Connectix Virtual Game Station
Windows GUI of Virtual Game Station
|Stable release||1.4.1 / October 11, 2000|
|Operating system||Mac OS, Microsoft Windows|
|Website||Virtual Game Station (archived)|
The Virtual Game Station (VGS) is an emulator by Connectix that allows Sony PlayStation games to be played on a desktop computer. It was first released for the Macintosh, in 1999. VGS was created by Aaron Giles. The recompiling CPU emulator was written by Eric Traut.
Released at a time when the Sony PlayStation was at its peak of popularity, Virtual Game Station was the first PlayStation emulator, for any platform, that enabled games to run at full speed on modest computer hardware, and the first that supported the vast majority of PlayStation games. It was advertised to run at full speed on the original iMac G3/233 MHz system (relying on its built-in ATi graphics hardware), and in some cases it was able to run on 200 MHz 604e systems reasonably well. The impact of this product was huge as it changed the available Macintosh game library from a very small, select group to nearly the entire collection of PlayStation games. Graphics could be run full screen, at full speed. Several PlayStation-type hand controllers became available with VGS in mind. The only lacking features were the ability to receive DualShock force-feedback or use light-guns.
VGS was initially released for NTSC based PlayStation games but later versions were made for PAL based games. Like the PS1, only games released for the selected VGS system could be run, copied games would not work either, although it didn't take too long for the hacker community to release a "Mod Chipped" version. Versions 1.1 and 1.2 of VGS attempted to make "modding" more difficult but were soon modded as well.
VGS proved to be extremely popular, as it cost less than half the price of a PlayStation and did not require any extra hardware. VGS was later ported to Microsoft Windows. It was slightly less popular there due to competition with other emulators such as bleem!, though it did have better compatibility.
Sony perceived VGS as a threat, and filed a lawsuit against Connectix for copyright infringement. The case was eventually closed in favour of Connectix, but Connectix was unable to sell the software in the meantime because Sony had been awarded a temporary injunction. Soon thereafter, Sony purchased VGS from Connectix and discontinued it. At the time, however, PlayStation 2 was nearly out and the original PlayStation was at the end of its peak, with people looking toward the next generation consoles.
- Aaron's Computing History, The Connectix Era
- *United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2000). Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.; Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. v. Connectix Corporation, 203 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2000). Accessed online on August 29, 2006.