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ATPM 5.03
March 1999

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Review: Virtual Game Station

by William Gordon, WmLax43@aol.com

verynice

Box ShotProduct Information
Published by: Connectix Corporation
2955 Campus Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403
Phone: (800) 950-5880
E-Mail: sales@connectix.com
Web: http://www.virtualgamestation.com
Trial: Feature-limited (no virtual memory cards, no game pad support, 1-player only); download trial.

Recently, Connectix announced the release of Virtual Gamestation, an emulator which allows Macintosh gamers to enjoy the multitude of software available to the Sony Playstation platform. The concept behind VGS is that since there is still a limited collection of entertainment software available for the Macintosh, maybe it’s time to expand the Mac’s cross-platform capabilities.

Sony, apparently, didn’t see things quite the same way as Connectix, as they pursued a lawsuit against Virtual Gamestation. Fortunately, thanks to the release of Version 1.1 of this product, which added anti-piracy provisions to the program, a court has denied Sony’s request for a temporary restraining order halting distribution of VGS.

Unfortunately for older Mac users, this program runs native on the PowerPC G3 processor and can’t be used on any previous chip design (604s or lower). Connectix has also released a statement regarding G3 upgrades and their support of Virtual Gamestation. Connectix states that G3 upgrades should not be used with the program. However, upon visiting Sonnet Technologies’s website, I was informed that they have tested their upgrades and found those with 1 MB caches to run VGS just as well as a Power Macintosh G3 (for compatibility of G3 upgrades check with your upgrade manufacturer).

Controller

The VGS graphics are dependent on an ATI video driver included with the program and supply similar performance to that of the original Playstation. Currently, Connectix has a fairly good list of compatible games on their Web site, but don’t be disappointed if a favorite game isn’t listed currently, as the list continues to grow. When sitting down to play any game on VGS a video game controller would be an extremely useful add on (for a compatibility list go to http://www.connectix.com). In fact, version 1.0 had a distinct problem in that keyboard controls, when pressed, didn’t affect the game for a few seconds. However, this appears to be remedied with the update to Version 1.1. Overall, the gaming experience is good and the graphics, while not superb, are decent.

Screenshot

The less than perfect quality of the graphics can be attributed to the fact that Playstation games are designed to run on televisions and thus run at a lower resolution than the Macintosh. Some jumps and flickers do occur when the game must go through a complicated set of animations, such as a car crash, but they are corrected fairly swiftly.

If you feel limited by the game market for the Mac and wish to expand your library of games, Virtual Gamestation is a solid choice. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to purchasing one of the other options on the market such as a DOS card, Windows emulator, or even a Playstation. It is both easy to install and to use. The program has modest requirements in terms of RAM and hard disk space, but it does require a G3.

This program attains a rating of Very Nice, with definite room for improvement in the graphics department. Another welcome addition would be a version for older Macs which have an ATI graphics card.

AppleCopyright © 1999 William M. Gordon, WmLax43@aol.com. Reviewing in ATPM is open to anyone. If you’re interested, write to us at reviews@atpm.com.

Reader Comments (94)

John Ong · July 29, 2000 - 01:01 EST #1
I want 3D! What are the guys waiting for? I believe they can make it happen!
anonymous · September 13, 2001 - 16:50 EST #2
This game machine is totaly awsome. It's really cool. I suggest you readers must buy this VGS!
Chris Collins · September 22, 2001 - 17:28 EST #3
No doubt, I want Open GL/Direct X support! Maybe even an update for better sound!
Marc Antoni Gonz├ílez Martinez · October 9, 2001 - 00:50 EST #4
Es un buen programa.
Fernando Pignataro · October 26, 2001 - 13:20 EST #5
What!? You still do not have VGS? Then you do not fully know what quality and entertainment is. You should have no doubt in buying this product. It is really amazing and it will offer uncounted hours of entertainment.
Livan · November 2, 2001 - 12:13 EST #6
The VGS is cool...but the pictures are bad.
anonymous · December 1, 2001 - 08:17 EST #7
Why can't we use Game Shark with this program?
Nick · December 1, 2001 - 23:29 EST #8
I have one game that has problems playing. It will stop and then go. I have to keep on pressing Escape all the time just to play. Do you guys have a list of games that don't play on the Virtual Game Station? The game is Resident Evil 2. Thanks. Nick
Frederick · December 24, 2001 - 14:30 EST #9
Guys, the link to the trial is invalid. I read at the Connectix site that they don't sell VGS anymore. So, where can I get it? If anyone of you want, we can work together to develop a VGS clone that supports OpenGL or DirectX :-) Fred, from Santo Domingo
Byron Miller · January 1, 2002 - 00:35 EST #10
VGS is a good PSX emulator, but I would give the graphics a 4.5. Other than that, it works good with all my games. Get it!
Nicky Chand · January 9, 2002 - 14:57 EST #11
This program has given me a great advantage. It has saved me more than $120. I always play Playstation games on my computer. Thanks.
Shinji · January 19, 2002 - 05:37 EST #12
When can I change the resolution from 640x480 (too bad) to 800x600, 1024x768, and more?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · February 4, 2002 - 00:06 EST #13
Notice to all, I just found this Connectix web page that states they ceased development of VGS as of the end of 2001. Updates and support are no longer available.

