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Sunday Special! Emulators – The Next Best Thing?

Jacob Thomas 01/06/2013 Features

With the vast expansion of technology of gaming consoles, newly designed gaming graphics, non-hand-held accessories, etc., a new generation of gamers fail to recognize or understand just where these consoles and accessories originated from. Game Consoles, in the beginning, left behind a fast and furious trail of evolutionary dust paving the way for our current generation Game Consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s XBOX 360, and Nintendo’s family including the Wii, the recently released Wii U, Nintendo DS (and all of its expansions, including the 3DS).

NESToday, there is a quiet sound rising in the background of the video game industry and that is the rise of the Emulators.

Emulators are pieces of hardware, software, or a combination of both that duplicates (or emulates) the functions of a first computer system (the guest) in a different second computer system (the host), so that the emulated behavior closely resembles the behavior of the real system. In simpler terms, Emulators are the easiest way to access 1st-6th generation games and experiences on your home computer. This ideal way of gaming allows those who have played the original (or “old-school”) video games to re-live their childhoods on their current computing technology.

However, not all share a positive view towards Emulators as they can be seen as copyright infringement. This is typically a view shared by most die-hard gamers and game developers. 

Some see Emulators as the “next big thing” of the gaming future as it becomes increasingly more difficult to find fully functioning gaming systems such as the classic Atari 2600 released in 1978 and the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) released in 1983. (Remember,  I said “fully functioning”. In this day and age, it becomes that much more difficult to find someone willing to repair a classic piece of gaming history.)

Some examples of games that have landed on the Emulator list include that of the popular Super-Mario Bros., Galaga, Space Invaders and more. It is no wonder that a vast majority of old and new gamers are not aware of what Emulators are or what you can exactly do with an Emulator program. Some gamers who are aware of the amazing program choose to hold on to the hardware themselves for sentimental value. That being said, Emulator programs are becoming increasingly popular due to being able to buy proper original controllers that you can plug into the computer or laptop for easier game play as well.

Give it 5 years or so and we may expect to see the Playstation 2, 3 and first line of XBOX 360 games to end up on the Emulator lists.

So what are your thoughts? Do you approve of Emulators? Or should Emulators go the way of the dodo?

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  1. kcassidy 01/06/2013 at 8:02 pm

    Although I love the idea of playing older games on my PC, I dismiss getting the emulators for a few reasons. First, many of those publishers release the games in other mediums such as WiiWare, PSN or XBox Live Arcade. Second, as someone with a software background, these are emulators and the games are not designed to work on our hardware of today – there are definite lags in performance or sometimes increases which is bad (ever tried playing a game that has a clock that runs in "normal time" on your NES but extremely fast on your PC due to the CPU speed? I have…) Thirdly, again because of a developer background, I know what goes in to making the games and appreciate the concept of copyright ownership even if I am not a game developer. It takes a lot of time and effort to make them, and the creators see nothing for their work in this case. I know, Nintendo and Sony may see it as small change, but I look at it from an independent developer view. To that end, I'd rather not play the game than get it on an emulated environment of any kind. But that's just me.

  2. parisianfeline 01/06/2013 at 8:30 pm

    I'm not a fan of emulators. While it can be nice to re-capture games from one's youth, they DO recreate those old games for new systems (often times in bundle packs). Additionally, if there are people who still regularly buy PS2 games, then I'm sure there are people who still own and play their N64 or NES for example. Also, there are lots of cool games designed specifically for the PC/Mac – like The Sims – and I personally don't want to turn my laptop into another gaming device. I'm a huge supporter of the separation between gadgets (versus attempting to compartmentalize everything).

    I don't think emulators will catch on to the mainstream, however. I think it'll stay pretty niche because old games are still accessible for contemporary gaming devices, and many newer generations of games, like Mario, are very similar to when they first came out gameplay and story wise. So, I don't think there will ever be a need for them. I think the people who may use emulators may be those who don't want to purchase games – due to price issues or just because.

    And I do consider emulators as a type of video game piracy.

  3. Twitter Follow Bot 10/06/2013 at 2:47 pm

    Emulaters are super popular these days. I used to play them but I do not think they are a form of video game piracy.

    Émulateur XBOX 360 pour PC Gratuit

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