Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Runs in 4K on PC

Thanks to Wii U emulator CemU, it looks great. But Nintendo may not like it one bit.

47

The Nintendo Switch and Wii U are cute little devices that offer some great games. After a new patch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has stabilized to a more solid frame rate in decent 720p resolution (900p if docked). But why should you settle for those middling resolutions when you can see Link running through Hyrule in gaudy 4K glory? Well, besides pissing off Nintendo.

The developer behind the Wii U emulator CemU has been pushing to get the game running properly, but it appears that a YouTuber YamGaming has gotten Breath of the Wild running amazingly smooth with some extensive tweaks to the emulator's settings. His system specs are:

  • i7 6700k @ 4.3ghz (overclocked)
  • GTX 1070 G1 video card
  • Corsair h110i AIO
  • EVGA 600b PSU
  • 16gb Ripjaw 5 RAM 2400mhz (overclocked)
  • Asus z170-a 
  • SSD Kingston 120gb

If that isn't enough information for you to get it running, there is an entire Zelda CemU subreddit that focuses on getting the game running smoothly on your PC.

Keep in mind that Nintendo has never liked emulators and CemU blurs the legal lines a bit, if not totally stepping over them. CemU has proven incredibly popular, making $36,000 a month from its Patreon. Nintendo is very protective of its IPs, and doesn't even allow sites to use footage of its games in videos with attempting a takedown quicker than John Cena. Given that, in this case, you will be trying to emulate a game you already own and it isn't a pirated version. But even with fair use, it may not stop Nintendo from trying to pull the plug on any adaptations of a currently popular game to the superior PC platform. Seeing their beautiful game running at 4K may be just the push it needs to file a DMCA claim, if not a full lawsuit.  

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    April 4, 2017 9:30 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Runs in 4K on PC

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 10:08 AM

      Whoa that is awesome!!!!

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 10:17 AM

      Those are basically my system specs. Nice.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 10:25 AM

      That's pretty impressive they've gotten it running well soo quickly.. I've heard there are still lots of bugs with the emulation though. So I'd imagine it will be a little while till you can actually do a full play through on the PC.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 10:26 AM

        Considering a couple of weeks ago you could only access the game menu, things seem to be moving along at a decent pace!

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 10:28 AM

          Turns out $30k a month between two devs can really jumpstart a side project haha

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 10:27 AM

      Disclaimer! Results are not typical. You'll be lucky to get a consistent 20 fps after spending hours doing major tweaks.

      It still has a long way to go before a stable version is released.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 10:31 AM

      Usually I'm all for emulation but this cemu shit just seems shady as fuck. Maybe it's because people are paying them so much to obviously pirate a game.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 10:57 AM

        It's probably alot to do with this game just came out and it's already being emulated somewhat successfully. Emulation has always lagged years and years behind

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 11:09 AM

          How much similarity was there between the Wii and Wii U hardware? I thought they shared quite a bit which would explain how quickly they got the game up and running.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 11:20 AM

            Beefed up PowerPC cpu was used and they were both AMD GPU's. Hardware backwards compatibility probably is why it was easy to get things up and running in there.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 1:13 PM

            Probably what ORW said + the very advanced state of Wii emulation

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:10 AM

        So much money. The fans could have just bought a switch or a Wii U and the game lol.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:21 AM

        Yeah seems kinda weird this was posted on here as news.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:30 AM

        Yeah, I'm not a big fan of what's going on there. Nor particularly happy that it's a news story here.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:31 AM

        I'm not going to be so naïve as to say that the bulk of people are using this legitimately, but I've got a copy for WiiU and the framerate is so abysmal and this project's rapid success has me setting the WiiU copy aside in hopes Cemu continues to progress rapidly.

        I genuinely want this for legitimate purposes.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 12:08 PM

        I really wish there was more effort into making the process of ripping discs you own more streamlined rather than simplifying the process of (most likely) pirating the games. I know it's not on the Cemu dudes to do that, but it feels like a lot of the focus in the community is on making it as easy as possible to run copies of games you definitely didn't rip yourself.

