|.||Is legal emulation for consoles coming?||
I recently read something interesting on Emu News Service: it was rumored through Imagine Games Network's Dreamcast page that Sega supposedly contacted one of the Playstation emulation authors about writing a native PS emu for the Dreamcast. Although it is a rumor, it'd be pretty damn interesting to see if this is true. It probably isn't, of course (it's just too damn insane to be true -- unless Sega's execs were on crack). I have two opinions on this: First of all, if it were true, what would happen to emulation? Secondly, (more likely), since Sega includes a modem in the system, why not have native ports of well-known Sega console emulators?
Let's focus on the first thing for right now. It has been mentioned time and time again that Playstation emulation IS legal, provided you own the console. I even mentioned that in my article about emulation for 3dgaming.net. You need the BIOS image, which is no doubt illegal if you don't own the console, though. This is why any chance of this happening is extremely unlikely beyond belief. If Sega were to do this, they'd most likely instantly be sued by Sony. Sega would most definitely have to pay up, as would the authors of the emulator. And that wouldn't look good for the rest of us, would it?
Here's something that would seem much more likely, in my opinion: Sega's Dreamcast has this ability to download files over the Internet via a modem. Now, last time I checked, how did we get our emulators and ROM images? We get our ROM images and emulators through the Internet, of course. And considering the fact that the Dreamcast is based on PC hardware and software (and would therefore be easy to port to), an emulator for the Dreamcast would be extremely easy to program. Considering all this, it would probably be a great idea for Sega to havesome of the PC emulators of their systems ported over as native Dreamcast programs. And Sega, if they were so inclined, would probably be able to make some cash by selling the ROMs from their sites for a low price, say $9.95 a pop for the Sega Master System games, and $15.95 a pop for Sega Genesis games. They could even sell rarities for higher prices. It sure as hell would be a good way to pay for all those multiplayer games we'd be playing on our Dreamcast machines besides advertising (which doesn't help much, generally). Plus, we could see compilation discs come out every once in a while, which are always instant winners. Then again, if Sega didn't do it, it'd just be another good place for console hackers to port emulators to.
What does this all mean? It means that I just made a suggestion to Sega
of what they should do: if they are even considering Playstation emulation
on the Dreamcast, forget it. If they need an alternative to that, I just
gave it to them. In my opinion, there is no way that they'd listen to me,
but hey, the best ideas are always forgotten.