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'We don't have to rely on Nintendo' - Leffen explains why he thinks the future of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate online play is in computer emulation

Time to ditch the Switch?

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • September 4, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. PDT • Comments: 33

Somewhere in recent history the fighting game community turned a corner and changed its broader views of online play from a fun, additional bonus to a mandatory component of the fighting game experience.

Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been crushing records left and right when it comes to popularity and widespread engagement, but it simultaneously wears something of a scarlet letter for having one of the worst netcode experiences in its genre (and that's saying something). Pro Smasher TSM|Leffen has spoken on this particular subject before, but recently released a video wherein he offers quite an ambitious proposition: ditch the Switch and turn to PC emulation.

The Swedish pro suggests that Smash players do not need to wait on Nintendo to fix things from the developer end, but that computer emulation stands as a promising fix for Ultimate's online woes.

"We don't have to rely on Nintendo... there is a way, and the way is through emulation," he starts. "[Nintendo Switch emulator] Yuzu has recently added multicore support and that basically means that the performance has gotten a lot better and that many, many computers can now run Ultimate through emulation. I've tried this myself and it's very, very promising. I wouldn't say it's functional yet, but it has come a long way in a short time."

There's a good bit more to Leffen's discussion and he doesn't get into the bit about using emulation until around the 8 minute mark in the video. He also talks about a handful of the particular issues players routinely run into, netcode quality in Japanese games, and some of Nintendo's previous statements regarding Smash Ultimate's netcode.

He brings up the recently implemented Slippi Online rollback netcode developed for Super Smash Bros. Melee, but notes that he does not expect Ultimate to make the full transition from delay-based to rollback code. Instead, Leffen is hoping for considerably stronger delay-based netcode.

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