Home Nintendo may have stopped Yuzu but it can’t stop its own games leaking, as Princess Peach Showtime appears early

Nintendo may have stopped Yuzu but it can’t stop its own games leaking, as Princess Peach Showtime appears early


  • Nintendo's efforts to combat game emulation face challenges as "Princess Peach: Showtime!" leaks online, despite the company's success in taking legal action against the Switch emulator Yuzu.
  • The leak demonstrates the ongoing struggle against unauthorized game distribution, highlighting the difficulty in controlling physical cartridge leaks and the rise of new emulators using open-source code from Yuzu.

If there was backslapping in the boardrooms of Nintendo when the Switch emulator Yuzu caved in and settled long before reaching a courtroom it could never have afforded, then that should be tempered today. An issue the Japanese gaming giant does not seem to be able to get a hold of is surely becoming more pressing – that of full games leaking early before they are released in shops and electronic stores.

Despite the removal of Yuzu from the annals of history, the full version of Princess Peach: Showtime!, Nintendo’s next major title, has appeared online on torrent sites some two days ahead of its actual on-sale date. The same was true of Unicorn Overlord two weeks ago. It seems Nintendo cannot win the battle against people dumping roms and posting them online.

Of course, it’s not as simple as “stopping it”. Physical game cartridges have to be shipped ahead of release to stores and reviewers, and it only takes one person with the knowledge to create a rom dump and seed it anonymously to a torrent tracker. Once the horse is bolted there is no getting it back in the stable.

Nintendo’s approach of burning Yuzu to the ground has created a blast wave of copycat emulators all popping up to take over the work that Yuzu was doing, and they are not going from a standing start as the Yuzu code was released as open-source, meaning anybody with any coding skills could have a go at it.

Princess Peach apparently already boots into existing emulators and with a little know-how from the emulation scene could no doubt end up running smoother and at higher resolutions than on Nintendo’s own hardware as we have seen countless times in the past.

It seems Nintendo’s only option if they can’t stop the leakers themselves is to change the protection so drastically that the current batch of emus has no chance of catching up. You really hope it is not planning a slightly altered version for the Switch 2 protection system or it will likely be hacked within hours.

Of course, Nintendo may be happy with seemingly stopping the more casual gamers from downloading an emulator and playing its games for free, probably glad it didn’t have to go to court to argue the legality of emulation itself. Its stance that all emulation is bad isn’t great at holding water as it employs emulation itself with its classic consoles on Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo states that Tears of the Kingdom was downloaded millions of times, many before launch, and at nearly $100 a pop that is a sizeable loss. Of course, not all those downloads equate to a sale but you can see why Nintendo is keen to grasp some kind of control. Of course, if the rom had not leaked in the first place, there would have been nothing to download.

At the moment though game leakers, pirates, and the like are keen to give Nintendo a punch in its corporate mouth, to show that shutting Yuzu down changes nothing. And as of Princess Peach being freely available today, they may seem to have a point.


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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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