SNES Emulator for Mac
SNES9x is a full featured SNES emulator for Mac that lets you do all sorts of things, including using an external game pad, customized controls, enter cheat codes and Game Genie codes directly into the game, create freeze states (ie: saving anytime anywhere), export movies of gameplay, and so much more.
It’s been out a while, but I just wrote about playing SNES on the iPad and realized that we’ve never covered the very SNES emulator for Mac that I mentioned in that article: SNES9x. Yes, there are other SNES emulators for Mac but I always find myself returning to SNES9x, I never have a problem with it and I’ve been able to play through games completely without a crash. In my opinion, it’s the most developed SNES emulator for the Mac platform, if there is a better one I haven’t found it yet.
Update: a newer and more full featured emulator is available called OpenEMU, which is arguably the best emulator on the Mac, it includes SNES and many other system emulators too. Nonetheless if you don’t want OpenEMU then Snes9x is still pretty great too.
Downloading the SNES Emulator for Mac
SNES9x is open sourced and a free download but it’s nowhere to be found on the official developers homepage so you usually have to Google around to find a download link. At the moment, Softpedia download works for SNES9x 1.52 too. The version I am using is 1.52 and was released this year, it works flawlessly in Mac OS X 10.6.4.
Playing SNES Games on the Mac
Now that you’ve downloaded SNES9x, you’ll need ROM files of the games to actually play SNES on your Mac. Playing the ROM files is simple, you just double click the .smc and it will launch automatically into SNES9x.
Downloading and Playing SNES ROM Files
Many ROMs are available to download without issue and these are called abandonware, but some ROM’s are considered a legal grey area; some people say it is straight piracy to download ROMS, others argue that if you bought and owned the SNES games a long time ago you should still have the legal right to play them in whatever form today, and of course there are others who say they’re ancient games so it shouldn’t matter anyway. This is made even more complex due to the various copyrights that may or may not exist for the games themselves. Due to this ambiguous nature and various copyrights, you should probably just Google around for specific ROM files and check the copyright yourself, they are generally really easy to find and many games belong to the public domain.
I always end up playing games that are either not controversial (aka Abandonware) or that I owned before anyway so I don’t have any moral dilemma with ROMs, but that’s me, and by no means am I an expert on ROM copyright or rights usage. Do your own research and enjoy playing SNES on your Mac!