Archiv 2017

Dolphin Progress Report: April 2017


One of the more difficult parts of being an emulator is balancing accuracy, performance and presentation. When Dolphin replaced the hacky, broken asynchronous audio with the synchronous New AX-HLE and New Zelda-HLE implementations, audio accuracy greatly increased! It came as quite the shock when users started complaining about this change and demanding asynchronous audio's return. Some of the criticisms were valid; there were bugs in early synchronous audio causing increased latency that weren't present in asynchronous audio.

All of these growing pains were eventually fixed, but, one complaint stood out - slowdown affected audio for the first time for a majority of users. This was seen as an unfixable issue. After all, it doesn't make sense for audio to run full speed if nothing else is! The issues were closed and the concern was filed away until users got used to the change.

Long-term, we did learn something from this dilemma. While synchronous audio was undoubtedly better for the project and solved the major emulation issues with audio, it caused a whole bunch of presentation issues we neglected to fix... until now.

This month, we have a lot to offer. Custom texture support gets supercharged, the JIT sees some important maintainability changes, and a smattering of audio changes include a huge presentation change to audio that will help users hear games pleasantly even under slowdown.

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Dolphin Progress Report: March 2017


In case you missed it, we had a special April Fools announcement on our Youtube Channel that blog writer JMC47 retired due to his failed bid to sing well in American Idol on Wii. If you want to catch up on the ridiculousness, the video is still up for all to gaze at in utter confusion.


April Fools 2017 - Retirement


With that out of the way, some delays to get everything ready have given us more time to tighten things up and bulk up what has been a relatively quiet month outside of a few mammoth changes. A group of Wii IOS changes were noteworthy enough to get their own article with the Wii Shop Channel finally getting compatibility in Dolphin. That's right, you can buy games from Nintendo within Dolphin, or, download titles you've purchased on your Wii in Dolphin, assuming you're using that Wii's NAND.

Other than that, the long awaited GPU Texture Decoders finally got merged for a broad performance increases and a new Bounding Box fallback path works on any machine that can run Dolphin. So we hope you can enjoy this breakdown of March's (and a little of April's) notable changes!

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Proof of Purchase: Wii Shop Channel Support


As of version 5.0-2874, Dolphin can do the unthinkable: you can now access the Wii Shop Channel from within the emulator.


System Menu Improvements Featuring Wii Shop Channel Support!


Dolphin can now download the free demos Nintendo made available on the system, as well as purchase Wiiware and Virtual Console games from the service. Because this feature is so new, it may take some time for the guides to get updated. The Wii Networking Guide will get ...

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Dolphin Progress Report: February 2017


As most of you know, Dolphin was born a GameCube emulator. A lot of its core design and concepts are based around assumptions made that it would only be a GameCube emulator. And, as a GameCube emulator, Dolphin performs admirably, with the ability to boot every single title and a large portion of the library having no major issues.

But, Dolphin isn't just a GameCube emulator. One of the more incredible things about its history is that it was modified into a Wii emulator around the time it went open source in 2008. While the core of the Wii is a supercharged GameCube, and things like CPU and GPU emulation were fairly easy to modify into working with only some minor details changing, there are a lot of quirks around it that have been problematic. Not only are there emulation challenges associated with the Wii that Dolphin side-stepped with some dirty hacks, it also struggled to add on all of the new features of the Wii. For many years, the Wii Remote, GameCube controllers configuration, and GameCube controller settings were completely split apart because Dolphin's UI was not designed with more than one primary input method in mind!


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UI Design 101: More menus = better.

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Putting all of the options in one place looks better and is easier to use.



In terms of actual emulation, the problems mostly come from the Wii's Starlet ARM coprocessor and everything it brings to the table. To give you an idea of how important Starlet and IOS (Internal Operating System) are on Dolphin, it controls features such as disc access, savegames, networking, USB, ES_Launch (aka, booting games,) and other features necessary for the Wii to function.

Last month, we saw a lot of IOS-HLE improvements, resulting in a big uptick in compatibility. But with these accuracy improvements have come some hiccups and regressions as well. When we fixed The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask by using proper, reverse-engineered values for some important IOS-related things, it brought out some regressions too.

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Dolphin Progress Report: January 2017


Sometimes, it's easy to forget how much work there is left to do on a refined emulator. While the rush of getting a new game to boot or discovering a crazy feature hidden within an obscure gem never gets old, those moments do tend to get further and further apart as accuracy increases. As if to defy fate itself, excitement reigned over the month of January as a plethora of ancient bugs were fixed and many unbootable titles finally saw their day of reckoning come to be!

Among the new recruits are the final Virtual Console game, a massive Wii MMO that installs itself to USB, two games where we're almost certain the developers purposefully put code in to defeat Dolphin, and two channels developed by the remnants of Factor 5.



This is a massive Progress Report, so buckle up and enjoy this month's Notable Changes.

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Dolphin Progress Report: December 2016


We have celebrated the 15th anniversary of the GameCube and the 10th anniversary of the Wii in the last few months. As the Wii's successor, and the brand lineage, has been discontinued in the run-up to the release of the Switch, it is a time for reflection. But, this doesn't mean an end for the GameCube and Wii; if anything, it's a new beginning.

This is when emulation and preservation becomes even more important. How many titles in previous generations would have been lost or forgotten if not for emulation? How many of your favorite games were first experienced in an emulator? With Nintendo's NES Classic and Virtual Console lines, it's very likely that the next generation of gamers are going to be more aware of emulation than ever. Favorite games and experiences are not only going to be passed from friend to friend, but across generations. And we here are going to do our best to make sure that not only are those popular games awaiting, but the entire library of highs and lows, knowns and unknowns.

On the note of software that most people probably haven't experienced, we decided to take a look at one of Nintendo's more interesting pack-in titles, The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition. Featuring emulation software for both the NES and N64 Zelda games (With A Link to the Past omitted only because they were trying to sell the Game Boy Player,) and a demo of Wind Waker, it's one of the more sought after GameCube games.


The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition - A Quick Retrospective


With all of that out of the way, we hope you enjoy this month's notable changes!

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Monatliche Archive

Voriges Jahr

2016