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GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin is coming to Steam

Early access version launches for free later this year

Mario jumps and picks up a shining golden star in Wii game Super Mario Galaxy Image: Nintendo

Dolphin, the preeminent emulator for GameCube and Wii games on PC, will soon be getting a Steam version, its developers have announced.

Dolphin will be released on Steam in an early access version as a free download. The release date is currently set for the second quarter of 2023, and the emulator already has a store page where you can wishlist it.

The developers said they would release more information on the Steam version’s features come launch. “We’re pleased to finally tell the world of our experiment,” they said. “This has been the product of many months of work, and we look forward to getting it into users’ hands soon!”

Dolphin’s Steam page stresses that the emulator does not come with any games, and that users must own an original copy of any GameCube or Wii game they want to use with it. “It is just a tool to run legally obtained copies of these games. Once you have dumped copies of your games into a compatible format, you can launch them directly in the emulator.”

The emulator supports modern controllers, 4K resolutions, quick saves, networked multiplayer, and in some cases, where hacks and patches are available, features like increased frame rate and widescreen display ratios. Community mods are supported, and it’s fully open source.

Dolphin has a history almost as long as the consoles it emulates. Its first version appeared in 2003, just two years into the GameCube’s lifespan, but it didn’t work very well. After a successful revival as an open-source project in 2007, it gained Wii support, as well as Linux and Mac clients, and it’s now one of the most stable emulators out there. If the Steam version makes running it on Steam Deck any easier, that alone will make it well worth a download.

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