Nintendo Switch Homebrew News: Work being done on overclocking GPU/Memory in handheld mode, Captain Claw (OpenClaw) port released and UAE4ALL2 sees many updates
As more time goes on, the Switch homebrew scene keeps on getting more interesting releases and some of these, like N64/DS emulators, require more processing power so CPU overclocking emerged. In this article, we’ll discuss the work being done on more overclocking with GPU/Memory OCs in handheld mode, the port of OpenClaw that got released and numerous updates to UAE4ALL2.
Work being done on overclocking the GPU and Memory in Handheld mode
As most of us know, the Switch allows you to play your games both on the TV and in handheld-mode so that it doubles as a home and portable console at the same time. While this is all well and good, the handheld experience is a bit different as the GPU is downclocked to 384MHz and obviously, some aren’t too pleased with this.
To remedy this, developer m4xw, who is contributing to the N64 dynarec port for the Switch, has been working on increasing the GPU and memory clock speeds of the Switch while it’s in handheld mode! A few days ago, Reddit user @loleaguesin published a comparison video showing m4xw’s work in action demonstrating Pokemon and Lego City Uncovered running with GPU speeds of 460MHz rather than the stock speeds of 307-384MHz.
Right now, there isn’t a public download available but you may grab some Horizon profiles for overclocking the GPU/memory in handheld mode if you’re a Patreon supporter of m4xw. If you aren’t a Patreon supporter of his or want something that works on firmware versions other than 6.x, you have to wait a short while till m4xw and others release a homebrew utility to manage such overclocks.
— Crow (@loleaguesin) January 15, 2019
Captain Claw comes to the Switch with ClawSwitch
Claw is a side-scrolling platforming game by Monolith Productions featuring Captain Claw originally released in 1997 for Windows which received good reviews. This game revolves around a cat pirate who was kidnapped by enemy ships and ends up being thrown in prison. After being stuck there for a while, a friend of his sends him a note along with a map telling him about a so-called Amulet of Nine Lives which grants the wearer near-immortality.
Obviously, Captain Claw decides to go look for this and to do this, you have to first get out of jail, traverse through a forest and roam around the land to obtain the gems that make up the amulet. To do this, you have to kill enemies, jump platforms and probably die a few times while also collecting coins and valuables to increase your score.
The Switch port, which is based on OpenClaw, was done by djmuted and it’s still in beta stage but it seems to be working well enough to be playable. However, some things have some issues and these are:
- The music doesn’t work even though the sounds do
- Usineur, a PSVita porting veteran, has been able to fix this with a build of his own
- Analogue controls are a bit jacked up so djmuted recommends using the d-pad
- In docked mode, the FPS may drop down to 55 which could result in sound issues
- Not all levels are implemented
- You can only play up to level 10 without issues
- Level 11 is playable but buggy
- Levels 12-14 can’t be played at all so the port isn’t completely finished yet
- This isn’t a flaw of the Switch port but it’s because level 11 isn’t implemented properly and the last 3 levels aren’t implemented at all in the engine (OpenClaw) itself. – UPDATE
To get it on your Switch, either grab the NRO file from here or use usineur’s build linked above if you want music. The game files from the original game are required for it to work and should be placed in the “/switch/claw” directory.
Recent UAE4ALL2 updates by rsn8887
For over 2 years, rsn8887 has been regularly improving upon the UAE4ALL2 (Amiga emulator) port for the PSVita which was done by Cpasjuste. Later on, he brought over his improved version to the Switch and is still rolling out regular updates to this day. Among the changes in recent updates, which are available for both the Vita and Switch, we find:
- A widescreen menu
- Physical keyboard and mouse support for the Switch presumably via USB
- The slow-down experienced on the Switch when returning from sleep is no longer present – up to here in 1.91
- Keyboard styles are now a thing with 4 different styles
- The save state menu is now rendered faster when there are thumbnails
- A French on-screen keyboard got added
- Many many other updates and improvements
To get the latest version, which is 1.91 for both consoles, check out this link and get the NRO/VPK file for your selected device.
Hopefully, we’ll see updates to OpenClaw in the near future so that the whole game is playable and maybe, we’ll also see a PSVita port since Switch->Vita homebrew ports have become somewhat common lately with ports such as Postal Vita.
Apparently, Rinnegatamante and usineur have tried porting OpenClaw to the Vita but they faced numerous problems due to issues in the code and memory leaks so a Vita port is unlikely to arrive before someone fixes the OpenClaw code. – UPDATE
If you encounter any issues, report them in the Issues tab of the GitHub links found in-line!