When you buy game software for the PlayStation 2, you need to own the console in order to be able to play your purchased games. But if you happen to have an emulator, you can bypass the need for the console and play the games directly on your own PC. So, basically, this is what an emulator is―a program that mimics or emulates the hardware of the game console well enough to run any software meant only for that game console.
Emulators are created using a process called reverse engineering. Console games are distributed through CDs or DVDs. These contain a copy of the game, or the copy of the game memory chip, and can be used on a PC with the help of an emulator. You can use an emulator to play games designed for PlayStation 2 on your personal computer, and you can also use the emulator to carry out the functions of one console on another console. This is called cross-console emulation.
With emulators, you can play older games or older versions of current games. Gamers also used emulators to modify existing games, translate them into different languages, and to develop brand-new games.
Disadvantages of PlayStation Emulator
Yes, all this does seem too good to be true. I mean, think about it, a piece of software (sometimes available freely) that renders a piece of hardware worth around $500 obsolete. But then, there are some factors that space the real McCoy from the others. Here are some of the disadvantages of the PlayStation emulator, or any emulator for that purpose.
- Remember that most emulators just 'work' the game. All consoles have various features like 'Shake', which add to the gaming experience―simply impossible to achieve on the personal computer.
- Most emulators cannot give the graphic quality that an actual console would be able to.
- All console games are built for consoles, as are their control keys. It is hell and beyond for a casual gamer to even adapt the keyboard controls to the controls of the gamepad; simply put, an emulator may be a bad idea for the casual gamer, while it will be a boon to the hardcore gamer
Legal Issues of Using Emulators
Emulators made their entry into the gaming world on a fun, lighthearted note. The people who created them did not have piracy on their minds, and most of them still don't. The main purpose usually is to be able to access and play as many different games as possible on PCs. And the way to go about making this possible is by freeing code from the shackles of proprietary hardware. Thanks to emulators, gamers are not restricted to specific proprietary hardware environments, and have a greater choice of games to play. Which sounds nice enough, but there are a couple of problems with this freedom-loving outlook.
Most emulators required a copy of the game console BIOS in order to function. And this software is created and designed at enormous cost by the console companies. It is their copyrighted property and, given the time and money they've put into it, they are not generally in the habit of making their proprietary software available for free and without the specialized hardware. This means that if the emulators must get the BIOS, they have to do it illegally―unless they buy the console first.
Another issue is that emulators have caught up in such a big way with the gaming community that many people are now questioning the need for specialized gaming platforms and dedicated gaming boxes in the first place. If you can emulate any game format on your PC, why spend money on a game console? Nowadays, with PCs catching up with game consoles as regards to graphics and sound capabilities, it is even easier to use and enjoy emulators effectively. So in short, emulators could render proprietary video game consoles technically superfluous. And this is the main gripe of the companies like Sony and Nintendo. It's bad business for them.