Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wii Hackintosh Update

I just wanted to report that my little gaming experiment – turning my Mac into a Nintendo Wii with Dolphin Emulator – is a smashing success. In a previous post, I got Dolphin Emulator up and running with a PS3 controller. Dolphin is an awesome piece of software that runs Wii and Gamecube games on your computer (Windows, Mac OS or Linux). I recently got a Wii controller with nunchuck and a wireless sensor bar, and the whole setup works flawlessly. And it does what no Wii can ever do: it runs in 1080p!

1. Getting the Wii controller to work
This was a bit of a head scratcher. After heading over to the Wii controller tab, you should be able to select "Real Wii Controller" and then press "Refresh" while pressing 1 + 2 on the controller. My computer would pair with the controller but when I ran a game, it would just say "Connecting" and never connect to the controller. Hmm...

To get it to work, I selected "Real Wii Controller" and then pressed the red button on the back of the controller. Then I pressed the "Refresh" button. The controller would then vibrate, which means pairing was a success. That worked with me.

2. Get a Wireless Sensor Bar
The first thing I did when I got a regular wired Wii sensor bar was to try to splice it to a USB cable so I could power it from my computer. You see, the sensor bar actually doesn't communicate with the computer; it's only a set of infrared LED lights that need power. And if you have the 6-light version of the Wii sensor bar (older bars have 10 lights), USB is sufficient to power it. At least that's what I read online. Some smart people have figured this all out.

The splicing didn't work for me though I followed the directions I found online as well as I could. The wires were too tiny for my clumsy hands. So instead, I bought a wireless sensor bar. It's only P300. Works like a charm.

3. Issues?
So far, I've been playing New Super Mario Bros, and Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword and Rayman Origins and Pikmin 2. I'm very happy with the performance. I run it at 1080p and I'm getting smooth 60 frames per second on my Core i5 + Nvidia 660 Ti computer. I had some audio issues with Battalion Wars 2 and some speech was garbled in Skyward Sword, but otherwise, everything is running perfectly. Dolphin is awesome!

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