App Turns Your Phone Into an Illegal Portable PlayStation

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App Turns Your Phone Into an Illegal Portable PlayStation

Original PlayStation games get a little more mobile (but not more legal), thanks to a new emulator for Android phones.

While PSOne games are available for gamers with PSPs, they have yet to officially come to platforms like smartphones and devices like the iPad. However, a new emulator app for the Android phone lets users play copies of original PlayStation games, provided they don't have a problem with videogame piracy.

The emulator, "PSX4Droid" is currently selling for $5.99 on the Android Market. It's designed to work with the higher-end models of the phone, and it sounds pretty impressive. The emulator will work with a number of file formats and is even compatible with a WiiMote, though its frame rate does sometimes drop with certain games. According to Engadget, which spent some time playing games with PSX4Droid, the app largely delivers a great gaming experience.

The app's existence seems to float in a nebulous legal area where the application itself isn't illegal, but the files it runs are. While the emulator allows users to play games without a secondary device (nor does it require a person to jailbreak their phone), the ROM files necessary to play these games violate copyright law. That means that there's no getting around the fact that you have to commit piracy in order to play PSOne games on your Android.

Source: Engadget via Geek

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That's a fantastic use of loophole exploitation. Interesting.

So they never thought to make this legal......

Make legal app
Make game store
???????
PROFIT!!!!

As long as they have the hard copies of the games they download it's fine but yeah this is awful and probably won't last long, I give it a month

Sounds amazing if you ask me. Beside, getting those games in a legal channel around here is really hard.

Quiet Stranger:
As long as they have the hard copies of the games they download it's fine but yeah this is awful and probably won't last long, I give it a month

Quite. it will soon be made illegal or something.

Wow, hopefully the developers of the app don't get sued back into the Stone Age.

Uummm...if I make the ISO from my collection of PSX games it is legal.....no matter what the mafiaa says............

Uberjoe19:
Wow, hopefully the developers of the app don't get sued back into the Stone Age.

Well they did it to bleem but thats when the PSX was their main platform.

razer17:
The ROM's aren't illegal as far as I am aware. Downloading a ROM of a game you own is legal, as far as I'm aware. Thing is, it's pretty hard to make people only download what they own.

If you own a game and then download it, I don't see how that is piracy.

Its illegal as no one has the right to distribute files they do not have the rights to , you own the disc so rip the data from it that is quasi legal downloading it is not legal but you will be more likely charged with uploading it IE distribution if the shizzle ever hits the fan.....

The ROM's aren't illegal as far as I am aware. Downloading a ROM of a game you own is legal, as far as I'm aware. Thing is, it's pretty hard to make people only download what they own.

If you own a game and then download it, I don't see how that is piracy.

Interesting. A shame my X10 doesn't support multi-touch yet.

razer17:
The ROM's aren't illegal as far as I am aware. Downloading a ROM of a game you own is legal, as far as I'm aware. Thing is, it's pretty hard to make people only download what they own.

If you own a game and then download it, I don't see how that is piracy.

It is piracy. Law doesn't have to make sense...

On topic, I guess it's pretty cool. Doesn't affect me because I haven't go the hardware and don't really care about portable gaming, but good job to whoever came up and programmed it.

Uberjoe19:
Wow, hopefully the developers of the app don't get sued back into the Stone Age.

Hopefully they don't?
Don't you mean hopefully they do?
Piracy=bad.
Piracy ruins gaming.
I paid hard cash for my PS3 version of FFVII and so should everyone else nomatter what platform they are using!
So yeah, this is bad.

Billion Backs:

razer17:
The ROM's aren't illegal as far as I am aware. Downloading a ROM of a game you own is legal, as far as I'm aware. Thing is, it's pretty hard to make people only download what they own.

If you own a game and then download it, I don't see how that is piracy.

It is piracy. Law doesn't have to make sense...

Then colour me Neutral-Good!

Taking a bunch of PS1 games with you on your phone sounds awesome, I'll have to look into this if I ever get an Android-o-phone in the future (maybe I'll just have an actual Android follow me around and fax people.)

