How Emulators Have Impacted the Home Entertainment Market

Computer based emulators are nothing new, but they have been long ignored by many game developers. Many consumers that enjoy emulators would never considering buying an original Ms Pacman cocktail table, considering all of the free options at their fingertips. The main intent of the emulator was to give gamers a taste of new, foreign or hard to find titles a taste of the action. Downloads of emulators, and roms, which are the digital versions of arcade games, were only meant to be enjoyed for 24 months.

Unfortunately, game makers and manufacturers have not done enough to smolder this ever burning fire. Online libraries solely devoted to supplying visitors with an unlimited number of classic game downloads are littered across the Internet. The ease of access to free, albeit inferior versions of classic arcade games makes it difficult for some fans to even consider investing in the originals.

On the other hand, making arcade games available at the touch of the button has helped to widen their appeal. Many purchases of obscure game titles have certainly been made after some consumers originally found them via emulators. Players that have become addicted to the thrill of beating their personal high scores may be tempted to check out the original model of their favorite arcade games. Emulators also give gamers access to discontinued home game systems as well as titles that cease to be manufactured.

The impact of emulators on the arcade video gaming marketing is twofold. There are literally as many Ms Pacman cocktail table machines being sold on the Internet as there are emulator libraries around. In a simple game of economics, frugality always seems to win. By contrast, the presence of emulators appears to have somewhat level the playing field. For collectors and fanatics, having the ‘real thing’ implies authenticity. While emulators continue to serve as cheap entertainment, arcade gaming purists will always prefer the upright model arcade game. What’s more is that emulators are now working to give hope to those that can only dream of the day they will be able to afford a vintage arcade table.