Emulating Nintendo GameCube & Wii on windows

May 28, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Thanks to the vast select of emulators available for Windows you can spend time recalling games that you first played in the 1980s, or migrate your current collection of favourite console titles to your PC.

Emulation also offers a great way in which to continue the use of legacy applications and other non-game software. For instance, you might have an old accounting app that you still use to refer to records from the past, and thanks to an emulator designed to run such software this is made possible.

However the most common use for emulation is games. One of the most popular game platforms of recent years is the Nintendo Wii, and thanks to its close similarities with progenitor the GameCube both can be emulated with the same piece of software!

Emulating Nintendo GameCube & Wii on windows

Download and Install Dolphin

In order to enjoy games from these platforms, you will need to find and download the Dolphin emulator, which is capable of running software from the GameCube and Wii.

Your PC will need to meet the following specs:

  • You will need at least a Radeon 9500 series card although Geforce FX series cards also work. You should expect problems with lower spec cards.
  • A fast CPU is required, probably at least 2 GHz.
  • A minimum of 256 MB RAM, with 1 GHz installed for the best results.
  • A Windows/DirectX-compatible soundcard.

What this all means is that basically if you have a Windows 7 PC you should be able to run Dolphin.

To get started with Dolphin visit www.emulator-zone.com and download the emulator, which is just 3.6 MB for 32-bit Windows or 4.2 MB for 64-bit.

Once downloaded, extract the .7z file using 7zip or WinRAR and run Dolphin.exe. You will find a message that says No ISOs or WADS found – the reason being that you don’t have any games lined up!

Finding and Playing GameCube and Wii Games on Dolphin

OK, here’s the bit you need to be aware of – not how to get the games, but how to use them. Basically you shouldn’t be attempting to emulate GameCube or Wii if you don’t own one or the other in console form. Additionally, it would be considered a theft of copyright if you were to download an ISO or WADS file for a title that you haven’t previously bought.

A website such as www.emuparadise.org will supply you with ROMs for GameCube, for instance.

Once downloaded you should be able to load the game up in Dolphin. To do this, use the Open button to browse for the ISO or WADS file that you downloaded (and unpacked if necessary). Using the Options menu before loading the file you will be able to specify graphics settings as well as settings for your WiiMote or GameCube Pad, enabling you to enjoy the game as well as you might on the original console!

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