Download Roms

Written by Adam Blau
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If you do a bit of searching for video games online, you will likely come across several sites that enable you to download video game ROMs. For the uninitiated, this might seem a bit puzzling and could, if downloaded without a host program on which to play the ROMs, prove to be disappointing to the gamer. There are several facets of ROMs that are important for a user to consider.

What Are ROMs?

ROM stands for Read-Only Memory. These are program codes that are embedded into older arcade games or on home gaming system cartridges. On the Atari 2600, for example, the ROMs for each individual game would be encoded onto a chip in the cartridge. Once the cartridge was loaded into the game system, the ROM could be read by the machine and the game could be played.

Nowadays, the raw ROM code for many games can be found online. In order to effectively use the ROM, it is necessary to have an additional piece of software to read the code. MAME, or Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator software, is one popular means by which the ROM codes can be read and interpreted for several different modern operating systems.

ROMs themselves are often legally available for a small licensing charge. This way, the developers of the game can be assured that they will receive the royalties that they are due. While it may be possible to find free, pirated ROMs online, the quality of these is shoddy, and they are quite illegal.

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