“Yo dog, we heard you like video games…”
We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished an intense round of (insert your favorite VR game here) and one of your friends steps away to use the restroom or grab a quick bite to eat, leaving you and the rest of your party waiting patiently in the pre-game lobby. Instead of twiddling your virtual thumbs in anticipation of their return, why not take advantage of your newfound downtime with some 2D retro gaming, all without having to remove your headset?
Available now on PC VR headsets like the Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, and Valve Index, Portable Emulator is a nifty piece of software that allows you to play a wide range of classic games in VR. The best part is you can break out this virtual game console while playing other VR games. Play the original Call of Duty while waiting for your team to party up in Onward. Speed through a few levels of Sonic the Hedgehog while crafting items in Zenith. What and when you play is up to you. Think of it like an interactive overlay.
Built around the popular Retroarch emulator, Portable Emulator currently supports a wide range of classic consoles, including SNES, Gameboy Color, Atari 2600, and Sega Genisis just to name a few. The app features a variety of unique features designed to provide a comfortable gaming experience, including the ability to play using a virtual joystick or your motion controllers. You can also reposition and resize your emulator as well as alter the screen aspect ratio.
Those interested can download the Portable Emulator app 100% free of charge here. You can also choose your own price if you wish to leave a little something for the developer. Setup is fairly simple, though like most emulator-based software you will be responsible for providing your own ROMs, aka game files. While I won’t tell you where to access these files outright due to legal reasons, a quick Google search should provide you with all the information you need. Those already familiar with Retroarch should have no trouble navigating the app.
For those unfamiliar, Retroarch is a cross-platform frontend for a variety of emulators and game engines. Put simply, the app allows you to run a considerable amount of classic game consoles on your PC, allowing you to build your own retro arcade with your old game collection. For more information on Retroarch, visit here.
Feature Image Credit: BarShiftGames