        That said, I'm really excited for seeing how WiiU emulation evolves over the next few years. Seeing Mario Kart 8 run at full speed on my HTPC was a really awesome experience. I'm not going to stay too focused on testing out the platform for a while though. Going to let a lot of the kinks get worked out before I get too deep. Really interested in putting a lot more time into PCSX2 and Dolphin these days.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 12:21 PM

        Still waiting for opticom to show up and gloat about pirating and be allowed to do so even though briefcase man denounced it a few weeks ago.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 12:28 PM

        Im not sure why you all are salty about this story. It is pretty interesting news about video games if you ask me. Besides emulation has been happening forever I remember when DKCR came out and was playable from day 1. Nobody made a big deal about that and with this zelda game anyone who follows emulation knew it would be playable quickly.

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 12:39 PM

          I agree, the reaction among some is over the top.

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 12:45 PM

          Salty about it for the same reason we don't talk about pirate games on here usually, because it's disrespectful to developers that post here.

          Last thread someone was talking about this they admitted to not owning the game and secondly there is a lot of shady stuff going on with these developers in terms of making money from developing the emulator.

          Seems sort of weird to post an article saying you can pirate the game and play it in 4k.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 1:14 PM

            The article is not really saying you can pirate it and play at 4k tho. Just because your emulating dont necessarily mean your pirating. You could pirate zelda with a wii u and a sd card if you really wanted too.
            Im also not really sure whats so shady selling early access to a cutting edge emulator that undoubtedly took very smart people a very long time to make.

            • reply
              April 4, 2017 1:19 PM

              You're selling access to a closed hardware system without the end user having to have that hardware.

              It would be like VMWare selling VMWare ESX that ran MacOS on non-Apple hardware. Which they don't. https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2005793

              • reply
                April 4, 2017 1:27 PM

                you're right it is sort of like running macOS on a virtual machine or hackintosh: another serious ethical issue i know we are all passionate about.

                • reply
                  April 4, 2017 1:33 PM

                  I don't really have a problem with the guys doing it and releasing it for free. I think it's fucked up that people are throwing tens of thousands of dollars at them to make it happen faster.

                  • reply
                    April 4, 2017 1:37 PM

                    i'm guessing here but it seems unlikely that pirates, thrifty as they are, are the ones paying thousands of dollars.

                  • reply
                    April 4, 2017 1:37 PM

                    Not just to happen faster, but you can't download the new version unless you're a Patreon.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 8:27 PM

            I don't pirate but damn I do want to play this in 4K and the only way that can ever be is through this method.

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 4:16 PM

          99% of posts objecting to this are trolling

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 12:38 PM

        I have it on the switch but if I want to replay it in a few years I'll be happy this option is available.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 11:51 AM

      does it actually run well though

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 12:18 PM

      Im not at all surprised... when botw first came out I figured they would have it playable by May. Cemu already worked great on a large number of games before zelda was even out. I for one cannot wait to replay the game with a xbox controller at 4k

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 12:39 PM

        Oh man, then I'll be able to use a normal button layout.

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 1:08 PM

          won't have the motion control aiming though, which is absolute key in this game. or do the xbone controllers have motion control?

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 2:40 PM

            I've played using a Wii U pro controller for 85 hours. That controller doesn't have motion controls, but the only time it's been required are for those 3-4 shrines that asked me to pick up the gamepad. Sure I would've liked having it for the bow but I also never really had any trouble hitting targets.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 2:40 PM

            I turned that shit off immediately

            • reply
              April 4, 2017 3:59 PM

              Me too and for the few other places in the game that need it you can map it to your mouse

            • reply
              April 4, 2017 5:56 PM

              that's too bad because it helps quite a bit. much more fine control than the sticks

              • reply
                April 4, 2017 8:20 PM

                I have better control using sticks like I have in every other game ever made than adjusting to a new control scheme. I'd rather have my hands relaxed than have to hold the controller in a certain way to aim.

                • reply
                  April 4, 2017 8:23 PM

                  You don't really have to hold it a certain way. It's all based off how you're holding it when you start aiming.

                  I find it really intuitive because it's kinda what I end up doing when aiming anyway, I instinctively move the controller toward the direction I want to go. Now I just have to get close with a thumb stick and zero in with the motion control.

                  The only thing I wish is that there was a little bit of smoothing so it didnt' feel quite so jerky but then it would feel laggy so maybe that's why they didn't do it.

                  • reply
                    April 4, 2017 9:24 PM

                    That's the problem. It's jerky as hell. I have to steady my hands which I don't naturally do when playing video games. It's perfectly easy just using the same control scheme that works in every other game.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 4:13 PM

            Yeah I turned that off right away since it was so annoying. Wasn't at all necessary to use.

