Third-party emulation has always been a dicey issue for hardware and software manufacturers alike as it offers access to content people may not legally own, but that's about to change in the case of Wii emulator Dolphin, which has become so adept at emulating Nintendo's decade-old console that it can access the official Wii Shop Channel and directly purchase games from Nintendo.

"Have you ever wanted to put your credit card information into an emulator? Well now you can," one of the Dolphin devs said in a YouTube video demonstrating this new feature.

As for the benefits of Dolphin, it upscales Wii games into HD resolutions, whereas the console itself was beholden to 480p. Now you can play games like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy, or Xenoblade Chronicles in a way that looks more glorious than ever.

Purchasing online games isn't the only new breakthrough the Dolphin has achieved, as it can now allow players to export data onto an SD card, just like a real Wii.

It's worth noting that while the Dolphin works with Nintendo's first-party shop, it's still not officially given Nintendo's blessing.

There's still a little rigmarole in setting up the Dolphin, but there's some handy guides out there to get you started. In short, we finally have a way to play Wii games in HD without skirting the legally grey terrain of software piracy. And they look beautiful.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

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