Mar 12, 2023 4 min read

overkill digest: The Steam Deck is my emulation station

In this week‘s overkill digest, we look at the new release of EmulationStation, why the Steam Deck is my emulation machine, and more.

overkill digest: The Steam Deck is my emulation station

Good morning, and welcome to the end of yet another week.

This is overkill digest, a weekly newsletter on all things gaming. If you are reading this on the website, know that it's just a preview, but you can sign up for free to read the whole post.

⭐ Big this week

The developers of EmulationStation (Desktop-Edition) have released a significant new update to the emulator frontend used and installed by tools like EmuDeck and RetroDeck. Version 2.0 has a new theme engine, allowing designers to create wholly revamped frontend designs, several new integrated platforms – the biggest being Wii U via CEMU – and your obligatory enhancements and bug fixes.

EmulationStation might be the app/game I open the most on Steam Deck. Those, who've been reading this website and the newsletter (and my other work) for a while now, will know how much I am into emulating older platforms, especially the different handheld platforms of my youth.

But it's not just that emulation is a big part of how I play video games; I believe strongly that emulation and video game preservation is vital for our whole community. You need to look at what is happening at Nintendo right now — with the Wii U and 3DS eshop going offline in two weeks and Wii U consoles even seemingly bricking out of the blue.

If you don't own a functioning device and a bunch of games, you might be out of luck and never experience the great titles released for these platforms – or any other platform axed over the years. Well, except if you go down the emulation route.

This is the reason why there are several guides on overkill, with more coming soon. It is why I love solutions like EmulationStation and all the different standalone emulation apps, and it is also why the Steam Deck is the perfect device for this, as it can emulate nearly all of these "abandoned" platforms. The Steam Deck does what Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Co. won't.

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