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Nintendo Explains Why it Blocked Dolphin Steam Release

We know that Nintendo decided to block the release of Dolphin on Steam this week. Yesterday, we covered the news that Nintendo issued a DMCA takedown notice to the creators of Dolphin to prevent the launch of the Wii and GameCube emulator app on Steam.

While there are other Nintendo emulators on Steam, the company hasn’t really targeted them in the past with DMCA notices. It appears that Nintendo doesn’t like Dolphin specifically because the emulator uses the Wii Common Key to decrypt Wii games.

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Other emulators require users to obtain their own BIOS files in order to operate the app and launch games. In a way, the “legal” method is to pull these BIOS files from your hardware. However, you can also just get them online which is illegal, of course.

Dolphin, on the other hand, doesn’t require a BIOS because of the Wii Common Key which does the decryption for you. This is where Nintendo has taken issue.

In a statement to Kotaku, the company says that the DMCA was issued because Dolphin illegally bypasses Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games.

“Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games. Using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to do the same.”

Since the statement was published, industry people have spoken out about the ongoing drama saying that Dolphin will unlikely win this case because of the Wii Common Key. Nintendo owns all copyrights to each BIOS file which gets decrypted by Dolphin when being used. This is where the illegal process takes place.

In order to bypass this, Dolphin would need to remove all automatic decryption from the app and rely on users extracting their own BIOS to use the emulator. But there’s more to it than just that. There’s also Dolphin’s previous track record with piracy and the Wii Common Key. It would have to prove to be a safe and legal platform before Nintendo removes the strike.

Source: Kotaku

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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