Arkib pengarang: MayImilae

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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Dolphin Progress Report: November 2016


The biggest news of the month regarding Wii emulation has nothing to do with Dolphin. The vehicle for many of our hardware tests and much, much more, The Homebrew Channel, has gone open source. In its heyday, it was stuffed to the brim with anti-reverse engineering code to prevent nefarious entities from selling the free program. Unfortunately, some of those tricks were also designed to prevent Dolphin from running it. This isn't due to a dislike of Dolphin; in recent years, we've even been tipped off to what we'd need to do to get past the anti-Dolphin checks.

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Dolphin Progress Report: October 2016


This month, we have a few very important things to go over before we get to our notable changes, so let's dig right into that.


NVIDIA Vulkan Support Update

Users may remember that we recommended using older versions of the NVIDIA drivers when using Vulkan. Well, this is no longer required as once NVIDIA was aware of the bug, they fixed it in a few minutes and the fix was rolled out in driver version 375.63. Users can now use the latest ...

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Bluetooth Passthrough


These days, most emulators use pre-configured mappings to allow any controller that uses xinput to be immediately mapped to whatever the original console used. But that is only possible because of the standardized button layout that has proliferated throughout consoles. Mapping older controllers, such as the SNES controller, to a modern controller is pretty much trivial. Even a PS2 controller can be mapped to an Xbox 360 controller without losing much.

For Dolphin, things get a bit more complicated. While the GameCube Controller has a few trouble spots, ...

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Dolphin Progress Report: September 2016


There was apparently some big deal this month about getting every GameCube game to boot. But, the increasingly more amusing part of this new found accuracy is emulating game crashes. When using MMU Enabled + Single Core, it should be impossible for a game to crash Dolphin, but, much more likely to emulate a game crashing in situations where it would on console. As such, booting all games is old news, Dolphin is now onto emulating crashes in all games. One infamous one that didn't work in Dolphin is known as the Gotcha Force "Force 20" game glitch.


Gotcha Force "Force 20" Crash

Though not specially highlighted this month, our applause has to go to aldelero5 for continuing to work on and renovate Dolphin's debugger. With Dolphin's increasingly accurate MMU emulation, it's actually become even more useful to poke at and prod games. They are making it so much easier to research and prod bugs like this to delve even deeper into the game logic!

While that was merged near the beginning of the month, we had another major change merged at the end of the month. Two hours before the progress report was originally scheduled. Dolphin now has another experimental backend, this time using the Vulkan API. Much like D3D12, it should be considered experimental, with a few features still missing from the backend, and many drivers having their own issues with Vulkan.

With that out of the way, let's get onto this month's notable changes!

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Booting the Final GameCube Game


Every single GameCube game can at least boot in Dolphin 5.0. Except one. Star Wars: The Clone Wars and its complex way of using the PowerPC Memory Management Unit rendered it unplayable in Dolphin up to this day. But finally as of Dolphin 5.0-540, this challenge has come and gone: Dolphin can finally boot every single GameCube game in the official library.


Star Wars: The Clone Wars Running in Dolphin


So what makes Star Wars: The Clone Wars so special? To truly understand what's going on, you need to have some knowledge on how the PowerPC's processor handles memory management and how Dolphin emulates it.

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Dolphin Progress Report: August 2016


Dolphin started solely as a GameCube emulator, focused only on the one console. But, when the Wii was released and it was discovered to have hardware almost identical to its older sibling, Dolphin naturally evolved into a GameCube and Wii emulator. All of our readers are probably familiar with this. However, many people don't know that there is yet another console based on the GameCube, one which Dolphin has emulated - the Triforce. An arcade system board developed in a joint partnership between the three powerhouses Namco, Sega, and Nintendo, the Triforce used the GameCube hardware as the heart of many arcade games. Mario Kart GP and GP2, F-Zero AX, along with many other titles headline the Triforce's release library.

This month, Dolphin developers have removed Triforce emulation as one of Dolphin's notable features by removing the ability to use the AM-Baseboard, which was the key to activating Dolphin's Triforce features. After months of discussion, it was determined that while Dolphin should be able to emulate Triforce titles, there simply isn't anyone around to maintain and update the Triforce code. It was implemented in a different time and more or less bruteforces the Triforce games into working in Dolphin without much care into how it fits in and interfaces with the rest of the emulator. A branch still exists that is capable of booting many Triforce games for those interested in playing them.

Developers decided to disable the current triforce emulation with the intent of spurring interest of having efforts toward emulating it revived. Working from a crippled base isn't going to help anyone. The other reason for disabling it is that it has little to no relevance for users: no one is even sure if it could boot any of the triforce games in the condition that it was left in for master.

While Triforce emulation has been disabled, there have been a lot of changes improving the emulation of GameCube and Wii games this month. It's that time again, for the month's notable changes!

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Dolphin Progress Report: June and July 2016


Now that the festivities surrounding the Dolphin 5.0 (and more importantly the feature freeze) are complete, changes have begun to roll into Dolphin once again. While none of the heavy hitters have gotten in just yet, June and July had more than their fair share of merges, regressions, and reverts that make up the typical Dolphin workflow.

It's good to be back!

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Dolphin 5.0 Release


Dolphin 5.0 Release Video


The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release is finally here! After nearly a year of bug-hunting and handling the release process, everything has come together for our biggest release yet! The three previous releases followed a very distinct pattern: sacrifice performance, hacks, and features in exchange for higher accuracy. As such, Dolphin 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 progressively grew slower. But thanks to the cleanups put forward throughout those releases, Dolphin 5.0 is the fastest Dolphin has ever been!

By removing all of those hacks and outdated features while cleaning up the codebase, Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. On the GPU side, OpenGL and D3D11 have seen tons of optimizations and accuracy improvements, and have been joined by a brand new D3D12 backend for huge performance gains. If there's a CPU or GPU extension that can make Dolphin faster, we take advantage of it.

At a basic level, Dolphin 5.0 is more accurate and more efficient than previous builds in every way. Individual games will vary, especially due to various hacks being removed along the way. Dolphin 5.0 can be downloaded for Windows and Mac OS X from our official website: dolphin-emu.org.

System Requirements to run Dolphin 5.0 can be found here but here's a quick rundown of what changed:

  • 64-bit CPUs and Operating Systems are required.
  • Windows XP is no longer supported. Windows Vista is no longer officially supported.
  • Direct3D10/OpenGL3 Required. This means AMD Radeon 4xxx, NVIDIA GeForce 8xxx, or Intel HD 2xxx minimum! Anything older than that will most likely not work or will have significant glitches.

Dolphin on Android is not getting a release build. This does not mean it's falling behind or anything. We just did not feel like Dolphin on Android has reached any milestone with these changes. We'd rather it have its own special time in the sun when it comes, instead of tagging it onto what has been an already concerted effort on the desktop release.

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Making Dolphin More Productive - Optional Usage Statistics Reporting


With Dolphin 5.0 almost here, we have one last announcement to make. In order to improve user experience in Dolphin, we're going to add a way for users to automatically contribute anonymized information about how Dolphin is running.

One of the chief inefficiencies in Dolphin development is that the team really doesn't get much feedback on how Dolphin is performing in the real world. Our dedicated testers can only do so much with limited hardware, game libraries, and time. On top of that, while fifoci is ...

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