Saturday, January 8, 2011

Play Wii Games in Dolphin

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been almost five months since I wrote something on this blog. Anyways, I’ve been playing with casual Wii games on the PC for two weeks now thru Dolphin. Here are simple steps on how you’d want to play Wii eventhough you don’t have an actual Nintendo Wii console:

1. Visit to download the Dolphin Wii emulator. Originally, Dolphin was an open-source emulator developed for GameCube games. After years of lack of attention to developers, it later on picked up the pace as other sets of developers found out that the Wii console’s design didn’t vary too much with the GameCube’s. Since then, it was incorporated with Wiimote and nunchuck detection capabilities via Bluetooth. One thing to take note of is that you need to have at least a dual core processor and a high end video card to achieve the normal frame rate for normal Wii games.

2. Download Nintendo Wii ISOs. The main advantage of Wii games played in Dolphin over the actual console is that it can play any region version. Just like Xbox 360, the Wii has region versions such as NTSC-U (USA), PAL (European) and NTSC-J (Asian). This is quite annoying frankly for gamers who don’t really know about regional settings because not everyone knows that you can’t just plug-and-play a game in the console actually be able to play it. I don’t know about the modified version but as mentioned, Wii is a region-restricted console meaning you won’t be able to play a video game if it isn’t the same version as your console. This has proven to be one of the most underrated features of Dolphin so far, IMHO.

3. Play using either the keyboard or real Wiimote and nunchuck controller. If you just want to try out Dolphin, try opening a Wii ISO which requires limited motion-sensing features and just configure the computer keyboard to get started. One good game to test Dolphin thru the keyboard is the game “New Super Mario Bros.” which is an old school game reinvented. If you have a real Wiimote and nunchuck controller, you can use it to play games via Bluetooth. This is quite easy to play with. Detection should be easy as the Wiimote vibrates when it is detected by the emulator.

4. Play in HD/ Full HD. One of the weakest selling points of Wii is its graphical resolution. You won’t be able to play in HD and Full HD in the actual console. Its selling point is the motion-sensing games. After all, motion-sensing games don’t require the gamer to be keen on graphics since they are also focusing on their movement on the game too. The game development has also been focused more on how to create innovative games based on motions. However, since we are in the high-resolution era and we are talking about a console emulator running in your computer which has an upgradable video card and varying resolution, developers incorporated the HD capability to perhaps even attract the hardcore gamers to take a look at the future of Wii’s second-generation console. In fairness to Nintendo and Wii game developers, even if the graphics their console does not support next-gen resolutions, they’ve managed to develop games which are eye-pleasing thru technologies such as Cell-Shading which has been rampant on Cartoon-based games.

5. Play in 3D. I haven’t actually played Wii games in 3D because you have to buy 3D glasses which is around $150-200 but this is a huge boost in the development concept of Dolphin. And since Sony’s push to go 3D even without the glasses as Nintendo’s 3DS offers, Dolphin may be able to get an upgrade anytime soon – provided you also have a 3D glasses-free display.

6. Open source. Curious on how Dolphin is implemented? Forget the binaries and start tweaking the actual emulator. This is a great way to help the community in innovating perhaps one of the best emulation program to date – Dolphin.
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