Dolphin Emulator’s latest update brings a slew of important improvements for the Android, and macOS versions of the video game console emulator.
Dolphin is one of the best emulators when it comes to playing Nintendo GameCube and Wii games. Regrettably, it is not available on desktop PCs.
The Android port has been around for quite some time now. The Dolphin Emulator team has been working on some important changes over the past two months.
Dolphin Emulator’s latest update
As part of the new update, Dolphin Emulator will be able to run natively on Apple M1 hardware. Moreover, the latest update encompasses fixes for emulation on Mali GPUs. In other words, more games will work seamlessly on Android devices, XDA Developers reported.
The team behind the Dolphin emulator added native support for Apple’s M1 chipsets in May this year. The team used the project’s AArch64 JIT (Just-In-Time) emulation core that was originally developed for Android and Windows on ARM.
Unlike emulation on 64-bit x86 hardware, Dolphin’s ARM support isn’t complete. Nevertheless, the performance in most games is excellent. In its blog post, the Dolphin Emulator team noted that macOS M1 hardware is quite impressive.
The team noted that macOS M1 hardware is capable of completely outperforming even a two-and-a-half-year-old Intel MacBook Pro. They point out that the MacBook Pro is more than three times its price, and it does this “within ARM’s reach of a powerful desktop computer.”
What else does the latest update offer?
Aside from fixing a slew of graphical issues on devices with Mali GPUs, The team noted that Mali GPUs still have major problems.
According to the Dolphin developers, there are serious bugs with the GLSL shader compiler. Moreover, Arm’s drivers implement the glCopyImageSubData feature on the CPU, rather than the GPU.
The team assured that the impending Play Store update for Dolphin will fix these issues. Dolphin’s team also hinted at a few other improvements to the Android version of the emulator. These improvements include a fix for controller inputs saving incorrectly, and adjusting the opacity of virtual buttons.
Using the emulator on a PC
The team tested the ARM version of the emulator on Microsoft’s Surface Pro X device. The Surface Pro X is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8CX Gen 2 processor.
Benchmarking shows that the processor outperforms the 2018 Macbook Pro in three out of four tested games. The graph can be seen in the image below.
However, the Snapdragon-powered Windows device still lags behind the x64 version of the emulator running on an M1 Macbook Air under Rosetta. It also lags when using an onboard Arm version of the emulator on the Apple laptop.