Following a recent comment thread in a Dark Souls article I've gotten back into the emulation scene for the first time since my MAME days in highschool. I've always had Znes on an old cd for a quick go on Total Carnage but this is the first time I've gone deeper.
First thing to strike me is how easy it is to find. Finding the sites is easy as pie and they don't even try to hide it or require log in details. One site boasted of tens of millions of downloads a year, a claim backed by page counts and download tickers.
Second thing to strike me is how good its become. The latest PS2 emulator is pretty much plug and play, no need to mount iso or configure individual games and with far better upscaling than any official channels.
Left MGS 3 original/ right emulated and upscaled
So I have two questions.
Where do you draw the line morally? For me I won't touch an emulator or rom if the game is still legally available from the original makers. So nothing past the Playstation 1 for me. Yes I know legal is not the same as moral and yes I know it's probably illegal but that brings to the second question.
Why isn't this official? Why don't Sony release an official PS2 emulator for PC and charge say $5 a game? They're already doing this with the download store but why consciously exclude such a huge potential market by limiting it to their own hardware. Again a single website showed the emulator above had been downloaded over a million times in the three months since release. My PS1 emulator had been downloaded fourteen million times. If Sega can do it why hasn't Nintendo? It is pathetically easy to emulate Super Nintendo and Game Boy advance games and it shows with just how many users there are. So why no official channel to get it?
Is it just an example of executives being too busy lighting their farts and having affairs to notice this whole market or is there some fine print that actually prevents the manufacturers from doing this?