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Retro Nintendo games on Steam Deck? Not any time soon

The popular game system emulator Dolphin will not launch on Valve’s Steam Store after all, following objection from Nintendo.

The software, which enables gamers to play titles from non-native systems, had been poised to become available on PCs, via Steam, making the Steam Deck handheld a prime candidate for playing old Nintendo ROMs.

Given Dolphin is most associated with playing older or retro titles, Nintendo got wind and issued a cease and desist latter. As such the launch has been “indefinitely postponed”.

Valve, which received the notice from Nintendo, has removed the listing, which had been in place since late March. The team behind Dolphin confirmed the project had been paused in a statement over the weekend.

The statement read: “It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on Steam release has been indefinitely postponed. We were notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin’s Steam page, and have removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently investigating our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future.”

In a statement provided to Kotaku, the Japanese gaming giant said: “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.”

The letter from Nintendo to Valve cited copyright laws on both sides of the Atlantic and spoke of the latter’s “obligation” to remove the app from the Steam Store.

However, given Nintendo isn’t seemingly interested in allowing those games to be played on its own Switch consoles, it’s difficult to blame folks for seeking other alternatives, as long as it’s within the law.

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