Developers have been offering video game console emulators for Android almost as long as Android’s been around. While there are some top notch games designed for Android, there’s nothing quite like firing up an emulator to play Final Fantasy VII on your phone.
Up until now if you wanted to handle PlayStation, NES, Sega Genesis, and other games, you’d need a separate emulator for each. But now there’s an Android app that supports games from over a dozen different game consoles.
The app supports plug-and-play detection of USB and Bluetooth gamepads, but you can also use customizable on-screen controls to play games. Some games are easier to play using these sorts of touchscreen controls than others — role playing and strategy games are a bit simpler than fighting or racing games, for instance.
RetroArch supports a range of platforms including:
- PlayStation 1
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Super Nintendo
- GameBoy Advance
- Neo Geo Pocket Color
- Sega Genesis
- Sega Master System
- WonderSwan Color
There’s also support for the DOOM game engine for DOOM 1 and DOOM 2.
As with most apps of this sort, it’s perfectly legal to install and run the emulator. Obtaining game ROMs, on the other hand, is a different story.
There are tools that make it possible to rip your own games from cartridges or CDs, but it’s typically much easier to find and download games from the internet — which violates copyright law, even if you physically own hard copies of the games you’re downloading.
So proceed with caution… unless you’re simply using RetroArch to play public domain, homebrew games. Hey, it could happen, right?