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Sony has opted to license a long-running open-source PlayStation emulator, PCSX, to power the games on its upcoming plug-n-play PlayStation Classic system.
Ars Technica has a pretty detailed write-up worth reading on what exactly the PlayStation Classic’s PCSX roots mean, but its an interesting observation given that Nintendo’s recent mini systems were powered by an emulator of the company’s own design.
In short, the PlayStation Classic runs on PCSX ReARMed, a modern version of an emulator that has been around since the early 2000s. PCSX has seen its fair share of versions and plugins over the years from a variety of developers, resulting in versions like PCSX reloaded and PCSX ReARMed.
Sony has obviously used emulators in the past to do things like bring PlayStation 2 games forward to PlayStation 3 and, through a subscription service, PlayStation 4. The recent HD release of Parappa the Rappa on the PlayStation 4 was even found to be the PSP version of the game running on an emulator. But the notable departure in this case is that Sony is looking to community-made tools to power the PlayStation Classic rather than create their own emulator or enlist another developer to create one for the system.