Why it matters to you
The stylized graphics of Nintendo games lends well to higher resolutions. Already one of the best looking games on Wii U, Mario Kart 8 in 8K is a thing of beauty.
Thanks to the vibrant color design of Nintendo’s characters, they tend to hold up very well when the resolution is increased. One such example is Mario Kart 8. While the game was beautiful at just 1080p, the bump to 8K resolution is unbelievable.
Achieving such a graphics boost is impossible on the Nintendo Wii U, but that does not stop people from emulating the games on a high-performance PC. In a video posted on YouTube (via Kotaku), Mario Kart 8 is shown running through the latest version of the Cemu emulator, version 1.9.0c. The PC running the emulations uses an Intel i7-6700k processor with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. The clock speed was not mentioned. These specs were able to run Mario Kart 8 at full 8K, but the footage was then sampled down to 4K or 3,840 pixels wide by 2,160 pixels tall. The drop in resolution is handy since the maximum playback resolution of YouTube is 4K anyway, as long as the internet is fast enough to render it.
The biggest benefit for emulating Wii U titles comes down to improved textures and anti-aliasing. Previous 4K graphic packs include options to configure anti-aliasing, resolution, shadow quality, post-processing, the level of lighting effects, and more. However, these packs are only available to a handful of games. Mario Kart 8 marks the first entry with support for 8K. Even at standard 1080p, the improved textures and anti-aliasing do a lot to increase the overall image quality.
Emulating games is nothing new, especially when it comes to Nintendo classics. Every system from Nintendo has a well-working emulator matching and sometimes even surpassing the original console’s performance. People have even emulated the original Game Boy on the Apple Watch.
For more modern game consoles, these emulators require more power than a smartphone or smartwatch. Dolphin is more widely known with its support for both the GameCube and Nintendo Wii game library. An update in 2017 even added the ability to access the Wii’s eshop Channel.