            • reply
              April 4, 2017 4:19 PM

              I can aim SO much better with motion controls. I don't play FPS games on console though, and the motion controls feel closer to m+kb

            • reply
              April 4, 2017 8:51 PM

              Git gud

              • reply
                April 4, 2017 8:53 PM

                It's more that my hands shake making any motion control fly all over the place. With fast movement speed the joysticks are extremely good.

                • reply
                  April 4, 2017 11:25 PM

                  I'm just messing with you. :)

                  I think gyros are the second best thing to mouse aim but I totally get that there's a learning curve involved, and that even after that there's personal preference. Thumbsticks are really not very good without aim assist and I also physically enjoy aiming with a gamepad, so yeah, I like em

              • reply
                April 4, 2017 11:56 PM

                I feel like they hobbled the normal stick aim controls. The acceleration curve they use is bad I think. That's the main reason the motion controls seem favorable in comparison.

                • reply
                  April 4, 2017 11:59 PM

                  If thumbstick controls were good in the first place then aim assist wouldn't exist. The best acceleration curves don't do it for me, and barring use of a mouse I'll gladly take fine tuning with gyros as an alternative.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 1:44 PM

      Can we get articles on bypassing Steam authentication too? Or maybe uPlay or Origin? I would also like info on creating working backup of PS4vand XBOne discs. Please understand.

      • reply
        April 5, 2017 12:20 AM

        Yep. Let's post something that has no breaking or newsworthy shit. Sounds smart.
        Or let's talk about something that while is not necessarily ethical, but quite fascinating and will get viewed and talked about. Not like it was clearly stated that it can be pirating.

    • Zek
      reply
      April 4, 2017 1:53 PM

      All 3 consoles are just PCs at this point. The dividing lines of exclusivity are purely arbitrary.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 2:17 PM

        I can't take my PC and play it on the bus, or in bed, or at my buddies house ...

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 4:00 PM

          You just aren't trying hard enough!

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 4:42 PM

          i've seen tower computers at coffee shops. :(

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 12:38 AM

          Time to get a laptop, I guess!

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 12:43 AM

          Cant bring your computer to your buddies house? I was about to say you had some sad teenage years and then I realized you were probably out getting laid or something.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 4:12 PM

        That is great and all but CEMU isn't emulating the Switch, it is emulating the Wii U. So yeah not a PC.

        • Zek
          reply
          April 4, 2017 8:34 PM

          Point is the Switch is even closer to a PC than that. At some point it won't really be emulation anymore, just piracy.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 9:29 PM

            Switch isn't PC-like at all. Architecturally it's much more similar to a mobile platform than a PC.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 4:01 PM

      Sweet

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 4:36 PM

      i'd buy a copy of BoTW if it played great via emulation on my PC...

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 5:25 PM

      This story and the subsequent threads are all disappointing :(

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 9:23 PM

      Poor keefer. I thought it was interesting just from a technical standpoint.

    • reply
      April 4, 2017 11:21 PM

      I think 4k is the wrong goal to have for emulation but an interesting accomplishment I suppose.

      The goal should be 1080p at 60fps, which the Switch can't even hit.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:22 PM

        And I mean 1080p @ 60hz steady across the whole game, and have the whole game work properly. Now *that* would be an accomplishment.

      • reply
        April 4, 2017 11:26 PM

        The physics engine is tied to 30hz. There's a whole bunch of things that break when 60hz is forced on it, same with Dark Souls, etc.

        • reply
          April 4, 2017 11:40 PM

          Ah, I see. So be it. 1080p at 30 steady for 100% of content would still be better than the Switch tho.

          • reply
            April 4, 2017 11:51 PM

            I suppose its the game but I haven't seen this much hype over emulation in a long time. Performance for Bloodborne and The Last Guardian are magnitudes worse than what's happening with Zelda. Hours at a time with quarter second frame drops are nothing compared to constant and persistent performance issues that those other two have.

            Again, I guess its the game. I think people should buy the hardware if they want to play but for some reason that's controversial.

            Btw, this isn't entirely directed at you, its the thread in general.

            • reply
              April 5, 2017 1:25 AM

              I couldn’t finish bloodborne because of that, it took me multiple attempt to go back and play/finish demon's souls and I'm never going back to the ps3 framerate.

