(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo made a lot of dreams come through when it announced Super Mario 3D All Stars a couple weeks back, confirming that three absolutely beloved classic 3D Mario games were coming to the Switch in crisp HD.
Between the Nintendo 64's Super Mario 64, the GameCube's Super Mario Sunshine and the Wii's Super Mario Galaxy, three of the company mascot's most celebrated games will arrive on the Switch, and that's caused celebration enough on its own.
Now, though, people are seemingly starting to get hold of the game ahead of its release on Friday, and there's a bit of investigation going on surrounding just how Nintendo has got these games from three older consoles running on its new hardware.
It would appear that in all three cases, there's a degree of emulation going on, rather than a complete port to the Switch's architecture. That's not particularly surprising, as it would logially seem the simplest way for Nintendo to get these games working without dedicating massive resources to it.
Super Mario 3D All Stars has leaked onto the Internet.— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) September 15, 2020
It appears all the games are emulated.
Galaxy and Sunshine run under a Wii and GameCube emulator named "hagi"(?) possibly made by NERD (Nintendo of Europe division).
Mario 64 is running under an N64 emulator. Dunno which.
However, it's nonetheless very exciting, because it suggests that Nintendo has working first-party emulators built for the Switch, running N64, GameCube and Wii games.
That means that this could be the floodgate-opening moment that we've been waiting for when it comes to ports of classic Nintendo titles for the Switch, whether that's through the Nintendo Switch Online membership like NES and SNES games, or sold individually through the eShop.
There's been the sense for a little while now that Nintendo must surely have a plan for the expansion of its retro offering to include at least the Nintendo 64 if not more recent generations. While this could pave the way for that, it also might not emerge for a while yet, in time-honoured Nintendo fashion.