C'est la vie.
Shashank Jaiswal · February 8, 2002 - 06:18 EST #14
It is very good. It's the best.
anonymous · February 16, 2002 - 13:47 EST #15
Can someone post a link to where you can get VGS? Thanks.
Arslan · February 21, 2002 - 07:00 EST #16
VGS is good and nice, but now we want a Playstation 2 VGS!!
Alvin · February 23, 2002 - 09:44 EST #17
I want to make a memory card, but I don't know how. Can you teach me, please?
anonymous · March 2, 2002 - 13:28 EST #18
Does anyone know where this can be downloaded from, now that it's not for sale.
Flydaddy · March 7, 2002 - 18:07 EST #19
Download it with Limewire or some shareware program.
Tiny Tim · March 7, 2002 - 21:37 EST #20
I want to make a memory card, but I don't know how. Can you teach me, please?
James Braithwaite · March 8, 2002 - 07:54 EST #21
How much does this thing cost?
Bakar M. Al-hasani · March 15, 2002 - 16:17 EST #22
Does the VGS work with PS2 games?
Ankush · March 21, 2002 - 09:05 EST #23
Does anybody know which games the Virtual Game Station supports? Please send me a list of games which will work on the VGS. I will be very happy if you do so.
Lady Sacha · March 26, 2002 - 12:41 EST #24
Hello you guys! I'm here to help you with your previous questions.

About the list of games that Connectix VGS supports, you can find it at this Connectix page and print it!

About the download of VGS now that it's not for sale anymore, use Hotline or Carracho.

Have fun!
Rene · March 29, 2002 - 19:53 EST #25
VGS is the best emulator in history. I have used it almost two years and I have no complaints except that there are two games that do not work for me.
Florimond · April 1, 2002 - 17:37 EST #26
I would like to get a list of the games that works with the Connectix Virtual Gamestation for Macintosh. I would be very happy to get this game list. Thank you for your answer.

Best regards,

Florimond
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 2, 2002 - 00:46 EST #27
Sigh. Sometimes I just don't get it. Why have a comments section if ya'll don't read it? People post comments and expect others to read (and answer) them, but they don't bother to read any of the comments themselves.

Florimond, if you had simply scrolled up just a tiny bit from where your made your comment, you'd have seen a note from "Lady Sacha" that includes a link to where you'll find a list of compatible games.

Bear in mind (another comment you probably didn't read, a bit higher up) that since Connectix ceased development of the VGS last year, it stands to reason they also ceased updating this list of compatible games.
Shamsodin · April 5, 2002 - 20:30 EST #28
Where do I download or buy the Connectix Virtual Game station for Mac? Let me know as soon as possible.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 5, 2002 - 22:08 EST #29
Shamsodin - here we go again with another brand new episode of those who post comments without reading existing ones.

As stated several times above, Connectix has ceased development of the VGS. It is no longer available for purchase--at least not from Connectix.
Sean Gordon · April 26, 2002 - 15:47 EST #30
Where do I get a memory card for the VGS?
anonymous · April 26, 2002 - 21:09 EST #31
Does the MTV music generator for PS1 work with the VGS. If it does, how do you get it to work?
Doug Nelson · May 11, 2002 - 23:31 EST #32
Any word on the compatibility of VGS with Playstation 2?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 12, 2002 - 17:57 EST #33
Doug - your answer is just a couple comments above the one you posted. VGS development has been discontinued. If it doesn't work now, it's unlikely it will in the future.
Chandra SP · May 16, 2002 - 11:37 EST #34
I can't play Parasite Eve 2. At first, the movie part works, but after that, it just goes blank. No select menu. So what must I do to solve the problem? Thanks.
anonymous · May 18, 2002 - 13:38 EST #35
Hi. Your Connectix VGS emulator is perfect. What are your plans about a PS2 emulator?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · May 20, 2002 - 22:21 EST #36
bigshowdotcom - please find your answer just two comments prior to your own.
Jessica · June 7, 2002 - 12:50 EST #37
You can buy a VGS on eBay. I got mine there for $5.
Viet Pryde · June 8, 2002 - 21:18 EST #38
I need a memory card for the Virtual Game Station. Where do I get one?
Noman Zafar · June 12, 2002 - 04:38 EST #39
Hi! I am very happy to say that the VGS is a most useful creation to play the PlayStation games. Thanks.
Shaaab Kazi · June 14, 2002 - 21:35 EST #40
Can I get link to a page for the games that VGS supports, please?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · June 15, 2002 - 00:38 EST #41
Shaab (and everyone else) - so many times, comments are posted and it's obvious the person didn't bother to even glance through other people's comments. What good is a comments section if everyone posts their questions and no one reads anyone else's postings?

