Emulation’s in a weird legal grey area that’s all kinds of fascinating to me. The actual bit of software designed to play ROMs is legal, but the BIOS file that makes it run? You usually have to acquire them through less legal means. The ROMS to play the game itself? Also less legal, but not outright illegal either.
It’s all bizarrely complicated in a weird clusterfuck sort of way. Add in to that the morality of whether it counts as piracy, or its role in the preservation of games, and it gets even more convoluted.
And now those debates can start up all over again! The developers of Citra, a 3DS emulator, have managed to boot up a commercial game for the first time on any 3DS emulator, and its none other than The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS.
This doesn’t mean the game is by any means playable, it’s still quite a long way to having playable framerates or ensuring a wider variety of games are actually supported, but the game launches now and that’s progress.