UK video game retailer GAME suffered an awkward moment this week when they advertised the fact that Android based games console OUYA supports a SNES emulator on their website. The slip came in form of a small screenshot on GAME’s webpage for OUYA, which has since been taken down. In the list of ‘free games to try’ section there was a snap of Super GNES, which is an emulator that allows the user to play Super Nintendo games.
Whilst the emulators themselves are generally above board and nothing to shirk about, the ROMs themselves, which is the actual copy of the games, fall into a very ambiguous and vague position in the legal system, and the vast majority of them are illegal.
Kotaku managed to grab a screenshot of the page before it was amended and I’m sure that certain employees in GAME have been left red in the face from this incident.
Like I say the emulators themselves are generally fine so you can see why the snapshot was originally included, probably without much thought, however the wider ramification from the emulator is that these sometimes illegal copies of Nintendo games will be accessed. This is not the sort of thing GAME, or anyone in a working relationship with Nintendo for that matter, would want to promote from customers.
I would not be surprised if someone at Nintendo actually spotted the slip up and contacted GAME about including the image alongside the OUYA console, as the fact that the OUYA is a home console will probably irk the Japanese firm greatly.
Emulators and ROM copies of Nintendo games is something that the company have had to accept on Android phones, however transferring this practice to a home console, where they want the Wii to be King, is something that Nintendo will be keen to try and keep under wraps. Which is why it doesn’t help when one of the UK’s biggest video game retailer remind their customers that OUYA supports emulators.