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Console emulator

A console emulator is a program for a computer, or other computing device, that can emulate a video game console, so a computer can be used to play games that were created for that console or to develop games for that console.

Console games for emulators are often distributed as ROM images[?] on the Internet. Without the permission of the copyright holder, this practice is illegal, although few copyright holders appear to care about older games (See Abandonware), and a few copyright holders have even released their games and demos gratis or even as free software.

For more up-to-date systems (eg: Nintendo's Game Boy, N64; Sega's Dreamcast, Sony's Playstation) the copyright holders tend to be more proactive about protecting their copyrights, and a number of websites offering ROMs have been shut down. The rights of the company which created the console are infringed upon by the emulators, as much of the proprietary information used within the consoles has been reverse engineered[?] to emulate the ROMs.

Many ROM sites claim that it is legal to download the ROMs for backup purposes if one owns a physical copy of the software, or for a limited trial period if one does not, but it is doubtful that this information is based on sound legal advice. However, it appears that Title 17 USC Section 117 [1] (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/117) permits making a backup copy within the United States.

Some popular console emulators include GNUBoy[?], FCE Ultra[?], nester[?], Snes9x[?], and TuxNES[?].

See also: List of emulators

External Links

  • The EmuFAQ (http://www.eidolons-inn.de/emufaq2000/)

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