"Classic" consoles, tiny, repackaged versions of slot machines from the 80s and 90s, are a popular gaming trend. However, Sony took a meaningful step in the PlayStation Classic: with an emulator that fans have been developing for years.
Kotaku recently discovered the open source license for PCSX ReARMed in a recent hands-on look at the new PlayStation Classic. This is an ARM (Mobile Hardware) release of the PCSX emulator that PC gamers have been using for almost two decades to play classic PS1
This is an interesting development if you are a fan of emulators and ROMs. Large game publishers and console manufacturers have been skeptical of the fan-emulation scene in the past. The reactions range from suspicious to downright hostile. (The kind of "classic" machines lining shelves on store shelves has been made by fans themselves for years using emulators and ROMs.) While game makers using emulation of older titles are nothing new, there have been emulated games for decades in Published Products – This is the first time that a large publisher relies on open source software to emulate classic titles rather than using their own proprietary solution. Unlike Sony's new device, Nintendo NES Classic and SNES Classic use proprietary emulators to perform legacy 2D games on low-cost, low-power hardware.
Sony uses a popular open source emulator to recognize the great work of the PCSX project and its various offshoots and forks. Or, if you feel cynical, it simply did not want to spend any money to develop its own solution if a free, legal solution was available. And there's another bonus: with PlayStation Classic open source emulator software, adding titles beyond the 20-game library should be relatively easy if you're looking for modding after the purchase. Source: Kotaku on ArsTechnica