Is Nintendo killing Switch emulators now because Switch 2 will match their features?

There’s no doubting that Nintendo has always had it out for emulation. By the letter of the law — and their “corporate responsibility” — it’s in their best interest to do so whether we agree with that or not. But it seems like things have gotten especially spicy here in 2024 with their increased focus on Switch emulation.

First it was Yuzu and Citra that were stricken from the internet and now Nintendo is doubling down by filing a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub, home to over 8,000 emulation projects that were forked from their code. But why the increased fervor over Switch emulators here in the 7th year of the console’s lifespan and on the veritable eve of announcing its successor? First off, I’m no insider, tipster, or expert and honestly I don’t follow emulation news closely at all. I just had this thought yesterday as I saw the DMCA news and it got me thinking:

It’s practically written in stone that the ‘Switch 2’ will be backward compatible and we’ve even just heard that some official Switch accessories will be supported by the new hardware. But what if the ‘Switch 2’ does what the emulators have been bragging about for years and brings better performance to original Switch titles?

I think it’s still unknown and unlikely that the ‘Switch 2’ will run at 4K resolutions so it probably won’t bring new clarity to backward compatible Switch games. But it could easily offer a “Boost Mode” similar to the PS4 Pro in order to bump up framerates and maybe smooth out some other long-standing rough edges of the original Switch hardware. 

Whether they pull this off through on-board silicon or brute force emulation, clearing the playing field now of potential competition seems like the cunning move. Just as people are balking at the upfront price or barren launch lineup of ‘Switch 2’ Nintendo could trot out the Boost Mode and reinvigorate interest in the Switch library while downplaying the need for those pesky “illegal emulators”. Footage would definitely highlight a smooth-running Pokemon Legends, a sharpened up Mario Kart 8, or foggy patches in Breath of the Wild not killing the framerate. I would not be surprised if they even had a new tier of Nintendo Switch Online to announce for such a feature.

I dunno, just another GameLuv Certified Daydream™ that I wanted to throw out there because it feels wholly possible to me right now. What do you think? Would you be more likely to buy a ‘Switch 2’ if it had backward compatible Boost Mode? And would you be immediately deflated if it came with a $12 bump to NSO’s monthly subscription?

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