              Honestly, zelda is the only game I'd be willing to suffer through at lower fps though the handheld mode in general and the new patch seem to have fixed/alleviated most issues.

              I think windwaker was the only 3d zelda that didn’t have framerate issues at launch (ocarina ran at 15hz or worse in some areas).

              • reply
                April 5, 2017 2:20 AM

                Poor frame pacing and the resulting constant microstutter was the problem with Bloodborne, a much bigger issue than its 30fps.

                Frame issues were very specific on Switch. Now I can count the number of places those issues reliably happen on one hand, and with the exception of the master sword pedestal they are momentary.

                Even GTAV had much much bigger problems, and that faked distance through the use of skyboxes up until the current gen ports. Its a little absurd how much this is blown out of proportion compared to other games. A quarter second of hitches every couple hours and its a big thing for some reason.

                • reply
                  April 5, 2017 2:29 AM

                  I don't disagree, the problem is that its a high profile game, hailed as the second coming of Christ, on hardware widely disregarded as a tablet from 2 years ago. So both combined lead to much scrutiny and of course you have the usual discussions about nintendo/emulation/piracy etc

                  that’s said framepacing/microstuttering was a constant pain but I swear the game ran like ass to begin with and it were factors like physics/mp etc that dragged the frame rate down constantly or in sudden spikes.

                  • reply
                    April 5, 2017 2:30 AM

                    Second paragraph is about bloodborne btw (mp talk is a giveaway but maybe just to be clear).

                    • reply
                      April 5, 2017 2:50 AM

                      Bloodborne had subsequent performance patches that addressed most framerate issues but microstutter never went away.

                  • reply
                    April 5, 2017 2:44 AM

                    Oh yeah, the optics are bad, that doesn't make it any less ridiculous. Even the two year old tablet part is absurd, people don't realize that die-shrunk Maxwell is within spitting distance of Pascal in terms of power and efficiency. Its why Nvidia put it in the 2017 Shield TV, the benefits from Pascal are marginal, but people complained there too without understanding the technical details and getting hung up on names.

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 12:42 AM

          You'd still want it running at 60fps steady though (or whatever the metric is they use to gauge performance on the system). Kind of like how Ocarina of Time runs at ~20fps but via emulation you want to make sure you're pegged in at 60 VI/s. So matching the original system performance and then overclocking the emulated cpu to be able to run stable at 30hz would just be awesome as fuck.

          Did something similar for Liberty City Stories on PS2 and it really transformed the game for me. Still one of the weaker entries, but it was far more enjoyable than it was on stock hardware.

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 1:19 AM

          That said, Dark souls is preferable at 60hz even if the original engine was running at 30hz.

          There were initially problems with players falling through the map when sliding down certain ladders (that got fixed with one exception where it can happen) and the height/lenght of the jump being slightly shorter hence players would not be able to make certain jumps (aside from trickjumps only really relevant in a single spot/secret but the fps is bound to a key and you can just toggle). 60hz ds1 on pc is the definite experience and highly preferable to the original sub 30hz console version.

          The problems with the engine occurred mostly in ds2 because of weapon degradation happening at twice the rate if I remember correctly but that game was a clusterfuck from start to end (lighting looked like vertex in some areas, rooms looked half finished etc).

    • reply
      April 5, 2017 12:29 AM

      Fuck pirating this game and anyone that supports it

    • reply
      April 5, 2017 2:58 AM

      Fuck piracy and all, but if emulation works better than the real thing at the time of release, then they had it coming.

      I agree that it blurs the line between emulation and piracy, since we're talking about a more or less current-gen system (the Wii U), but even so, you defeat piracy by offering a better experience than the pirated version. Nintendo simply can't do that.


      Bottom line: Nintendo made a huge mistake releasing Zelda on the Wii U.

      • reply
        April 5, 2017 3:03 AM

        You know who else had it coming? Chicks who wear like sluts

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 3:03 AM

          *dress lol

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 3:27 AM

          And the jews, they definitely had it coming with not being of aryan descent.

          From emulation, to rape, to Hitler. Godwin would be proud.

        • reply
          April 5, 2017 3:27 AM

          That's some crazy Silence of the Lambs shit right there

      • reply
        April 5, 2017 2:37 PM

        What a ridiculous thing to say.

    • reply
      April 5, 2017 4:15 AM

      PC Master Racist?