While I personally prefer and recommend that people play on actual gaming hardware, emulators have always been an interest of mine for several reasons and that is why I will post emulator news from time to time.
- Preservation: As time goes by more and more hardware fails or is lost to mother nature, with no new hardware in production the number of working original hardware in the wild will continue to decrease over time. In 50 years it will likely be very difficult to find a working Atari 2600 much less something as obscure as a Vectrex. Most of the console clones that are being released are very flawed due to bad audio, video, or game incompatibilities.
- Improvements: Emulation has had the benefit of added features that were simply unavailable on the original hardware. The ability to save whenever the player wants is fantastic since most classic games either had no save functionality whatsoever or required the player to jot down a long strand of random digits and input later to resume their session. There is also netplay which allows people running the same emulator to play online together in both co op and competitive modes, fight alongside a friend in Contra or against someone in Street Fighter 2.
- Translations: Many fantastic games were released in Japan but sadly never made their way to the states. If it were not for fan translations many JRPG’s especially would not have been enjoyed by English speakers at all. Some standout translations include Mother 3, & Seiken Densetsu 3.