The odd case of Egg NS: a seemingly-working Switch emulator for Android with playable performance – Comes with stolen code from Yuzu and seems to require a specific controller!
Nowadays, smartphones are widely used for game console emulation with higher-end devices even being able to emulate the Wii & 3DS in a playable fashion. However, some unknown folks have apparently been able to get a Switch emulator called Egg NS running on Snapdragon 855/865 Android devices with playable results in some titles although this comes with a few catches as we’ll see in this article!
What is Egg NS?
As the title and introduction suggest, Egg NS is a Nintendo Switch emulator for Snapdragon 855/855+/865 Android devices by the supposedly-American NXTeam Studios even though the emulator’s website comes with not-so-great English with Chinese poking out in some places. This emulator, which NXTeam claims to have been in development since 2017, boasts compatibility (Perfect/Good) with 81 games including Pokemon Sword & Shield and various popular 2D titles including Cuphead.
When it comes to authenticity, the Egg NS website points to a video by YouTube channel “W Mike” showing Hollow Knight running at around 60FPS on the Snapdragon 865-based Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Taki Udon, who runs a YouTube channel with over 80k subscribers about emulation devices, has also confirmed its authenticity on Discord (#android-devices section) by sharing various videos of the emulator (below) running on a Snapdragon 865-based smartphone together with a GameSir-X2 controller which brings us to the list of catches.
Egg NS and its catches
While Egg NS’ authenticity seems to have been adequately proven, there are a couple of catches that come with it which is quite unsurprising seeing how it comes from unheard of individuals. Among these catches, we find:
- Apparently, the emulator is only compatible with the GameSir X2 controller
- This is a $99.99 controller for Android smartphones which is currently available for pre-order
- While not much information has been given on this limitation, the GameSir X2 seems to simply be a USB-C HID device so it is unlikely that there’s a technical reason why the emulator only works with this controller
- According to bylaws on GBATemp, who was heavily involved in getting Android to run on the Switch, the emulator makes use of stolen code from Yuzu when it comes to GPU emulation
- For some unknown reason, the application requires you to create an account in order to actually use it which is quite unheard of when it comes to emulation applications
Information on the Egg NS emulator is currently a tad scant especially seeing how the GameSir X2 controller, which is required to use it, is only available to reviewers and pre-orders only began recently. On the bright side, it’s possible that someone mods the provided binaries to work on other controllers which could have interesting results.
While Egg NS is unlikely to become the de facto Switch emulator on Android, it shows that the most powerful smartphones are already capable of emulating some Switch titles which spells interesting things for the future. From personal testing, Yuzu is able to emulate less-demanding titles like Puyo Puyo Tetris very well even on an 8 year old Sandy Bridge Quad i5 CPU & GTX 960 meaning that the requirements for Switch emulation are progressively becoming lower!
No links to the Egg NS website, which contains more information and an APK download, have been provided as it contains downloads to “prod.keys” and “title.keys” files which are being shared illegally.
Big thanks to mattyxarope on GBATemp who consolidated information about Egg NS in a single GBATemp post which aided in the creation of this article. This post also contains videos from various sources of the emulator in action.
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