The team working on the Dolphin emulator for the GameCube and Wii have released version 5.0 out onto the wild for both Windows and Macs. The new version features a smorgasbord of new content and upgrades over the 4.0 release.
Over on the official Dolphin emulator website they detail all of the new improvements that have been added to the emulator, including better syncing for netplay and fewer moments of desynchronization when playing online games with others on the Wii. Full stereoscopic 3D support has also been added, and it no longer forces users to choose between color quality and 3D output; it’s all there in the package.
They’ve expanded the native controller support with nearly 1:1 zoning for accurate input reads, along with improved support of the DolphinBar to make it easier to use Wii-Motes via emulation. Heck, even if you don’t buy a Wii, Nintendo still makes money on any and everyone buying Wii-Motes to use with the emulators. For Windows 8 and Windows 10 users they’ve also made it easier to read Wii-Motion Plus adapters without requiring special setups.
One of the more impressive additions to the controller setup is the fact that the emulator can properly utilize Wii-Mote audio output. There’s a demonstration video below of the feature running in an emulated version of Super Mario Galaxy.
Improvements to the environment textures known as Texture EnVironment or TEVs, have been made. Graphical glitches and texture artifacts no longer show up in various games when running DirectX 11 or OpenGL 3 renderers.
Another big feature is zFreeze Support, which has been fully implemented and optimized well enough for gamers to play Ropgue Squadron II in the Dolphin with ease. This is pretty cool for gamers who may have missed out on the game back in the day but wanted to check it out. It’s a highly underrated series and does the space battles from the Star Wars series some good justice.
Additionally, they’ve relinquished 32-bit JIT support and managed to improve CPU emulation by 100%. That’s very impressive. In fact, this should make the Dolphin more compatible with various CPU setups, lessening the requirement to have a high-end CPU to get the most out of playing Wii and GameCube games.
You can download Dolphin version 5.0 right now by grabbing the latest copy of the emulator from the Dolphin download page.