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Are Emulators and ROMs Legal?

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Victor Smith
Victor loves talking about Tech and he reviews a lot of gadget. His Reviews are based on his use of this gadgets and his opinions about them.

Playstation, a video game company with five home consoles, two handhelds, a media center, a smartphone, an online service, and many publications, is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Sony sold over 7.2 million PS 4 units in 2020 alone, according to Statista, which shows that the company makes a lot from its console.

On the other hand, Games available on the different available PlayStations are developed by different brands, organizations, or individuals, and they earn their incomes from subscriptions and sales.

Many users who play Playstation games on their PCs continually asked, ‘Are emulators and ROMs legal?’. This article will answer that question.

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Are Emulators Legal?

Yes, emulators are legal. It is reverse engineering where the developer takes the system’s hardware and turns it into the software. That’s legal because they do not contain any copyrighted code.

Are ROMs Legal?

Now, you’re probably thinking, if emulators are legal, then ROMs have to be also, right. What good is the emulator without ROMs, right?

ROMs are illegal, to be honest. ROM files contain code that belongs to the company that made the game, and the legal department says that downloading the ROM is the same as making an Unauthorized copy of a video game.

This goes for really old Retro games as well as newer games, and it doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s still illegal. Don’t twist what I am saying here and say that your casual gamer told you it was legal because that’s not what I’m saying now.

If you know how to dump your games to turn them into ROMs, then that’s perfectly fine. Go ahead and do it; no one’s going to find out unless you decide to create your website and start uploading ROMs.

Some ROM is safer to download than others, that’s true, but it depends on the developer. Let’s use Nintendo, for example, because they’re the most prominent company that will come for you ROM lovers.

They will sometimes come for individuals, but the ones they love to go for first are the wrong site owners because if they shut them down, they stop thousands of Downloads. Companies like Nintendo love to resell their old games, and they still make a profit from them, so of course, they don’t want you getting free copies online.


Emulators are legal, and ROMS are illegal. How do I feel about all of this? I think that wrongs preserve games from the past that we are no longer able to buy. Some are rare to find, or scalpers and collectors have them all.

Some of the companies that made these games are now going out of business. Some straight-up abandoned old games, never to return to them again. These are all reasons we want to collect ROMs, and I don’t think that’s going to change in the future, so honestly, you guys keep doing what you’re doing; just be safe about it.

But remember that emulators are safe and ROMs are illegal.

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