Esteemed Gamecube emulator Dolphin is splashing onto Steam soon

Gamecube Controller
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Now here's a surprise I didn't see coming: Nintendo Gamecube emulator Dolphin will be launching on Steam soon.

The Gamecube, predecessor to the Nintendo Switch and the Wii, is home to some of the publisher's best-loved games, so having a version of Dolphin available on Steam should prove to be a more convenient way of playing your collection of Gamecube and Nintendo Wii titles. Dolphin is currently slated to launch on Steam in 'Q2 2023.'

The Dolphin emulator is highly regarded among Gamecube fans for a number of very good reasons. Dolphin offers extremely high-quality emulation for the vast majority of the Gamecube library. It also supports customizable button layouts and, on the right hardware, 4K resolution to help your games look crisper than ever.

You can add the Dolphin emulator to your wishlist by visiting its Steam page right now.

What's the big deal?

Metroid Prime Remastered Samus

(Image credit: Nintendo)

With Dolphin already available to download on PC as an executable, you might wonder what the added benefit of the Steam release will be. I can think of a few reasons why you might want to download Dolphin to your Steam library.

For one, there's a chance that Dolphin could support Steam cloud saves on the platform, allowing you to access your saves without saving them into a separate folder. It likely also means you can use it with Steam's remote play functionality.

It's surely a big win for Steam Deck users, too, as the Steam release of Dolphin will no doubt provide extra compatibility for the powerful handheld.

Emulation, of course, is a touchy subject at the best of times. No doubt many have raised their eyebrows at Dolphin launching on Steam. However, there's nothing illegal with using the program itself, and so long as you own a physical copy of the game you're playing, there's no wrongdoing.

Ultimately, emulation can be seen as a necessity. Unlike games like Metroid Prime Remastered, not all Gamecube classics have the luxury of receiving updated versions. And as physical copies continue to skyrocket in price, many look to emulation as a form of preservation.

And Dolphin isn't the only emulator that's found its way to Steam. RetroArch is also available to download for free on the platform, allowing users to play a variety of retro titles and abandonware on their PCs.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.