Mar 21, 2024 3 min read

Steve Jobs once promoted PlayStation emulation on the Mac

Back in 1999 Steve Jobs took to the stage at Macworld to tout a new emulator that could play PS1 discs on your Mac.

Steve Jobs and the Connectix PS1 emulator

Back in 1999 Steve Jobs took to the stage at Macworld to tout a new emulator that could play PS1 discs on your Mac.

Believe it or not, but back in 1999 Apple’s Steve Jobs went on national TV and spoke glowingly about a new piece of emulation software that made playing PS1 games on your Macintosh a reality. 

Yes, then iCEO Jobs not only took to the airwaves on U.S. news network CNBC to brag about how this new emulator “lets your Mac play Sony PlayStation games” (noting that “you can’t even get this on Windows”), but he also took to the stage at that year’s MacWorld Expo touting the $49 'Virtual Game Station' software to the Mac masses. 

Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller even demoed the new software on stage with a bit of Crash Bandicoot action.

This amusing bit of emulator history was recently retold over on Greg Gant's YouTube channel. The eight-minute video does a really good job or recapping the curious story — and ultimately ends up reminding us of the rather important precedent set as a result of this short-lived product.

See, this PlayStation emulator was the work of software company Connectix — and Sony were very much aware of this CD-ROM and what it was offering. As such, Sony took out an injunction to have the software pulled from store shelves. However, the legal action did not end up going in Sony's favour. As such, this ruling is one that, to this day, game emulation advocates point to as helping establish the legality of emulators.

Sony lost — so what did they do to ultimately stop Connectix and their 'Virtual Game Station'? Well, Sony just bought it. That ought to do it.

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