Notice: To display this embed please allow the use of Functional Cookies in Cookie Preferences.
The emulator, which was initially released in 2003 and has received continuous updates in the 20 years that have followed, now has a Steam page and will be arriving on Valve‘s store in the coming months.
The emulator’s developer OatmealDome stated on Twitter: “We’ll release in Early Access during Q2 2023 (Apr to Jun). More info will be provided closer to launch.”
“And yes,” they added, “we’ll be supporting the Steam Deck.”
Dolphin can already be added to Steam and played on the Steam Deck, but its addition to Steam itself should make the process more straightforward for newcomers.
The emulator can play GameCube and Wii games with various enhancements applied – these can include increased resolution and frame rate, widescreen support, HD textures, netplay and quick save states.
While emulation itself isn’t illegal – popular multi-system emulator RetroArch has been on Steam for years and Dolphin itself has survived for two decades without Nintendo successfully shutting it down – the downloading of GameCube and Wii image files isn’t legal.
As such, the Steam page for Dolphin is not only careful to never mention Nintendo or its systems by name (it instead claims to be “an emulator for the big N’s 6th and 7th generation consoles”), it also stresses that players have to provide their own “legally obtained” games, even if this doesn’t always happen in practice.
Some players already use the Steam Deck as a portable emulation system, something that was leaned on a little too heavily when Valve posted (and then quickly deleted) a promotional video for the Steam Deck which showed a prominent Nintendo Switch emulator on the screen.