Nintendo did not concern itself with getting into a specifications war with Microsoft and Sony when it developed its hybrid Switch console. As such, even though it is the newest game system on the block, it is not the most powerful, nor is it built for 4K Ultra HD game play. That means the widely praised The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is destined to live in 1080p on the big screen and 1,280x720 on the Switch's 6.2-inch display, though wouldn't it be neat if it could be rendered in 4K? Well, it has been, through a port to the PC.
Exzap, developer of the Cemu Wii U emulator for PC, got the newest Zelda title working for PC and posted a video of it running at 4K. It does not run all that well, with framerates often hovering around 15 frames per second and below. The port also encounters various bugs, such as missing textures and almost no rendering of grass, along with some clipping issues. However, it's running nonetheless, which is pretty impressive considering it only came out last week.
"The goal is to get every game running 100 percent eventually," Exzap told Motherboard in an interview. "How we get there and how long it will take is difficult to answer. But in regards to [Breath of the Wild], I think we will see small incremental improvements in almost every future Cemu release. It's been this way for most other games so far."
There is reason to be optimistic. The team behind Cemu was able to get Xenoblade Chronicles X running smoothly on PCs at 4K, so it might be only a matter of months before Breath of the Wild is able to the same.
What is seen in the video is essentially a software emulator running the Wii U version of Breath of the Wild. It's running on a PC consisting of an Intel Core i7-6700K processor cooled with an Corsair H110i all-in-one cooler, ASUS Z170-A motherboard, 16GB of DDR4-2400 RAM, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming graphics card, Kingston 120GB SSD, and an EVGA 600W power supply.
Getting a port of Breath of the Wild capable or running smoothly at 4K on a PC might not be legal, but it sure would be exciting. The game has garnered rave reviews across the web, helping the system to surpass the mighty Wii as the record holder for most sales during the first two days of launch in Nintendo's history.