- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom has launched to glowing reviews owing to its polished experience given the limitations of the Nintendo Switch.
- Prior to its official release, Tears of The Kingdom was leaked online and happened to be playable on PC via emulators. This led to several mods including one that enabled 60 fps.
Frame rate in games nowadays is often dynamic and it’s rare for products to not support that feature. However, that’s not the case with hardware such as the Nintendo Switch where developers know what kind of power, or lack thereof, is available to them. It’s no surprise that Switch games, including Tears of The Kingdom, are designed with a static 30 FPS cap in mind but even that is often found to be inconsistent.
The modding community somehow manages to work at a pace that puts developers to shame. Problems we expect the original makers to resolve with patches are often addressed by the modding community as a temporary form of respite. This is likely to be a byproduct of the current ecosystem. However, it often results in various out-of-the-box occurrences as well.
At this point in time, if your PC is strong enough, you can actually run Tears of The Kingdom at 60 fps via emulation. But it’s not a consistent or bug-free experience that one might expect. Considering the nature of game design and emulation specifics, it’s going to be a while before the game can be played with such features via an emulator as it currently suffers from drawbacks such as slow motion and other hiccups.
According to a report from PC Gamer, veteran emulation programmer Robert Peip states, “Typically PC games are not bound to the rendering speed, but instead the game logic runs at the same speed, no matter what fps you reach.” Further elaborating on the topic, Peip says that these hiccups occur in most modern games in unusual cases. Factors involving the frame rate and the game’s ability to tolerate fluctuation are at play here.
The process of emulating games involves deep-diving into the game’s construction, learning how it functions and what parts of it can be tweaked to alter how it works. Rolling out updates to achieve optimized emulation is a fairly long journey of trial and error which ultimately provides results. Most of these patches that are currently available for Tears of The Kingdom have been out for some time.
Unfortunately, the reason for that is rooted in leaks and piracy. Tears of The Kingdom made its way online and was playable, in some capacity, a few days prior to its release. Naturally, this isn’t ethical no matter how you slice it. Several hacks and adjustments of such nature have been shared on the r/NewYuzuPiracy subreddit and the mod itself was posted prior to the official release. We won’t be linking to the mod due to legal concerns.
Nintendo has spurred to action several times in the past in an effort to combat emulation as a whole and this time was no different. The problem here is that people who emulate for the sake of content preservation get packaged with those who use more underhanded means. This raises the question of where one must draw the line when we talk about preserving media and emulation.
Now that the game is out in the wild, the modding community is bound to make all sorts of efforts for Tears of The Kingdom. It’s going to be hard to distinguish mods that came before and after the release and the link to piracy won’t prevent people from downloading the game. Nevertheless, it happens to be unfortunate for those people who purchase their own copies to dump their files and play the game on a better platform.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom is out now for the Nintendo Switch.
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