Game emulation in and of itself isn't necessarily a malicious or illegal concept: it's only when pirated ROMs enter the equation that things become legally questionable. Despite the apparent innocence of emulation, we're almost certain that Microsoft's position regarding the efforts of one "Lone Coder," who managed to port a NES emulator called SharpNES to the Xbox 360 using XNA Studio Express, would be a hostile one were it not for the fact that to use it requires a Creators Club account at $99 / year. The prospect of people running NES games willy-nilly on their Xbox 360s without the barrier of having to part with hard earned cash would no doubt have been hard to bear for the corporate giant, despite the claimed lack of competition between Microsoft and Nintendo, and the relative antiquity of the emulated platform. It'll also be interesting to see whether Nintendo will do anything about this: as we've mentioned before, it could be argued that this is entirely legal as long as the pirated ROMs don't join the party, although we wouldn't be surprised if the problem of people playing Nintendo games on a rival console, at the same time as Nintendo is trying to re-sell them via their Virtual Console, resulted in Reggie & Co. ordering a C&D. Currently the SharpNES port is running at between 60 and 70 percent of normal speed, and support for a second controller, sound, saving state, and a ROM loading menu -- changing ROM requires a teensy bit of tweaking -- is missing, so this probably isn't the best solution for playing a bit of Super Mario Bros anyway.

[Via Xbox-Scene]