Video game emulators are software programs that that allow your computer to act as a video game console and play games that are stored as ROM files. Emulators for popular systems such as N64, SNES, NES, PS1, Game boy, Sega can be found on multiple sites and are usually available for free downloading. Of course, The ROM files can always be found close by. This makes them must own software for any hardcore gamer, especially if they like older games like Super Mario or Pac Man. These low requirement games work on some of the oldest computers.
Tutorials and how to videos are all over the internet, NES ROMs making emulation even easier to use for the computer illiterate gamer. YouTube and various websites contain everything you need to know about downloading, preparing, and playing emulators on your PC. anyone having trouble or trying to get started with emulation can make great use of the tutorials.
I’m sure your already wondering about the legality of this kind of software and how safe it is to download. As far as I know, owning the emulators themselves is completely legal. In order to legally download the ROMS or game files you must own the cartridge or CD format of the game. This legal loophole seems very hard to check and balance. (If I download a game from a site, how is anyone going to know if I own the cartridge or CD?)
It is a mystery to me if this software craze will be beneficial or harmful to the video game producers. I’m certain their is a good way to market this type of software legally in some sort of bundle or package deal that will eliminate some of the free downloading and make emulation a little more user friendly and not to mention profitable. For instance, if I were to happen upon a software CD that included a top of the line Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator along with thirty or forty of the platforms best game titles for a reasonable price I would jump on it. The goal of that would be to eliminate all the hassle of trying to find and use emulators downloaded free of the internet. This internet epidemic is still in its infancy and should be scrutinized with money in mind.