When it comes to choosing the best emulator for Wii and Gamecube for PC, there’s really no room for debate. Hands down, it’s Dolphin, and now, prompted by the 10th anniversary of the release of its first version, its creators have released a new update with more than 2,500 improvements since the last version was released nine months ago.
The most surprising thing is about this emulator is that it can play videogames at an even higher graphic quality than on the original consoles (you’ll recall that the maximum resolution for Wii was only 720×480 in 16:9), reaching resolutions beyond 1080p if your machine is powerful enough, with various levels of bilineal and anisotropic filtering.
The rest of the enhancements in the new version center on the inclusion of the first beta of Wii’s multiplayer support, a complete facelift for the interface, and the rewriting of several of the video and audio libraries its uses, so that the rate of playable catalog titles for both consoles now surpasses 70%. On its official webpage you can consult the compatibility list.
Perhaps the most complicated thing when it comes to configuring Dolphin is the mapping of controls. Although it’s possible to use the original Wii Wiimote, it’s totally possible to play with the keyboard and mouse or even with a gamepad, with the USB pad for Xbox 360 being especially recommended, as it will serve as both a Wiimote + Nunchuck and a Gamecube controller. Although it’s perfectly possible to configure it on your own, a quick Google will show you personalized configurations for most of the important titles for each console.
Running a game in its original resolution on an emulator is achievable for practically any mid-range computer, although if you want to increase the resolution, it’ll be better for you to have a reasonably current graphics card and at least 4GB of RAM. Just to give you an idea, the image that follows has been snapped on an AMD Athlon II X2 250 with 4GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 4770 graphics card with 2GB of video memory. It’s from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for Wii at a resolution of 1080p with the filters deactivated, to yield a rate of 23 frames per second and a little bit less open space. From there, you just have to fiddle with configuration options a bit to find the perfect display for your machine.
Download Dolphin 4.0 on Uptodown | http://dolphin.en.uptodown.com/