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:

Uberjoe19:
Wow, hopefully the developers of the app don't get sued back into the Stone Age.

Hopefully they don't?
Don't you mean hopefully they do?
Piracy=bad.
Piracy ruins gaming.
I paid hard cash for my PS3 version of FFVII and so should everyone else nomatter what platform they are using!
So yeah, this is bad.

Newsflash: some people own the games they're downloading the ROMs for, or are otherwise making .iso files using the exact same discs they bought.

vansau:
The app's existence seems to float in a nebulous legal area where the application itself isn't illegal, but the files it runs are. While the emulator allows users to play games without a secondary device (nor does it require a person to jailbreak their phone), the ROM files necessary to play these games violate copyright law. That means that there's no getting around the fact that you have to commit piracy in order to play PSOne games on your Android.

...then why is the Escapist advertising such a feature? I mean, granted, it's nifty I'm sure, but whenever someone promotes piracy in a regular post they get slapped with a probation at least for promoting illegal activity. Why is this any different?

Three issues with your post:

#1: Pirated disk-based media are NOT reffered to as "roms", but as "isos".

#2: One may, depending on what country you reside in, legally make your own isos.

#3: Depending on whether (or not*): it may the app:
a) Comes with a ripped PSX BIOS
or b) Requires you to provide your own BIOS
It may be illegal in and of itself, or merely using it without ripping your own PSX BIOS may be illegal.

*It may use some sort of new emulation which doesn't require any PSX BIOS, in which case it is PERFECTLY legal.

Eh, I still have a problem with touch-based "buttons". There are games that control very well on a touch basis, and Crash Bandicoot is definitely not one of them. I hate the imprecise feeling of playing those games.

Fallen-Angel Risen-Demon:

Uberjoe19:
Wow, hopefully the developers of the app don't get sued back into the Stone Age.

Hopefully they don't?
Don't you mean hopefully they do?
Piracy=bad.
Piracy ruins gaming.
I paid hard cash for my PS3 version of FFVII and so should everyone else nomatter what platform they are using!
So yeah, this is bad.

More like, piracy = not actually bad, no conclusive proof that it's "bad".
Piracy doesn't ruin gaming. It doesn't make it that much better either - depending on what you consider your goals (artistic vs financial, an artist wants more people to experience it, the business guy wants to choke the most money out of it), but overall it's more or less neutral.

And as you MIGHT have noticed, it's PS ONE. As in, 1. As in, the ORIGINAL Playstation, that console from the 90s. No games are being released on it, the console is discontinued and has been replaced with backwards compatible PS2 almost a decade ago, which was replaced by not-so-much backwards compatible (to my knowledge) PS3. There are NO games still produced for PS1 - that would be like making computer games for Windows 95. It's out of official circulation, no intellectual property owners for any games for PS1 receive any profit from them anymore.

oh how horrible... is this gonna be on the appstore at some point?

Sleekgiant:
So they never thought to make this legal......

Make legal app
Make game store
???????
PROFIT!!!!

Seriously. I always had that idea that if somebody made a emulator handheld device that would allow people to put in whatever(fronting with legal content that no one will probably use) then they could make a killing. They could still make tons of dosh if the only game you could play on that emulator was just the fully custmizeable(and intivtively designed) mugen.

Jumplion:

vansau:
The app's existence seems to float in a nebulous legal area where the application itself isn't illegal, but the files it runs are. While the emulator allows users to play games without a secondary device (nor does it require a person to jailbreak their phone), the ROM files necessary to play these games violate copyright law. That means that there's no getting around the fact that you have to commit piracy in order to play PSOne games on your Android.

...then why is the Escapist advertising such a feature? I mean, granted, it's nifty I'm sure, but whenever someone promotes piracy in a regular post they get slapped with a probation at least for promoting illegal activity. Why is this any different?

You can promote an illegal activity and not get probated, it's called being careful. And it's not entirely illegal, the actual program - the emulator - is NOT illegal by any means, and it's sold legally from a site that would have removed it if anyone threatened with a lawsuit.

Plus piracy and intellectual ownership laws in general are pretty hot issues in any computer or gaming-related nerd crowds, and that can hardly be ignored. Only through people changes can come.

