I think emulation is a grey area so I would be cautious guys.. You know, piracy.
But speaking of emulation, I only play games on the PC that I own on disc or cart already. I use ZSNESX on the PC. I had the games dumed to .snes files and burned them to a disc for storage. I play them when ever I don't feel like playing them on the Retron 3.
I own around 60 NES games and I had a friend dump them onto his PC with some parallel device. I think burned them to a CD-R and have them for archiving. It's not illegal to have .nes files if you own the original games. I want to preserve my games so I dump them and use an emulator to preserve what I have. My NES won't work forever..
I also have a couple flash cards for my NDS that let me play all my games. I dumped all my NDS games onto a Micro SD card and plug that into my flashcard and play away. I have 30 NDS games and that's a hassle to carry around, so I dump them on my NDS and play them from one cart. You can break the law with flash carts so a word of warning.
REMEMBER: If you own the original cart/disc it's perfectly legal to have a back-up of that.
True. It is a grey area. But only because of copyright laws which are ment to protect the IP owners products from piracy and secure profits. However since these games are 15+ years olds, you cant get them anywhere new and only ones getting money are used game sellers and price increasing resellers. All carts have been sold forward years ago and money has been made, the copyright law has succesfully done its job. Though now that Wiiware and similar are around and the catalog of old games available there is increasing this argument gets thinner.
Now that I said it this is pretty much the same situation as abandonware discussions around the web years ago, before the times of GOG.
Still though, there is one thing Wiiware and such will never offer, fantranlations of games that were never localized and never will be (they most likely wont bother). Like Seiken Densetsu 3, one of the best 16bit JRPGs ever made.
Edited by MaZa - 5/25/12 at 11:50pm