You can now run GameCube and Wii games on an Xbox Series X|S with Dolphin

Dolphin Emulator for UWP on Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Modern Vintage Gamer)

What you need to know

  • Dolphin Emulator for UWP allows you to play GameCube and Wii games on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
  • The emulator rolled out in beta in December 2022 and has since received a couple of updates.
  • Dolphin Emulator for UWP supports HD upscaling, works with HD texture pack mods, and can be used to play titles in their original resolution.

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have a vast library of games, but a new emulator expands that collection even further. It'll take some work to set up, but once you've jumped through the proper hoops, a new standalone Dolphin emulator will let you play almost any GameCube or Wii game on your Xbox console.

Dolphin Emulator for UWP first rolled out in beta on December 6, 2022. It has since received a couple of updates, bringing it to version 1.02.

It's worth noting that emulators fall into a legal gray area.

The standalone Dolphin emulator is capable of upscaling games to up to 1440p. You can also play titles at their original resolution if you prefer. With mods, you can use HD texture packs to make games look more modern and have higher resolution.

The emulator also supports a broadband adapter, but the usefulness of that varies greatly depending on the game you want to play online. For example, Mario Kart Double Dash would require tunnelling software to access online play.

Emulation isn't new the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or other consoles but the Dolphin emulator has some advantages over other options. As highlighted by Modern Vintage Gamer, the standalone Dolphin emulator is much easier to set up and use than RetroArch (another way to emulate games on the consoles). The standalone Dolphin UWP port for Xbox also delivers better performance.

Of course, you can't just download the Dolphin emulator through the Microsoft Store. The easiest way to install the emulator is by enabling Developer Mode on your Xbox console. It's also possible to set up by using retail mode. A computer is needed to configure your Xbox controller and other parts of your system. You should also have a USB drive handy. Modern Vintage Gamer walks through the entire process in their video.

It's possible to run Dolphin Emulator for UWP on older Xbox consoles, such as the Xbox One X, but performance will see a significant drop compared to playing on the Series X or Series S.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).