What Are ROMs ?
Super Mario All-Stars was released for Super Nintendo in ‘93 but you can play it today on almost any system as a ROM. Re-released for Nintendo Wii as Limited Edition in 2010. Includes a colorful booklet, a red cover and a golden disc. However, the game itself was just a ROM. It is the exact game that was on the Super Nintendo; observe the button configuration menu of the game. So what is a ROM, simply put it’s a video game contained in a computer file.
To Play a ROM An Emulator Is Required
A program version of a video game console. Each emulator is designed for the machine it is working on or in more technical terms designed for each operating system. Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), PlayStation Network (PSN) and the Virtual Console (VC) on the Wii are considered emulators, each designed specifically for that console. The PS2/Xbox generation did not use emulators, at least not without some hacking. Now a days, emulators can even be found on mobile devices although it may not be the most comfortable place to play.
In the end its all computer terminology, if the computer/console is capable of having the emulator then it will play the ROM
Although compatibility issues exist, it depends on the emulator and/or ROM. Today, the most accessible ROMs to play are of 8-bit, 16-bit consoles, portables, N64, PS1 and 90’s arcade. Since video game consoles are just gaming computers, some can be hacked to play ROMs. Popular consoles hacked to play emulators are the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PSP, original Xbox and Nintendo Wii. Know that playing ROMs is the main reason for hacking a console. The PSP mod i.e. is best for playing PS1 games, the emulator will play all PS1 games. Additionally, the original Xbox mod is best known for playing ROMs from the TV e.g. 90’s consoles and arcade games from the built in hard drive.
With all that said, playing a game from an emulator for the first time may be a doozy. Just remember that all ROMs are the same i.e. a Game boy ROM will play on all Gameboy emulators but the emulator may vary. In other words know which system you are looking an emulator for your ROMs whether it be PSP, MAC, PC, Xbox.