PC can be a PlayStation

2014-05-31 00:00

FOR decades computer fanatics, hackers and pirates have found ways around the hypothetical wall of using a device for just the purposes it was designed for.

The idea of emulation of gaming consoles on PC is not new. It’s simple to turn a PC into a PlayStation 1 for example, just as easy to play PS 2 games on the PC as well, and PS 3 emulation is making waves on the web at present and possibly a PS 4 in the not too distant future.

Around the world, computer geniuses have put their minds to developing a long list of emulators that are as easy to download as to simply type “free PS 1 emulator” in Google.

But never mind PlayStation — fancy an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Gameboy or PSP on your computer? The list is endless. Almost every device including gaming consoles pre-2000 are available online — for free.

The chaos doesn’t end there. Techies have managed to take it a step further by creating software that allows the users to control the emulators, using the officially manufactured controllers from Sony and Xbox, wirelessly — eliminating the need for one to even purchase these consoles.

Of course emulation is illegal, but, in the end, is inevitable. Thousands of videos on YouTube explain in detail with desktop views of where to download and install the emulators. Starting at the basics, most of the videos explain which websites to go to, the extra files needed to run the software and other requirements. Suddenly, while listening to the narration one realises all this is being done by a 12-year-old kid in Europe.

With the emulators, understandably an extensive list of every game ever created exists on Internet in the form of “roms”. The latest gaming titles for console such as Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin’s Creed and others that normally retail for about R800 at release, are all available somewhere.

The phenomenon of emulation has sneaked even further and engines in the form off apps for iOS and Android are all available. That’s right — connect your PS 3 controller via Bluetooth to your tablet and you have a PS 2 that you can literally take anywhere.

Gaming emulators require very little space on a computer or mobile device being about 20 megabytes in size. Roms are various sizes, some even up to 20 gigabytes. Computers need certain specifications to run each emulator and rom.

If all this gets you excited, understand that most free/illegal download sites contains viruses.

Let me know what you think @KyleVenktess on Twitter.

• kyle.venktess@witness.co.za

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