This story was originally published and last updated .
Right now, it's not an easy time to be a gamer looking to play the latest and greatest titles. Between all the headaches you'd face trying to get your hands on a PS5, or afford a 3080 for your new PC rig without taking out a second mortgage, it's enough to make you want to give up on the whole mess. But if you've got even a moderately powerful smartphone, and are willing to invest a little time, there's a whole world of classic gaming waiting to be tapped into (on the cheap, no less) through the power of emulation.
Dolphin is one of the best emulators when you want to take your old GameCube and Wii games with you, and over the summer, the emulator has only gotten better. It now has a revamped config system that can be tweaked while you're gaming, and it's possible to do disc compression and conversion actions right on your phone.
Dolphin is an incredibly popular emulator for the Nintendo Wii and GameCube, and the Android version has been improving more and more lately. The app recently gained dark mode support, and now more features from the desktop emulator are coming to mobile.
Late last year, Nvidia released a pair of new Shield TV devices: the tube-shaped Shield TV dongle, and the more traditional Shield TV Pro. It was later discovered that the dongle ran a 32-bit version of Android TV, which caused some to worry about incompatible apps, but you (probably) have nothing to worry about.
Dolphin Emulator — the popular Wii and GameCube emulator — recently returned to the Play Store, making it easy to keep updated as Android beta development continues, and so it has. According to the latest progress report, Dolphin now has support for on-phone rumble/vibration in GameCube titles. Landscape mode is now forced by default as well on Android, and the developers would also like to apologize for some recent changes which broke existing savestates without warning for many.
Dolphin, the well-known Nintendo GameCube/Wii emulator, has maintained an Android version since 2013. However, the app was pulled from the Play Store around two years ago, so users could only download development builds from the project's website. Thankfully, Dolphin has now returned to the Play Store, with the developers aiming to release new builds on a monthly basis.
If you're not familiar with it, Dolphin is a cross-platform emulator for the Nintendo GameCube and Wii. The Android port came out in 2013, and the Dolphin community has continued to develop it since. The project's July 2018 progress report highlights several improvements to the Android version, including Android TV channels support and better Vulkan compatibility.
The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.
Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.