With the PSVita having a surprisingly large library of homebrew, the Switch scene took some inspiration from it with some developers even moving on to that platform instead. In this article, we’ll be looking at a VitaShell-inspired file explorer for the Switch and the latest developments regarding original XBOX emulation!
Switch Release: N-Xplorer gets official release after major rewrite
Like the PSVita, the Nintendo Switch already has a pretty fully-fledged file manager which goes by the name NX-Shell.
N-Xplorer is a new player on the file manager for the Switch!
Now, another file manager has been released for the Nintendo Switch by the name N-Xplorer and it’s inspired by TheFlow’s famous VitaShell, the de facto file manager on the PSVita. Its developer CompSciOrBust has been working on the file manager for quite a while having released an NRO file for version 0.5 around 17 days without much fanfare but 2 days ago, version 0.6, which is a complete rewrite, was released together with a GBATemp post for the project to gain some popularity.
N-Xplorer is still a tad early in development although its developer has big plans for it so only time will tell how popular it’ll become!
Currently, the file manager isn’t as fully featured as other offerings for the Switch like NX-Shell and Apollo (which only saw one pre-release in July) but version 0.6.1 [current version] still has a couple of features including:
Basic file management capabilities like being able to copy, move, rename, create and delete files/folders
A text editor
A basic image viewer which doesn’t have zooming/rotation code yet
CompSciOrBust has some pretty big plans for the file manager which include a music player, theming, an FTP server, the ability to sort directory contents, touch screen support, a video player, hex editor and much more. If these plans do indeed materialise, N-Xplorer will probably become a supported contender to NX-Shell and the de facto file manager situation may change on the Switch but only time will tell!
Emulation News: A quick look at Cxbx-Reloaded’s December 2019 progress report
Unlike the GameCube and PlayStation 2 which have been pretty well-emulated for years, the original XBOX didn’t get much love when it came to emulating until Luke Usher’s Cxbx-Reloaded came along with a version 0.1 release in June 2018 with development having started quite some time before that.
Like the RPCS3 folks, those behind Cxbx-Reloaded also seem to like their emulator progress statistics 😉
Now, the emulator has matured quite a bit and monthly progress reports published on Patreon are a testament to that with December 2019’s report being shared on Monday. In a nutshell, the report which is a rather long and interesting read comes with the following main points:
As of right now, there are 59 titles considered playable and 184 others are In-Game
HLSL (High Level Shader Language) vertex shaders are now used which replace older vertex shader conversion code
This change results in increased accuracy and improved rendering although it might result in slower performance while shaders are being compiled. However, HLSL shaders seem to provide slightly better performance after being fully compiled!
A fix relating to large vertex shaders which allows DoA 3 to work again together with other internal improvements spanning from trampoline optimisation, an improvement to the emulated kernel and a fix relating to Half-Life 2
Rayman Arena and 8 other games are now playable in Cxbx-Reloaded!
Improvements in numerous games including:
Rayman Arena is now playable
Totaled is playable
Ghost Recon Island Thunder is playable
Backyard Wrestling 2 is now in-game
Mortal Kombat Deception is in-game
Robocop is in-game
Soldier Of Fortune II – Double Helix is in-game
Hot Wheels Stunt Track Challenge is in-game
Many other titles, including Crash N Burn, are now in-game or playable. You can check these out by following the link below
To read the full progress report and see what games improved with developments in December, follow this linkwhich also allows you to donate towards the emulator’s development. An Excel spreadsheet is available at the bottom of the list detailing game compatibility status.
Other than these releases, lockscreen patches for SX OS Beta 2.9.3 on FW 9.x have been released. The PSVita received Mad Bomber Vita by SonicMastr, a port of Mad Bomber.
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.