It seems that the worm has turned. It used to be that emulators represented the scourge of the gaming industry, letting people run old console games on their computers. Now it seems that Sony is using one of these pieces of software as the basis for its PlayStation Classic retro console.
As Kotaku noticed in its review released yesterday, you can find PCSX ReArmed in the licenses list for the console. This represents the ARM port of PCSX Reloaded, being itself an offshoot of the original PCSX emulator, which ceased to be produced back in 2003.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t count as a crime or anything of the sort since Sony has more than enough rights to do this. It is just kind of ironic and it also proves how much hard work had to be done by emulator developers for over two decades. They made a tool most famously used for piracy and it is now being deployed officially like this. PCSX and its derivatives are open source under GPL.
Maybe it is a huge vindication of these rogue developers, as some might wish to call them, who based their software on reverse-engineering the proprietary systems of major companies. Their work grew up to be not just incredibly useful, but also the best option for running these old games, and it was chosen by Sony itself.
The company would have had to dedicate a high amount of resources to build an emulator from scratch. So why not use an open-source, high-quality emulator with years of active development and testing?
Even if Sony reached this conclusion, not every company made the same choice. Nintendo developed its own emulators for its SNES Classic and NES mini-consoles, just as it did before for Virtual Console.
Carl Blair is just getting his start as a journalist. He attended a technical school while still in high school where he learned a variety of skills, from photography to coding. Apart from being a contributor to the site, Carl also helps keep Digital Overload social media feeds up-to-date.