emulator devs show incredible Breath of the Wild progress in new video

Two weeks ago, the developers of the Wii U emulator Cemu got Breath of the Wild to boot and run well enough to play the first few minutes of the game—a hell of an accomplishment just days after the game's release. Breath of the Wild ran, but wasn't really playable due to physics glitches that broke abilities and a framerate that sat around 15 frames per second. Well, what a difference two weeks makes. The video above (click here for full size) is Breath of the Wild running in the next release of Cemu, version 1.7.4, coming to Patreon subscribers on April 2 and general release on April 9. The difference is genuinely stunning.

Breath of the Wild looks to be running at its full 30 fps for much of the video, with bits of slowdown at certain moments, like when Link spin attacks a bokoblin enemy. The Wii U version itself suffers from frequent slowdown, but for the emulated game to already be running at full performance in two weeks is incredible. Grass, which was rendering underneath the ground, now appears in place and can be cut. Water collision previously didn't work, so you couldn't swim. It's fixed. 

Several of Link's rune abilities, like Stasis and Magnesis, also had physics issues that rendered them impossible to use. In the 1.7.4 video, those runes appear to be working flawlessly too.

The video is clearly cut together to show just how many previous issues affecting Breath of the Wild have been resolved in this new emulator build. There's still some noticeable slowdown and a small graphical glitch or two in the video, which represents just a few minutes of a massive, massive game. There are almost certainly still bugs to be found and many, many improvements to be made before Breath of the Wild can be emulated without noticeable issues.

But in two weeks, it looks like it's gone from barely running to—quite possibly—being stable enough to play and complete.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).