Could the PS3 Become An Emulator Haven?
I haven’t found many reasons to even consider a PS3 anytime soon. Up until now, Virtua Fighter 5 is basically the only thing that caught my attention. However, Sony recently announced that every PS3 will come with a Linux-based homebrew kit.
MattG at PressTheButtons pointed out that this may confuse a number of potential PS3 owners as most gamers have no clue was the term “homebrew” means, nor would they be interested in developing their own games or applications.
Even though it may be marketed strangely, one cannot overlook the significance of this move by Sony. Let me run down the main points:
- With an officially supported homebrew kit, it will mean that unofficial games and applications (open source ports and emulators) will be easy to develop for the PS3 and will run without any modchips or swap tricks.
- This will take the concepts that made the XBox so popular for modding (media center and emulators) and make it even easier and more mainstream.
- With high-quality emulators and indie games ported to the PS3, it will allow the PS3 to compete with the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console and the XBox Live Arcade with no additional support from Sony AND no extra cost to the consumers. (Old games will be “free” with emulators)
From a quick glance, this looks like a quick, last-moment effort to make up for Sony’s lack of non-core features to balance its extra horsepower. Nonetheless, hardcore gamers could benefit from this move quite a bit.
Even though the XBox is greatly inferior to the PS3 in technical specs, it its still able to emulate nearly every system from the 1980’s and most of the 1990’s as well. All this from a community that needs to perform hardware or software modifications on their console in order to run the emulators. The Dreamcast is less powerful, but still has a strong homebrew following since is boots homebrew software with no additional system modifications.
If you combine the extra processing power that the PS3 has with the ease of use that the Dreamcast has and the Linux development kit would bring, you may have the perfect console for emulators. In fact, the PS3 may eventually be the first console that would actually be able to run Sega Saturn and Dreamcast games in a playable manner. Only time will tell.
When all is said and done, I still do not believe this all justifies the incredibly high PS3 price that Sony has established, but as the console ages and has price reductions, we may find the device an attractive machine for running our classic games.
I’m curious to hear your thoughts and opinions on this subject, so feel free to post your messages in the comments section below or in the forums.
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