The list is organized by guest operating system (the system being emulated), grouped by word length. Each section contains a list of emulators capable of emulating the specified guest, details of the range of guest systems able to be emulated, and the required host environment and licensing.
While the ARM processor in the Acorn Archimedes is a 32-bit chip, it only had 26-bit addressing making an ARM/Archimedes emulator, such as Aemulor or others below, necessary for 26-bit compatibility, for later ARM processors have mostly dropped it.
68k Mac emulator Basilisk II has a new build available for download, with performance improvements, a window-full screen toggle, a cursor-grabbing toggle, and support for sparsebundle disk images listed as the changes from previous Intel builds. Get it via the E-Maculation forums.
Work continues unabated on Java-based PSP emulator JPCSP. Revision 3461 is the latest build available at the time of writing, with recent changes appearing focused on graphics and error handling. See the JPCSP website for more details.
MacFCEU, an NES/Famicom emulator for Classic Mac OS (System 7-9), has been updated to version 0.8a8. Changes include lower system requirements, bug fixes, better audio playback, and more. Get it from the MacFCEU SourceForge page, and see here for a list of recent changes.
FS-UAE, a games and gamepad-focused Amiga emulator, has been updated to version 2.4.0. This adds multi-mouse support, new configuration options, SDL 2.0 support, and a host of improvements to the Launcher. See here for the release notes, or head to the FS-UAE website for more details and download links.
ZX Spectrum emulator Fuse version 126.96.36.199 has been released. This knocks the minimum system requirement up to OS X 10.8, fixes kernel panic and sound loop bugs, restores support for playing emulator recordings, and restores support for competition mode emulator recordings. See here for the full changelog and a link to the download.
Multi-system emulator/frontend OpenEmu has been updated to version 1.0.2. New additions include a filter called pixellate and an option to hide the HUD bar during gameplay. It also has fixes for various crash and opening bugs. Get it from the OpenEmu website, and join the MacScene discussion on our forum.
Sixtyforce lives! After many years of development and a trickle of releases, Gerrit Goossen's Nintendo 64 emulator has hit the big 1.0 milestone. Additions include improved controller configuration and support, a new timing mode, new low-level graphics processing, and more, while there are also a bunch of bugfixes. See the release notes for full details. And remember to pay for a licence if you'd like to see better Nintendo 64 emulation on the Mac.
Macintosh II A/UX emulator Shoebill has been updated to version 0.0.3. This release adds support for PRAM and full-screen mode, plus you can now restart/shutdown the virtual machine without it crashing, and Shoebill uses less CPU when A/UX's scheduler idles. Get it from the Shoebill GitHub page, and follow the discussion on E-Maculation.
Game Boy emulator DMGBoy got a major update in May. Version 2.0 adds Game Boy Color compatibility and a GUI debugger, as well as a nifty 3D model of the original Game Boy that you can play your games on (see video below). You can also now resize the window in real time, with no change in aspect ratio. On my Mac it was throwing up wxWidgets errors on run, but it seems to work just fine if you suppress these. Get it from the DMGBoy Google Code page.
Java-based PSP emulator JPCSP marches on with development, and the automated builds keep flooding in every week. Recent changes include improvements in ProOnline support, support for HD remaster games in the external software renderer, and some bug fixes. You can get builds via the JPCSP website or EmuNewz.
IA-32/x86 PC emulator Bochs has been updated to version 2.6.5. This release improves CPU emulation speed by 5-10%, implements new instructions and two new CPU models, fixes some critical CPU emulation correctness issues, adds built-in slirp support, and more. See the full list of changes here. You can download it from the SourceForge project page.
Multi-system emulator Mednafen has been updated to 0.9.35.1. This release improves the accuracy of the GPU framebuffer rectangle copy command on a PlayStation 1 and fixes a graphical glitch in Einhander. 0.9.35 hit at the end of May, bringing EEPROM emulation for iNES mapper 16, improvements to GPU emulation accuracy on the PS1, greatly improved WonderSwan noise sound channel emulation accuracy, and more. See the 0.9.35 and 0.9.35.1 announcement posts for more information. No signs of a Mac build yet, but you can play with the source code.
Multi-console emulator Bizhawk has been updated to version 1.7.0. Highlights include a new, faster NES core, Wonderswan support, and Game Boy/Game Boy Color support. See the BizHawk forum thread for more details.
Multi-console emulator/emulator framework OpenEmu has been updated to version 1.0.3. This release fixes issues with PS4 and Wii U controllers, improves grid view performance, fixes screenshot distortion, and more. See the release notes for the full list.
One of the most popular emulators. Originally by Christian Bauer,and later worked on by Gwenole Beauchesne, it currently has nomain developer, but the community at E-Maculation continuesto update it.(Basilisk II on Wikipedia)
I'm currently using the absolutely ancient "Fusion" emulator to emulate a 68k Macintosh (specifically, a Quadra 700), but it only runs under MS-DOS, so I'm using a VirtualBox VM to emulate that. I'd like to eliminate one layer of emulation.
A/UX was designed for the legacy Macintosh (those based on the Motorola 680x0 line of processors), and was never ported to the PowerPC. If you're trying to install on a PowerPC, stop now... It will not work. Similarly, none of the PowerBooks, LC's, or AV Macs are supported. A/UX bypasses the Macintosh Toolbox, and communicates directly with the hardware, so changing the gestalt (system ID code) will not let you install on an unsupported model.As of 2021 there are two emulator capable of running A/UX:Shoebill - which runs A/UX 0.7 through 3.1.1 Qemu - emulating Quadra 800, which runs 3.1 through 3.1.1
The code and data of a game are typically supplied to the emulator by means of a ROM file (a copy of game cartridge data) or an ISO image (a copy of optical media), which are created by either specialized tools for game cartridges, or regular optical drives reading the data. Most games retain their copyright despite the increasing time-span of the original system and products' discontinuation; this leaves regular consumers and emulation enthusiasts to resort to obtaining games freely across various internet sites rather than legitimately purchasing and ripping the contents (although for optical media, this is becoming popular for legitimate owners). As an alternative, specialized adapters such as the Retrode allow emulators to directly access the data on game cartridges without needing to copy it into a ROM image first. 2b1af7f3a8