This article relates to Dolphin the Emulator software rather than Dolphin the mobile web browser. Although created by the same organization, the two programs are completely different. The Dolphin emulator allows developers to run games intended for the Gamecube or the Wii through a standard PC, Mac or Linux-based device.
The Dolphin emulator aims no only to match all the features of the supported consoles, but also to better them. For example it matches the functionality of the Wii by allowing users to attach a Wimote or Nunchucks and it betters it by allowing them to play their games at maximum resolution, up to and including High Definition.
Dolphin supports anti-aliasing and anisotropic filters, which give an even better gaming experience than currently available on the consoles themselves. Because of its focus on high-quality graphics, running Dolphin requires both a high-quality graphics card and a respectable CPU, in fact Dolphin can support dual-CPUs if they are available. Given that the software is intended for dedicated gamers, this is unlikely to be a problem.
While many games run on the emulator as well as (or indeed better than) they do on the consoles themselves, the fast-pace of game development means that it is inevitable that bugs crop up from time to time. Because the Dolphin Emulator enjoys a strong and enthusiastic base of users and developers, these bugs are usually spotted quickly and often fixed very promptly; however the only way to be absolutely sure that a game will run as originally intended all of the time is to run it in its native format, i.e. on a console rather than a PC.
As the capabilities of consoles are increasing, they may become a more appropriate choice for those who essentially want a device for games and for internet surfing. A console may also be a more appropriate choice where devices are shared. In other words by buying a console for playing dedicated console games, users can free up the PC for other purposes.
The Dolphin Emulator may have had a slightly faltering start to its life, but in recent years it has gone from strength to strength and is probably the best choice currently available to those who wish to play console games with the best possible graphics as well as for those looking to reduce the number of devices that they own, but need to keep the capabilities of a PC. At the same time, those who simply want to play games and surf the internet may be better served just by using a console.
About Dolphin Emulator
As an open source project, the Dolphin team is essentially open to anybody and there is an active forum where users can report issues and suggest or create improvements. The Dolphin emulator project has been running since 2003 although there was very little activity between 2004 and 2005. Thus, 2013 is its 10th anniversary year. Because the project has been running for so long and has been open source for about half of its existence (since 2008), there have been a variety of people involved with creating and developing it.
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