Billion Backs:
snip

Think about it!
It could be PS1 today PS3 tomorow.
Openly supporting piracy is openly supporting CRIME!
They deserve whatever sueing comes to them!
You break the law, you pay the price!
These people are going to learn that the hard way.
What do you mean it doesn't ruin gaming?
Should not the people who spent time and money on making a game get what they earned?
Theses people are glorified criminals.
And I will defend that belief to the end.
Bring your greatest argument!

As ever, close minded protectionism is defeated by enterprising pirates. Yay pirates (sort of).

No doubt Sony are about to chuck millions at stopping this (as Nintendo have done with DS flash cards). What they should be doing is making their own version and setting up a proper download store, they could make a ton of cash.

But they won't of course, bloody morons.

Billion Backs:

Jumplion:

vansau:
The app's existence seems to float in a nebulous legal area where the application itself isn't illegal, but the files it runs are. While the emulator allows users to play games without a secondary device (nor does it require a person to jailbreak their phone), the ROM files necessary to play these games violate copyright law. That means that there's no getting around the fact that you have to commit piracy in order to play PSOne games on your Android.

...then why is the Escapist advertising such a feature? I mean, granted, it's nifty I'm sure, but whenever someone promotes piracy in a regular post they get slapped with a probation at least for promoting illegal activity. Why is this any different?

You can promote an illegal activity and not get probated, it's called being careful. And it's not entirely illegal, the actual program - the emulator - is NOT illegal by any means, and it's sold legally from a site that would have removed it if anyone threatened with a lawsuit.

Plus piracy and intellectual ownership laws in general are pretty hot issues in any computer or gaming-related nerd crowds, and that can hardly be ignored. Only through people changes can come.

I'd also like it noted that we're not promoting or endorsing piracy. Nor was it a step-by-step guide on how to pirate a game. It was an article talking about how this app exists.

Amazing programming but it opens a lot of doors for the handheld console and console market.

I forsee a future, where consoles follow in the mistakes and successes of the music and PC gaming industry. Consumers will be fed up with buying expensive new peripherals for just a few games, and especially when the features already work on their Smart Phones. They will also be fed up with tracking down rare and regionally absent titles like Professor Layton.

These emulator apps for their phones will become more and more popular. Nintendo and Sony wanting total control of the market and for people to buy their machines may threaten the app makers with a lawsuit, and due to the Streisand effect, their popularity increases.

Eventually, they'll wise up and realize they're spending too much money on lawsuits and producing and manufacturing handhelds and begin to release phone apps of their own and a digital distribution store for their games.

... emulation is not illegal, and making your own disk images of ps1 games is increadably easy(Aka roms, for you piarate people) Shall i point you out to a guide (im under the assumption that this uses disk images and is infact not giving the games out themselves).

and this type of software is not of dubious legallity as this articalle states, look at the case of bleem vs sony (sure sony destroyed bleem by taking them to court (legal fees) but bleem won the court case) (not in depth here, but really not in the mood to look stuff up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleem!#Sony_lawsuit)

oh and might i say, ripping your own games and bios are not illegal, before someone metions it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ROM_image)

id like to quote this from wikipedia while im here.

As computers and global computer networks continued to advance and emulator developers grew more skilled in their work, the length of time between the commercial release of a console and its successful emulation began to shrink. Fifth generation consoles such as the Nintendo 64, the Sony PlayStation and sixth generation handhelds, such as the Game Boy Advance, saw significant progress toward emulation during their production. This has led to a more concerted effort by console manufacturers to crack down on unofficial emulation. Both country specific copyright and patent law and international copyright law under the Berne Convention protect copying and reproducing of subject matter with copyright protection.[1]

Under United States law, obtaining a dumped copy of the original machine's BIOS is legal under the ruling Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc., 964 F.2d 965 (9th Cir. 1992) as fair use as long as the user obtained a legally purchased copy of the machine. However, several emulators for platforms such as Game Boy Advance are capable of running without a BIOS file, using high-level emulation to simulate BIOS subroutines at a slight cost in emulation accuracy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console_emulator#Legal_issues

its also stated that it is legal to create your own bios for use in emulation (but thats on a whole different articale on a whole different website which would take me alot of time to find..... so take my word for it, or prove me wrong)

Imagin playing digimon on your iphone...

