First "functional" Wii U emulator now available

The first working Wii U emulator, Cemu, has hit the internet, but it still has a few problems to work out.

A new Wii U emulator, dubbed "Cemu," hit the Internet earlier this week. Cemu is purported to be the "first working Wii U emulator," though at present it apparently doesn't have audio, can't support a controller, and while it can boot up AAA games to the menu, it can't really run those games yet.

Nevertheless, Cemu itself does run, making it one of the first big steps forward in efforts to emulate the Nintendo console. The Cemu developers' current plan is to release updates "at least every two weeks" to fix the current issues with the emulator.

At present, Cemu can run RPX/RPL files and encrypted Wii U images (WUD), but can't yet support the external files needed to play extracted games. No optimizations have been applied yet, so the emulator will run with slow framerates and lengthy load times. It requires OpenGL 3.3 and Windows x64.

There's no telling how long this will last, given the anti-emulator stance taken on Nintendo's corporate information page:

The introduction of emulators created to play illegally copied Nintendo software represents the greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developers. As is the case with any business or industry, when its products become available for free, the revenue stream supporting that industry is threatened. Such emulators have the potential to significantly damage a worldwide entertainment software industry which generates over $15 billion annually, and tens of thousands of jobs.

Nintendo has a reputation for being really strict about IP rights, so we'll likely see them go after Cemu in the future. 

So what are your thoughts about Cemu, or emulators in general? Let us know in the comments!

Published Oct. 15th 2015
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  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Cemu should burn, imo. Honestly, Nintendo consoles are among the cheapest, and so are their games. To have an emulator out is to hurt what little sales the Wii U has managed to get so far.

    On the other hand, I'm not even sure how pleasant playing Wii U games would be on an emulator. Most titles they have (the good ones at least) are multiplayer, and trying to play multiplayer on a PC is pretty lame.

    In my history of using emulators (I think I was 5 at the time) I played some games that I didn't get until later on in life. I remember playing the actual physical copies and everything always ran better. The real console will never be outmatched by an emulator (except in the case of Dolphin I suppose).

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