Emulators have been used on Android for quite some time, but, for the most part, games have been restricted to older, less intensive titles. Personally, I’ve always wanted GameCube games on my tablet, but performance has always been pretty terrible. However, it seems that with the Galaxy S8, things are changing for the better…
Nomad case for Pixel 3
Dolphin Emulator for Android has been around for quite some time, but as I mentioned, performance for GameCube titles on most Android devices has been absolutely horrible. It was simply unplayable, even on the most powerful Android hardware. Even last year’s flagships couldn’t handle it.
However, this year’s phones are ready, starting with the Samsung Galaxy S8. As shown off in a hands-on video on a Galaxy S8 demo unit, GameCube games aren’t only running on the Galaxy S8, but they’re running incredibly well. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Super Mario Sunshine all play without too much trouble, keeping up consistent performance for the most part.
Obviously, some games will do better than others, as the video shows that Wind Waker plays better than Smash Bros. Why the drastic performance bump for these games? I’d guess that it’s at least partially due to Samsung’s use of the powerful new Snapdragon 835 chipset. What’s great about that is that other Android devices released over the course of the year should also be able to handle games like these, too.
While the on-screen controls look like a nightmare to use, a Bluetooth controller isn’t too hard to obtain. Until Nintendo finally enables a virtual console on the Switch, you bet I’ll be playing Super Mario Sunshine on the S8.