Nimbus:
Three issues with your post:

#1: Pirated disk-based media are NOT reffered to as "roms", but as "isos".

#2: One may, depending on what country you reside in, legally make your own isos.

#3: Depending on whether (or not*): it may the app:
a) Comes with a ripped PSX BIOS
or b) Requires you to provide your own BIOS
It may be illegal in and of itself, or merely using it without ripping your own PSX BIOS may be illegal.

*It may use some sort of new emulation which doesn't require any PSX BIOS, in which case it is PERFECTLY legal.

The Way emulators on the droid work is you must download the bios file and roms so the app itself is leagal they haved had gameboy and nes ones out for quite awhile.

cool...but there is no way you can get 100% on crash on a phone...

knight of zendikar:

Nimbus:
Three issues with your post:

#1: Pirated disk-based media are NOT reffered to as "roms", but as "isos".

#2: One may, depending on what country you reside in, legally make your own isos.

#3: Depending on whether (or not*): it may the app:
a) Comes with a ripped PSX BIOS
or b) Requires you to provide your own BIOS
It may be illegal in and of itself, or merely using it without ripping your own PSX BIOS may be illegal.

*It may use some sort of new emulation which doesn't require any PSX BIOS, in which case it is PERFECTLY legal.

The Way emulators on the droid work is you must download the bios file and roms so the app itself is leagal they haved had gameboy and nes ones out for quite awhile.

OR, rip your own BIOS and ISOs youself, completely legally, don't forget :P

razer17:
The ROM's aren't illegal as far as I am aware. Downloading a ROM of a game you own is legal, as far as I'm aware. Thing is, it's pretty hard to make people only download what they own.

If you own a game and then download it, I don't see how that is piracy.

UK Law and probably most others says that when you purchase a software you also purchase a license for personal use, therefore it isn't illegal for you to download a game you own, it is however illegal for them to distribute these files without permission, so you could be caught out by laws regarding purchasing/gaining products by illegal means

so basically as long as you have bought the game. evenif the game is broken or was stolen, as long as yopu bought it it's is legal?

Billion Backs:
You can promote an illegal activity and not get probated, it's called being careful. And it's not entirely illegal, the actual program - the emulator - is NOT illegal by any means, and it's sold legally from a site that would have removed it if anyone threatened with a lawsuit.

Plus piracy and intellectual ownership laws in general are pretty hot issues in any computer or gaming-related nerd crowds, and that can hardly be ignored. Only through people changes can come.

Still, the actual files needed to play the games are illegal, as stated on the article, and the article states anyway "You have to pirate the games to use it", so it is technically promoting illegal activity. I don't think advertising this particular app is really going to change anything with piracy and intellectual ownership laws.

I'm not saying it's not a nifty app, or that it's 100% wrong or whatever, it's just odd that The Escapist is promoting an app that requires illegal activity first just to use it, you know?

so, instead of stomping all over this with an army of lawyers, why don't Sony and Apple go to them with an open chequebook and buy the rights to it, then shovel a huge back catalogue of long lost PS1 games onto the iPhone thru iTunes?

I imagine quite a few people would pay $10 for a working, tweaked, and updated version of the emulator if it was legal and came with the support of a range of games over the coming months.

True, it's piracy, but if you want to be able to play games on your phone (besides games made for it, which hardly ever leave the realm of mini-game), it's also necessary. If Nintendo, Sega, and Sony wisened up and offered their own emulators with legal downloadable games, though, they'd be swimming in profits. Don't believe me? Check the most popular paid game apps on the Android market and you'll find, fairly high on the list, emulators for the SNES, NES, GBA, and Genesis, as well as a ROM finder. Also, dude in the vid needs a game gripper badly-

Meh, I view pirating PS1 games the same way I do any game that came out before the year 2000. So long as whatever game you want to play isn't up for re-sale on a download service, then whoop-de-do. Developers aren't making money off of them anyways.

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