Nintendo Switch owners have been demanding a retro-focused Virtual Console service since the console released last March, and it looks like hackers have beat Nintendo to the punch. If this series of videos from YouTube’s x0x0 can be believed, SNES, NES and Atari Jaguar emulators are running on the hybrid handheld via a homebrew launcher called PegaSwitch.

While the clips don’t explicitly showcase what kind of hack is being used, we’d be inclined to think it leverages the software-based 3.0 firmware flaw demoed at Chaos Communication Congress in December. After all, the user launches a software update process for Breath Of The Wild, the system briefly crashes and boots into the popular multi-system emulator called RetroArch. That emulator is used to run Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Wolfenstein 3D. There are obvious optimization issues with regard to speed and sound, but the base experience of all three games remains very much intact.

The central caveat, of course, is that while these emulators are being developed, they probably won’t be accessible to the vast majority of Switch owners on the latest 4.1 system software. Those with a brand new Switch that hasn’t yet connected to the internet, however, can update to 3.0 using a Pokkén Tournament DX cartridge. The developers behind the hack anticipate a full release over the next few weeks.

Given recent happenings around the hacking scene, however, even those updated to 4.1 might want to pay attention to the appropriate websites over the next few days. Not only did Team Xecuter tease a supposedly “fool-proof” hack last week, but the Fail0verflow team is also hyping up “interesting times ahead” with its own Tegra-based coldboot hack for Switch. As seen below, the flaw allows custom boot screens similar to those shown in Xecuter’s clip. The main difference being that Fail0verflow tends to release soft-mods for free. Xecuter is seemingly trying to sell its hack as a product that can be bought.

The Nintendo Switch hacking scene seems poised to explode in the early weeks of 2018. While a homebrew launcher that runs on outdated firmware probably won’t have a massive impact, there may be some very clear inroads for development in the future. In other words, even if you don’t have the 3.0 firmware required to launch the latest homebrew emulators, these secondary teasers suggest strides are being made even on more recent versions.

For Nintendo fans that are tired of waiting for an official Virtual Console release, this is potentially great news. However, if these exploits pave the way for piracy of retail Switch games, it could prove troublesome for the hardware maker. Switch hardware sales are setting records across the globe, but if the console’s marquee software can be stolen with a simple hack, it may eat into the company’s projected profit margin.

Even if you never intend on hacking your Switch, it will be interesting to see how this ongoing battle pans out. This phase marks the beginning of hackers showing their hands. Once the launcher becomes available to the public, it will be Nintendo’s job to ensure its influence doesn’t stretch too far.

Nintendo Switch is available now for $299.

What do you think of these recent developments on Nintendo Switch hacks? Would you be willing to install unofficial emulators on your console? Tell us in the comments section!