Video Game Emulation and Emulators For Smartphones

Video Game Emulation and Emulators refer to processes and tools by which smartphones can be made to play console games.

Smartphones are no longer just communication devices anymore. They are mini personal computers that can handle multimedia e.g. pictures, movies, games, etc.

Speaking of games, smartphones can be made to play games that were originally designed for other platforms. These games can be run in their original forms via the use of video game emulation and emulators.

What is Video Game Emulation?

In English, To emulate means to copy or imitate. Therefore, emulation means making smartphones behave as though they were consoles. To do this, you’re going to need an emulator.

What is an Emulator?

In computing, an emulator is a piece of hardware and/or software that allows one computer (host) to behave like another (guest). This usually allows one computer to run software that’s meant for another computer.

There are several types of emulation and emulators but what we are interested in is Video Game Emulation and Emulators.

Video Game Emulation and Emulators for Smartphones

A video game emulator is a type of emulator that allows a smartphone to behave like a video game console. This means that one could play console games on their phone with the help of such emulators (both hardware and software).

Emulation is mostly done with software i.e. apps but more often than not, you might need a controller. A controller is a hardware and the app is software. This in my opinion offers the best emulation experience.

Whilst smartphones do have excellent games like eFootball 2024 mobile, PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars, Call of Duty Mobile, etc. These games cannot compare to many console games.

Console emulation on smartphones is usually aimed at old 1980s to early 2000s consoles. These include consoles such as the Sega Mega Drive 2, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64 (N64), PlayStation and PlayStation 2, etc. Handhelds like the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Portable and the Gameboy for example, are also targeted.

This is because newer consoles are much too powerful to be emulated on smartphones. A lot of developers are still struggling to emulate the PlayStation 3 on a PC with very little success. Then there is also the issue of copyrights, intellectual property, and other stuff.

On the other hand, the hardware capabilities of modern phones trounce those of old consoles from 20, 25, and 30 years ago. Plus most companies (that aren’t Nintendo) tend to overlook older consoles being emulated.

Emulators for smartphones

Some very popular emulators for Android and iOS include but are not limited to:

Amongst many others.

Benefits of emulation

Emulation brings with it many benefits:

  1. Nostalgia
  2. Playing retro games
  3. Convenience, portability, and mobility
  4. Entertainment
  5. Access to a wide library of games
  6. Keeps you offline
  7. Saves your internet data

Android system requirements for emulation

For emulating 8-bit and 16-bit consoles like the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive 2) for example, you’ll need an entry-level or budget phone with at least:

For emulating 32-bit consoles like the PlayStation 1 and some 64-bit consoles like the Nintendo 64, you’ll need a lower midrange phone with at least:

  • 4GB RAM
  • An SoC with 8 CPUs total (4 A73 or 2 A75 CPUs) like the Snapdragon 680, 685, Helio G80, G85, G88, Dimensity 700, Unisoc T618 etc.
  • 64-bit Android OS (8.0 and above)

In emulating 64-bit consoles like the PlayStation 2, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Switch, etc. You’ll need an upper midrange, flagship killer, or flagship phone with at least:


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