SONY HASN'T ALWAYS had a happy relationship with the emulation community, unless you consider aggressive lawsuits to be part of the rough and tumble of friendship. In one such case, Sony did end up buying an emulator - but only after lawsuits failed, and in any case, the company promptly shut it down.
So it comes as something of an irony that Sony is now fully embracing emulation software on its upcoming Christmas money grab, the PlayStation Classic. Kotaku's hands-on review of the retro cash-in reveals that the console lists PCSX ReArmed in the licenses list. That's an ARM port of CSX Reloaded.
It's an open-source emulator, so Sony is well within its right to use it, it's just amusing that it would. A company that once saw the development of such software as an existential threat to be crushed now embraces it when there's quick cash to be made. It's something of a badge of honour for the developers of the emulator that not only has Sony tacitly accepted the software is legitimate but good enough to be used in official PlayStation products.
Well, that's one possibility. The other is that Sony doesn't really care that much about how well the PlayStation Classic performs, and doesn't want to waste any developer time on something it considers to be a short-lived cash machine. Making custom hardware or its own emulation software as Nintendo did for its mini consoles is a long, arduous process, after all, and developers could be spending their time working on current Sony software.
That said, the Kotaku review suggests that the games seem to perform without a hitch, so at that point ‘good enough' really is good enough, however you spin it.
The Sony PlayStation Classic will be released on 3 December. Other emulators exist without the cute grey box, of course, but getting legal copies of the games you want to play on them remains something of a headache. µ
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