Dolphin: the Gamecube & Wii Emulator for Mac
Dolphin is probably the best Gamecube and Wii Emulator for Mac that exists, it’s open source and somewhat regularly updated so you won’t be stuck high and dry like the old GameCube Gcube emulator.
Dolphin supports playing both Wii and Gamecube discs and downloadable games, and it has your typical emulator features like save states, controller support, and various graphical enhancements such as anti-aliasing.
Update: Dolphin is now easier than ever to use, just download the precompiled version here, leaving the technical process below behind. You can still use the methods outlined below if you’d like, but it may be unnecessarily complicated just to get the Dolphin emulator running.
Getting Dolphin running requires a bit more technical knowledge than just downloading an application and installing it, you’ll need the following:
- Xcode – this is on your Mac OS X installer disk or can be downloaded from Apple
- MacPorts – MacPorts gives you access to tons of open source software that is ported over from the unix world
The first thing you’ll need to do is download and install both Xcode and MacPorts, they are both pretty simple to install if you haven’t done so already.
Next you’ll need to use MacPorts to install some of the Dolphin dependencies on your Mac, the first is called SCons, which you can install by typing:
sudo port install scons
Next you need to install the aforementioned wxWidgets from their SVN repository:
svn co -r66144 http://svn.wxwidgets.org/svn/wx/wxWidgets/trunk wxWidgets
Then you have to configure the build environment, as follows:
../configure --disable-shared --enable-image --enable-universal_binary --with-aui --with-cocoa \
Finally you can compile and make wxWidgets:
make && sudo make install
Once all that is done, you can finally grab the latest Dolphin emulator source from the Google code repository:
svn co http://dolphin-emu.googlecode.com/svn/trunk dolphin-emu
Then you use the previously installed SCons to build Dolphin:
scons verbose=true wxconfig=/usr/local/bin/wx-config
Now you should be done and you can finally launch Dolphin and emulate Gamecube and Wii games on your Mac. As I said, this is a somewhat laborious and technical process so the average Mac user might not want to bother. If you get confused along the way, you can checkout the GitHub code project for Dolphin, which provides installation instructions as well.