Here’s Super Mario Galaxy running at 1080p on the Nvidia Shield TV
The Nvidia Shield TV is an Android TV device powered by the Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-chip which also happens to power the Nintendo Switch game console. Nintendo partnered with Nvidia to release a handful of Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube games on the Nvidia Shield TV, but these games are only accessible if you live in China. It turns out that the Wii and GameCube games on the Shield TV may actually be actually running on an emulator which is exciting both for Nintendo Switch and Shield TV fans alike. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get access to these game titles, but EuroGamer managed to do some testing on Super Mario Galaxy. It runs at 1080p surprisingly well on the device, which you can check out below.
Based on testing from EuroGamer, this is, indeed, an emulated version of the game. The game is first upscaled to a 1920×1404 resolution, exceeding 1080p by 30% more pixels before being downscaled. Some art has been replaced by higher resolution versions too, while others have simply been upscaled from the original game. Pre-rendered cut scenes are clearly upscaled from their original 480p quality, and other signs of emulation are present too. It doesn’t quite reach 60FPS at all times and it’s nowhere near flawless in terms of graphical errors and quality. Having said that, it clearly bests the current state of the Dolphin emulator. (Though given that Nintendo had a hand in making this emulator, it’s not at all surprising that it outperforms Dolphin so don’t take that as a slight against the Dolphin emulator team.)
It’s important to note that while Nintendo has clearly put a lot of effort into this level of emulation, there’s no sign that there will be a broader release of the emulator in other markets. Still, that this is an emulator means that it might be possible to hack it to support other titles. I would be surprised if these remain Chinese exclusives. With the recent Tegra X1 SoC exploits, even the Nintendo Switch could join in on an official GameCube/Wii emulator for the platform.