Remember When Steve Jobs Promoted PS1 Emulation On National TV? 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Emulation is in the spotlight right now thanks to Nintendo's tussle with the creators of Yuzu, but hardware makers have been chasing down this kind of thing for quite some time – as a new video by Greg Gant (of Definitive Mac Upgrade Guide fame) attests.

Gant's video shines a light on an infamous moment in Apple's history when its Steve Jobs actually went on live television in 1999 to promote the fact that it was possible to play PS1 games on a Mac via Virtual Game Station (VGS), a commercially-available emulator (thanks,

Speaking on the U.S. news network CNBC, Jobs even went as far as to point out that it wasn't available for Windows PCs, the Mac's great rival. Jobs announced the emulator during Macworld 1999 and even showed it running on-stage:

As you might imagine, Sony took a rather dim view of this; the PS1 market was still very large at this point, despite the fact that the console was almost five years old. Being able to play games on a Mac – and therefore circumventing the need to purchase a console – would have been damaging to the company's business, and it predictably took legal action, claiming that the fact that the system's BIOS had been copied constituted copyright infringement.

Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. v. Connectix Corp. case is an interesting one; the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that reverse-engineering a copyrighted BIOS and creating an alternative does not constitute copyright infringement, thereby laying down the rules of emulation which hold true to this very day.

Sony and Connectix would settle out of court, and Sony eventually purchased the rights to the VGS emulator in 2001, withdrawing the product from sale later that same year. Connectix would shut down in 2003.