Yes, The Steam Deck Can Emulate 3DS And WiiU Games

The Steam Deck can do something that might have extended the lifespan of the WiiU: emulate 3DS games using two big ol’ screens.

With the impending closure of the 3DS and WiiU eShops, those of us who would love to re-experience some of the games available on these platforms definitely wish there were better ways to play them. Sure, the world of emulation has made accessing all sorts of games a lot easier (despite the legality of it being a bit grey), but the unique hardware properties of both consoles mean that while emulation is possible, the lack of a touch screen leaves people wanting more.

Using a Steam Deck, a monitor, and the power of Linux and emulation, YouTube content creators GameXData have successfully managed to emulate 3DS games to recreate what I consider to be an authentic WiiU experience, which was essentially just a big Nintendo DS.

The image shows GameXData emulating either Pokemon X or Y, using the monitor as the 3DS’s top screen and the Steam Deck as the 3DS’s bottom screen. While 3DS/DS emulation has been possible on computers for a while now, this is different. Considering the Steam Deck itself has a touch screen as well as a built-in microphone, this kind of emulation is really the only way to get the most accurate gameplay out of classic 3DS games without having the actual console.

And similarly, only a few days prior they confirmed that the machine can successfully emulate WiiU games in currently the only way they can be emulated for an entirely accurate experience of the games.

As a light WiiU apologist, I always considered the Nintendo Switch blueprint console to basically just be a big Nintendo DS. In saying this, I feel like there were so many missed opportunities for Nintendo to port Nintendo DS and 3DS games over to the WiiU. Taking into account that companies simply love to make money, it seemed like a no-brainer to bring as many DS/3DS games to the WiiU as they possibly could. But alas, here we are.

Speaking to the Steam Deck though, this is just another example of the amazing capabilities of the handheld console. So much so, that it enrages me considering it’s not available in Australia yet. I mean, I’m not mad. Definitely not mad. In fact, I’m not even owned. I’m not owned. The Steam Deck will come to Australia one day maybe, but in the meantime, I’m not mad and I’m not owned. It’s actually chill.

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