Nintendo won a landmark case where they were able to get a popular rom site to shut down. Many other rom sits have followed suit. I today want to share my thoughts on emulation, the good and the bad.
The first time that I experienced emulation was back in 98 or 99. A buddy of mine had a PC and he had a floppy disk (not even a CD ROM) of this thing called Nesticle and he had a few NES games on there. It was so cool and we had a blast with it and it worked very well. He then a short while later got a SNES emulator and this is where I got into emulation. I needed a PC for university so I was now part of this world of emulation.
I mainly used emulation to play SNES games back in the early 00’s there was no way unless you had the hardware. This is still the case now! Many of these games are not available in any form other than emulation. The licensing rights and copy write issues make releasing some of these games a nightmare so for us gamers it is emulation or nothing.
Look at a game like The Simpsons Arcade game. It was released on Xbox Live and PSN for a short while, but that is long gone. If you want to play it now, you have to emulate it. Arcade games, in particular, are being kept alive thanks to emulation. One of my favorite games of all time is WrestleMania The Arcade Game. None of the home ports are anywhere close to what the arcade offered (even the PlayStation and Saturn) so what am I going to do? I saw one of these arcades once in the 90’s and I sure do not have the space to have one in my home and also I would not want to spend several hundred bucks on just one game! Emulation is my only choice.
Look at some popular games like Little Samson and Mr. Gimmick. These are not just rare games, they are games that are actually fun and people want to play. You either spend a grand on an old used cart or you emulate them, there is no other option.
Emulation is a real grey area and I will be honest and say that I am a fan. I love physical media and I will make a real effort to have a physical copy of games that I like. Nintendo has a problem with it and as they re-release their old games all the time I get it. However, a company like Nintendo does not get to take the moral high ground over emulation as they have been forcing us to buy the same games for years! Why when I purchased Link To The Past on the Wii, do I have to purchase it again for the Wii U or 3DS? Nintendo handles the re-release of their back catalog in such an odd way that many people would rather emulate than deal with what Nintendo offers.