There is an ongoing debate about the legality of emulating video games. Some say it’s like a rental, some say you have to own the game, many vendors would have you believe it’s 100% illegal no matter what. If you want someone else to worry about the legalities while you reap the benefits, look no further than our friends at Archive.org: The Internet Archive.
Recently, Internet Archivists have put together a collection of vintage gaming console information. Everything from a game’s historical information and screen shots, to instruction manuals, to an actual in-browser emulation of the program! All of this can be found in The Console Living Room. Simply Select your system (Atari 2600, 7800, ColecoVision, Odyssey²/G7000, or The Astrocade), then select your game. From there you can click a link to the manual and download it in various formats on the left, or click on the screen shot on the right and start playing the game!
Many Atari 2600 favorites are included (Space Invaders to Frogger and beyond), even games like Custer’s Revenge (a still-sealed jewel I hold in my collection), and the 2010 release of Ed Fries’ Halo 2600 (I paid a lot of money for two physical cartridges of that game!) show up in Archive.org’s collection! For some of you it may even be your first time checking out devices like the ColecoVision or the AstroCade. I can’t wait to see what consoles they emulate in the future!