Latest Nintendo Switch update improves N64 emulation… sort of

Better late than never?

Link fighting Ganondorf

Let's be honest: the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack was never a good deal, but it became doubly terrible when everyone realized just how bad its emulation of N64 games is.

Well, while we still can't recommend you spend money on it, it seems that an update to the Switch has improved the on-board emulator somewhat, but it's still not really where you want it to be.

Dark tidings — The room where Link battles Dark Link in Ocarina of Time was often cited as an example of the emulator's shortcomings last year, as it completely butchers the reflective floor texture. As noticed by Switch tinkerer OatmealDome, the water texture now looks a lot better, though the room still lacks the subtle fog effect from the previous game.

According to dataminer LuigiBlood, this fix apparently occurred on the emulator level, as the Ocarina of Time ROM file remains the same as before. However, Nintendo did remove code that corresponded to an unfinished 64DD emulator, so if you were hoping to play the ideal version of F-Zero X, that's bad.

Ways to go — While it's nice that Nintendo is apparently committed to somewhat improving its Switch emulation, there are still pretty significant glitches in Yoshi's Story, Paper Mario, and others, so they still have some work to do. Then again, as always, if you have a working PC, we strongly recommend you explore other emulation options, as they're quite likely to be superior to your Switch.