A new emulator that aims to open up the doors to Nintendo Switch-exclusive games has just been announced for computers. Named Yuzu, the emulator was created by the same team that designed Citra, a similar 3DS emulator. Yuzu's official website calls it an "experimental" open-source emulator, and has builds ready and maintained for PC, Mac, and Linux. The project is "in its infancy" for now, but has some pretty big goals on the horizon.
Announcing yuzu, the first Nintendo Switch emulator that does all of the things you didn't need it to do! Stay tuned for more from the yuzu team!— yuzu (@yuzuemu) January 14, 2018
Just weeks ago, we reported on an emulator project that was on the verge of working with Nintendo in an effort to emulate PC games on the Nintendo Switch. This effort, still in its early stages of development, doesn't quite have that kind of approval or notice just yet. The yuzu can't play Switch games, and while it may take a while to go live, the team calls Switch game emulation a "top priority" of theirs. The emulator is able to "boot some games, to varying degrees of success, but does not implement any of the necessary GPU features to render 3D graphics," per the website.
While some might see the value in PC emulators making playable games, a lot of these are made for game developers to use for research and reference, or even their own rebuilds and ports of games. This particular emulator aims to help developers learn the Switch hardware and software stack, aiding in homebrew app development for the console.
As a nod to Citra, the name 'yuzu' is also based on citrus fruits, specifically the citros junos that is popular in several Asian dishes. The team says that the name is an 'homage' to the team behind Citra, where many of yuzu's developers came from.