GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin is coming to Steam this year

Steam Deck with controllers

A year ago I wrote about the Steam Deck being the emulation system of my dreams, and it's only gotten better since then thanks to projects like Emudeck that simplify the process of getting emulators up and running on the handheld. But it can't get any easier than clicking "install" in Steam, and that's soon going to be the reality for Dolphin, the incredible GameCube and Wii emulator I've used to play games like Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in 4K. It's officially coming to Steam.

A Steam release for Dolphin has been in development for some time, though it's not live yet—it's currently listed on the Steam store for a release in Q2 of this year. Amusingly, though understandably, the screenshots used to show off Dolphin on Steam don't depict any copyrighted GameCube or Wii games, and it doesn't use the word "Nintendo" anywhere on the page.

"When we launch on Steam, we'll have a feature article detailing the process and features of the Steam release," Dolphin contributor MayImilae writes on the official blog. "We're pleased to finally tell the world of our experiment. This has been the product of many months of work, and we look forward to getting it into users' hands soon!"

A Dolphin developer on the community Discord confirmed that the Steam version will allow users to choose in-development builds of the emulator, which is good—the last stable release was nearly seven years ago, and the emulator has made enormous improvements since then. With the Steam Deck in mind, here's hoping Dolphin's Steam release brings with it a new controller-friendly UI.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).