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Emulation: The Secret Multiconsole

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On our most recent episode of The B-Team Podcast a listener wrote in to ask about whether or not we consider it right to emulate a game that was more than eighteen years old.  While my rant was less than ideal, I felt it was time to discuss the often unwritten world of emulation.  We will discuss what emulation is, reasons why it exists and what ethical and legal choices you may need to make prior to diving in.

What is emulation?

The word itself says it all: emulation.  Emulation is defined as “the act of imitating” and that is precisely what emulation means in terms of video games: different hardware attempting to imitate other hardware.  In the beginning this was limited to computers because they were the only format capable of re-creating consoles effectively, but lately this has been expanded to portable and home consoles.  Thanks to most consoles having limited hardware due to cost issues, early consoles were capable of being emulated on computers of the day.  This all changed starting with the 3D generation, consoles like the Playstation and Saturn and technical specs.  Recent consoles like the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 strip away the processing power core and have high-end graphical processors, which makes emulation on computers difficult.  It is true that Crysis looks better on PC, but to have a PC try to re-create a Playstation 3 and then try to run the PS3 version of Crysis is just an overuse of resources and requires too much power to be worth it.

ePSXe enhances Playstation graphics

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Written by Fred Rojas

January 5, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Emulation, Lessons