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Evil Emulation Empire

It’s not secret, we here at Super Retro Gamer, make copious use of ROMs and emulators. To many this is a dirty word. To some it smacks of dishonesty and ripping off a developer who worked hard to bring a game to the market. To others there is the argument that if you’re not playing the original software on the original hardware you’re doing it wrong. You may have seen our Nintendo Wii at one of our events and thought “is that really retro?”. Although our Wii is fully functional and you may have seen people enjoying a lively game of Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Super Mario Kart Wii, it also doubles up as our “everything” machine! I have taken the time to soft hack our Wii (which essentially means there has been no tinkering with the hardware; no modchip!), to allow us to play games from any of the following systems: NES SNES Game Boy Game Boy Colour Game Boy Advance Sega Mega Drive Sega Master System Sega CD It can even run some Sony Playstation games and Nintendo 64, although, the emulators are not as reliable as the older systems!

Between us we have almost every emulation system under the sun! On top of our Wii we have EverDrives for our N64, SNES, Mega Drive and NES (real cartridges which take SD card filled with ROMS), a DSTWO card for the Nintendo DS/3DS, a soft hacked PSP and even our new NES Classic Mini is essentially just a tiny emulation machine! So, we are no slouches to the emulation scene, and I have no qualms admitting that we do not own every single game we have the ROMs for. We have a lot of them… but not all of them! Video game collecting has really taken off in the last few years, perhaps due to the fact that those who have grown up playing video games, often now have more disposable income as an adult and are looking to reinvest in their childhood; recapture that magic! This has meant that retro game prices have sky rocketed. Of course they have! There are only so many of the working cartridges left in the wild! This means that they are expensive to procure, but also a very tempting item for sticky fingers! With emulators we get to deliver great games, sometimes that you wouldn’t be able to play anywhere else, to you guys and the price not be an issue. It also means in many cases we can play the games in better quality than ever before! Our Wii outputs to component cable (technically HD) and the NES Classic Mini outputs to HDMI!

Returning to the two issues most people present when arguing against emulation, first of all the issue of originality we have already addressed; we are still able to play these games on the original hardware with products like the EverDrive or we can better them in *better* (subjective!) quality, in HD through new machines! Secondly the issue of ownership. Let me try to resolve this issue with a question: If you buy a copy of Super Mario Kart for the SNES today, you’d probably pay a price greater than it’s original RRP and receive a potentially degraded product. And where would that money go? Into a resellers pocket. Not the developer. So who are you taking money away from? Companies are starting to wake up to this (see the NES Classic Mini!) and are offering people the chance to play these games at a reasonable price and the cost go to back to the developers. Although perhaps the NES Classic Mini isn’t a good example: :S Currently playing: Final Fantasy V (Nintendo Game Boy Advance) About the author Seb Bailey "The Wii Guy" of Twitter

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