Data miners, searching through a dump of the file system of the Nintendo Switch, have apparently stumbled on a NES emulator and a copy of Golf which they claim is present on every Switch.
According to a report from Polygon, data miners from SwitchBrew (a site dedicated to data mining and hacking the Nintendo Switch) discovered Golf lurking in the rather unstealthily-named “flog” file. According to an earlier post about “flog,” the file contained a fully-functional NES emulator.
When hackers did some further digging, they found that “flog” was actually an NES emulator wrapped around the Golf title, which launched on the NES in 1986. And according to poster “yellows8” — a poster who previously created an entire GitHub repository of Nintendo 3DS exploits — that file is on every single Nintendo Switch, going back to version 1.0, and is designed specifically for Nintendo Switch compatibility.
That’s pretty interesting in itself, but it’s not exactly accessible to the average person; even editors at Polygon weren’t able to replicate the results. As “yellows8” themselves put it, it is currently unknown what actually triggers the launch of Golf, assuming that it can be launched at all, and isn’t just an artifact from development.
What makes this find really interesting is that the Switch version of Golf has support for full motion control.
As Ars Technica notes, SwitchBrew posted images which are purportedly from the Switch version of Golf, showing instructions for playing the game with the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers, something that no emulated NES game has ever officially supported, even in the Wii era, when everything was about motion control. In fact, they’ve never supported any modern control updates, including touch screens.
Along with Nintendo’s announcement that it will support classic NES titles on its upcoming online service, broadly akin to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, it may be that motion control is finally coming to classic Nintendo games.
In fairness to Nintendo, there aren’t a lot of NES games that would benefit from motion control; most games have to be deliberately designed around it. The SNES may be a better bet there, with isometric titles like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to choose from. And given that nobody can figure out how to launch Golf on the Switch, it remains to be seen whether the screenshots are legitimate at all, although yellows8’s reputation precedes them, in this case; they’ve never been known to pull pranks before.
So while Nintendo remains closed-mouthed on the situation, there is every chance that classic NES games — and possibly SNES games and others — will be getting motion control support when Nintendo launches their online services.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]