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PlayStation (Games) XBox (Games) Games

The Quest To Build Xbox One and PS4 Emulators 227

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-build-it-they-will-play dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Will Xbox One and PS4 emulators hit your favorite download Websites within the next few years? Emulators have long been popular among gamers looking to relive the classic titles they enjoyed in their youth. Instead of playing Super Mario Bros. on a Nintendo console, one can go through the legally questionable yet widespread route of downloading a copy of the game and loading it with PC software that emulates the Nintendo Entertainment System. Emulation is typically limited to older games, as developing an emulator is hard work and must usually be run on hardware that's more powerful than the original console. Consoles from the NES and Super NES era have working emulators, as do newer systems such as Nintendo 64, GameCube and Wii, and the first two PlayStations. While emulator development hit a dead end with the Xbox 360 and PS3, that may change with the Xbox One and PS4, which developers are already exploring as fertile ground for emulation. The Xbox 360 and PS4 feature x86 chips, for starters, and hardware-assisted virtualization can help solve some acceleration issues. But several significant obstacles stand in the way of developers already taking a crack at it, including console builders' absolute refusal to see emulation as even remotely legal."
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The Quest To Build Xbox One and PS4 Emulators

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  • Re:Doubt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VanGarrett (1269030) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:19PM (#45640227) Homepage

    Not necessarily. The only reason that's been an issue in the past, was because our computers had to significantly out-strip the machine being emulated. What's being suggested here, however, is not an emulator so much as a conditioned environment for execution, not unlike Wine.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:33PM (#45640377) Homepage Journal

    It's not questionable, it's illegal. Ask the copyright holders.

    If a individual has a question about legality, I'd say the first person they ask should probably be a lawyer or a judge, not some private business entity with a vested interest in giving a particular answer.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday December 09, 2013 @12:48PM (#45640529)

    While some might think it is a grand conspiracy by Sony and MS not to have backwards compatibility, it really is a question of cost. Xbox 360 and PS3 had much different chip architecture than x86. It is possible that Sony and MS could have developed adequate chips, but it would have been top of the line CPUs. That would add significant cost to the console possibly adding $100-150 to the base model. Also the chips would have required much more cooling than the current designs.

    How Sony and MS did it in the last generation was not rocket science. Those chips were significantly better than the previous generation as chips in general were following Moore's Law. These days, significant performance gains are not without a great deal of cost.

  • by thevirtualcat (1071504) on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:03PM (#45640689)

    I think some people here are missing the point.

    I don't think anyone is saying that PS4/Xbox1 emulation will be easy. Just that it will be easier than PS3/XBox360 emulation.

    Both generations will have a significant amount of hacking and reverse engineering involved and will be fraught with legal challenges. The current generation just has the advantage of being more or less based on hardware that's readily available at a reasonable price. The previous generation is not even remotely similar to anything you can buy easily or cheaply. (Other than the PS3 and XBox360, of course.)

  • by neokushan (932374) on Monday December 09, 2013 @01:32PM (#45641009)

    Not the whole OS, just certain API calls. This gen will be much more complicated, but the process will remain the same.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the emulators start borrowing code from WINE and ReactOS to get the job done.

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