Nintendo Switch games could be coming to macOS

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The Nintendo Switch's flexible Joy-Con controllers work just fine with a Mac (but not an iPhone).
Breath of the Wild on your iPhone? Not quite.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Nintendo Switch games could soon be popping up on macOS.

The team behind a popular Nintendo 3DS emulator for Mac is hard at work on a new Switch emulator called Yuzu. It will eventually allow fans to enjoy franchises like Super Mario and Zelda on platforms that aren’t officially supported by Nintendo.

The Switch has quickly become Nintendo’s fastest-selling console, with more than 10 million units sold during its first nine months of availability. It is on track to outsell even the Wii U, and that’s thanks to a growing list of stellar games.

Nintendo Switch boasts spectacular games

Within a year, the Switch has been blessed by Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and other great games that have sold incredibly well. You can only play these titles on Nintendo consoles — most are a Switch exclusive.

But that could be about to change. The team behind the hugely popular Citra emulator for Nintendo 3DS are now building a Switch emulator for PC. It’s in the early stages of development right now, with only homebrew titles supported.

Later on, however, Yuzu will almost certainly support (illegal) Switch ROMs, allowing you to play all the games mentioned above — and any others that come to the Switch — on a computer.

There are many caveats

There are some things that should be noted, though. Support for macOS hasn’t been confirmed yet (very little has), but given that Citra is available on Mac, there’s a good chance Yuzu will be eventually, too.

There is no word on when we can expect Yuzu to be available; building an emulator that runs well takes a lot of hard work, and again, Yuzu is still in the early stages of development.

Nevertheless, it’s incredibly exciting to think that Switch games could be available on macOS at some point. Breath of the Wild can already be played on PC using a Wii U emulator, and it works well if you have the right hardware.

I would still recommend a Switch to anyone who’s interested in playing Nintendo’s growing catalog of awesome titles. It really is a spectacular system, and you won’t enjoy the quite same experience on another platform. It won’t be anywhere near as portable, either.