|Systems||numerous, see Emulation|
|Added to Museum||numerous, see Emulation|
Emulation is a process by which an application, called an emulator, mimics another device to allow applications to be run on another device as if they were running natively.
Computer and video game companies have used emulators to run applications and games from past systems on modern hardware.
Microsoft provides backward compatibility in its video game console through emulation. The Microsoft Xbox 360 had a custom emulator to play a selection of Xbox games. The Xbox One has emulators to play a selection of Xbox and Xbox 360 games. The Xbox Series X/S has emulators to play a selection of Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games.
Rare Replay had custom emulators to allow the Xbox One to play the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Ultimate Play the Game games as well as arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, and Xbox Rare games included in the compilation. The Xbox 360 games used the standard Microsoft emulator.
The Nintendo Virtual Console store, for Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, contains several custom emulators which run the games offered for sale on the device for which they were purchased, including emulators for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sega Master System, Genesis, NEC TurboGrafx-16, SNK Neo Geo AES, Commodore 64, MSX, and arcade.
NERD developed the Nintendo Entertainment System emulator used in the NES Classic Edition and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System emulator used in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. The Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online service for the Nintendo Switch is based on NERD's NES Classic Edition emulator. Likewise, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online service for the Nintendo Switch is based on NERD's SNES Classic Edition emulator.
Sega released several Genesis games for various systems via emulation:
- Sega Smash Pack: the Windows versions used KGen98 and the Dreamcast version used a custom emulator. The Gameboy Advance version contained ports rather than emulated versions of the games.
- Sega Genesis Collection: by Digital Eclipse for PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.
- Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection: by Backbone Entertainment for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
- Sega Mega Drive and Genesis Classics: by d3t for Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
- Sega Ages: by M2 for PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Switch. Previous Sega Ages titles were ports rather than emulation.
- Sega Genesis Flashback: Sega licensed the Sega Genesis and several Genesis games to atGames. atGames released several Sega Genesis Flashback video game consoles with built-in Genesis games played through emulation.
- Sega Genesis Mini: Sega released the Sega Genesis Mini with several built-in Genesis games played via an emulator created by M2.
- Single Genesis games were also released for various systems through emulation. In addition to the Virtual Console on Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS, emulated Genesis games have also been released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS and Android.
Sega also released several Game Gear and Sega Master System games via emulation:
- Single Sega Master System and Game Gear games were also released for various systems through emulation. Master System games were available on Virtual Console on Wii and Game Gear games were available on Virtual Console for Nintendo 3DS. In addition, emulated Master System games have also been released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, iOS and Android.
- Sega released five versions of the Game Gear Micro which had several built-in Game Gear and Sega Master System games played via an emulator created by M2.