You might think emulators only exist for retro consoles, and for the most part that’s true, but we might some day be seeing PS4 and Xbox One games – regardless of the legality of the move – on a PC near you.
For the last decade or so, emulating new console games has been almost impossible. Xbox 360 and PS3 code was so unique to their respective consoles, and required such a degree of computing power from a PC, that no working emulators for either console were ever released.
But speaking with Slashdot, software engineer Ben Vanik – who builds emulators in his spare time – says that the newest console’s decision to stick to a very PC-like architecture, with x-86 chips and AMD graphics processors, means that this could soon change.
“It would be easier to create a PS4 or Xbox One emulator within the next year or so than it would be to create a PS3 or Xbox 360 emulator that ran at the speed of the device,” he says.
Before Sony and Microsoft’s legal teams start freaking out, not that this isn’t going to happen tomorrow. Vanik says he’s not working on any new emulators himself (though he does claim to have an Xbox 360 emulator almost done), and despite the apparent ease of bringing game code over, he says it’s impossible to emulate PS4 or Xbox One games until the consoles themselves have been hacked. Which could be months away. Or years. Or never.