[Stable release] Say hello to DolphiniOS emulator, play GameCube/Wii games on jailbroken iPhone/iPad

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 9, 2019) follows:

If you are a gamer, the concept of emulation shouldn’t surprise you. Multitudes of gaming console emulators are out there to help you live your vintage memories. What they do is allowing you to run titles from a console on another platform.

Take Dolphin Emulator for example. Officially available for Windows, macOS, and Android, it brings Nintendo GameCube and Wii titles to other devices with support for all PC controllers, turbo speed, networked multiplayer and more.

dolphin emulator windows
Dolphin Emulator for Windows (Tap/click to zoom- Source)

I can visualise your face right now. Being an iOS user, you might have wrinkled your forehead. But don’t worry! Developers have been working hard to bring the emulator to iPhone/iPad as well. Guess what? Something fruitful has just gone live.

Yeah, an initial build of DolphiniOS is available right now. But the release note mentions the version isn’t suitable for general use. In case you are dying to play your favourite GameCube/Wii games, you need to have a few requirements.

You need the following:
Xcode 11 (older Xcode versions may work, not tested)
Jailbroken iOS / iPadOS device running iOS 12 and above
Then, you can build:
*Install AppSync Unified on your device from cydia.angelxwind.net.
*Clone the repo.
*Open Source/iOS/DolphiniOS/DolphiniOS.xcodeproj.
*Initiate a build in Xcode.
Target devices
*The device must be jailbroken.
*Devices with A9, A10, and A11 processors were tested. These were an iPhone 6s, a 6th gen iPad, and an iPhone X.
*A8, A12, and A13 devices were unable to be tested because @Simonx22 and I don’t own any.
*A7 and A8 processors have GPUs that don’t support arrays of textures, so the Vulkan backend is not supported.
*A6 processors and below are 32-bit.

dolphinios nintendo emulator
Tap/click to zoom

From the release thread on Reddit, we could figure out that cloning the repo isn’t possible at the moment. Instead, you can use this IPA file. Moreover, you should add a config file into Filza in var/mobile/containers/data/application/DolphiniOS/Documents.

dolphinios vulkan build
Click/tap to zoom

Apparently, you need a jailbroken iDevice. Not just any, but checkra1n one as it has “dynamic-codesigning” entitlement in unapproved apps. So, what makes it not apt for general use? Well, here you go!

*BoundingBox is not supported, since MoltenVK sets fragmentStoresAndAtomics to true only on macOS. However, forcing this feature to be enabled shows that it works fine on iOS (albeit with minor glitches). I’m not sure what I should be looking for on the Metal feature set table to see if iOS GPU drivers really support this feature.
*Metal does not support geometry shaders or setting line width.
*OpenGLES, like OpenGL on macOS, has been abandoned for a very long time. EXT_buffer_storage support is nowhere to be found. As expected, the OpenGL backend is unusable.
Known issues
*Core::IsCPUThread() does not work for some reason. The call in JitArm64::HandleFault() needs to be commented out when testing for now.
*Controller INIs from the Android version needs to be copied manually. GCPadNew.ini and WiimoteNew.ini go in Config and WiimoteProfile.ini in Config/Profiles/Wiimote.
*To stop emulation, you have to quit the application.
*You have to manually switch the controller type (GameCube controller or Wiimote with Nunchuk) in the source code.
*There is no D-Pad on any controller type.
*No build system that generates a deb for Cydia.
*There are likely code style compliance issues. Swift code is entirely unchecked by lint.
Many other things.

Wondering how the game play looks like? Have a look at the video given below. And, stay tuned to this story so that you get to know whenever we have an update on DolphiniOS.

Update 1 (December 16)

Exactly a week after releasing the initial build, the first stable version of DolphiniOS went live today. You can read the full story here.

Note:- Route to our iOS section for similar stories.

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Rahul Krishnan

Rahul Krishnan, a wordsmith from Kerala, India is always in lookout for his next article idea. He is a fanatic reader. And, the rumour is that his mom has recently hidden his debit card so that he won't buy books anymore. She doesn't know he has a spare one.