Shaab, if you look up about 16-17 comments above yours, you'll see that the page you seek has already been pointed to. And don't forget, as has been stated many times on this page, the VGS is no longer being developed, so the list of compatible games is going to get older and older as months go by, and while new games that are released just might work on the VGS if you obtained one before they were discontinued, the list of compatible games on Connectix' site is likely not going to be updated any more.
Sunil Jaiswal · June 15, 2002 - 12:53 EST #42
Men In Black crashes - doesn't work on VGS.
Malek · June 28, 2002 - 14:28 EST #43
The graphics on the VGS are not very good. Do you know how to fix this?
Agha Fawad · July 8, 2002 - 07:24 EST #44
I think the VGS is a good PS emulator, but it needs to be improved more. We want a PS2 emulator, but I think the VGS is the best emulator I have ever seen.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 8, 2002 - 19:01 EST #45
Agha - didn't you read the prior comments to your own? It has been stated many times that Connectix is no longer developing the VGS, so you won't see any more improvements and you won't see PS2 support ... that is, unless another company buys the VGS development rights and keeps going, or starts one of their own.
Rose · July 21, 2002 - 19:22 EST #46
I have read all the comments and no one seems to know where to find updates to the VGS (I know you can't get them from Connectix). I have 1.1 and need 1.4. Any ideas?
anonymous · July 26, 2002 - 20:36 EST #47
Eu gostaria de um memorycard. Podem enviar para o e-mail.
Alejandro Acuña · July 26, 2002 - 23:50 EST #48
I need a memory card for the Virtual Game Station. Where do I get one?
Chrtian Chan · July 30, 2002 - 23:19 EST #49
How can I save games when I want to stop playing? Can somebody tell me any downloadable web site I can look at?
Eugenio · September 6, 2002 - 18:53 EST #50
How can I play games on the Connectix VGS?
Dish · September 7, 2002 - 05:01 EST #51
Can any one tell me how 3-in-1 games or 5-in-1 games work with the VGS?
Vicious · October 11, 2002 - 18:16 EST #52
3-in-1 games?? What are you talking about? If you're referring to games that have more than one CD, then it works just the same way as a normal PlayStation does, except the eject button looks different.
Isaac · October 13, 2002 - 20:23 EST #53
I really need an "emulator" memory card. Can anyone tell me where I can get it?
Syed Habeeb Qadri · October 15, 2002 - 04:35 EST #54
I can't use the Fifa 2002 World Cup in my VGS.
Zenon · October 15, 2002 - 07:50 EST #55
Listen people, I agree that this is a good emulator, but how do I save my games? I'm playing GT2 and I can't even save my cars and the upgrades. I've got memory card manager but I have no idea how to use it. Can anyone pleae help me? Thanks.
Jawad Ali Malik · October 16, 2002 - 08:26 EST #56
Hello all you members of this site. Guys, you really are cool, but I want the PS2 emulator to run PS2 games on it--especialy Tekken 4. So what about your progress? Are you trying to make the emulator? It's my request that you should e-mail and inform me.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · October 17, 2002 - 22:15 EST #57
Jawad - there is no PS2 emulator in development—at least not by Connectix. You didn't read above that Connectix isn't developing the VGS any more. Since ATPM.com is not directly affiliated with Connectix (we had only reviewed the VGS before it was discontinued), you'll need to contact them directly to make inquires about a PS2 emulator.
Thomas · October 25, 2002 - 09:40 EST #58
Geez, this is insane.

You have, like, 2,000 comments about "How do I make a memory card?" And you all decide instead to waste time griping at the idiots wasting time by asking "When is the update, when is the update?"

Someone answer the bloody question of how to make/use/WHATEVER memory cards! I need to know too.
Luke Mathers · October 25, 2002 - 10:54 EST #59
Creating a memory card is, like, the easiest thing to do with Connectix. Just create one or how many you like and name it whatever you want. Easy. There.
Thomas · October 25, 2002 - 13:44 EST #60
Okay, so your directions to create a memory card with Connectix is to "create one or how many you like and name it whatever you want."

So you create it by creating it.

You know, you're really not answering the question.

All right, look, I go to preferences and it says "Memory card: None" and all of the options underneath are greyed out. Maybe someone can answer the question now.
Digimon Emperor · November 10, 2002 - 23:41 EST #61
Why doesn't Game Shark work on the VGS? Please tell me why or attach the file of an emulator that works with Game Shark.
Gamer · November 14, 2002 - 15:22 EST #62
The last release of VGS was version 1.41. If you have it, don't loose it because you'll never get it again. Sony bought and killed this product. The list of games that work with VGS is gone, as is all resemblance of support. If your game doesn't work now, it never will.

Thomas, to create a memory card file, you go into preferencees and select 'create memory card.' If you can't select the option, I would advise you to trash the preferences file and reinstall the software package.
Andres Palacios · November 16, 2002 - 17:42 EST #63
Es un exelente programa y la mayoria de los juegos funcionana y es rapido pero que pasa con los graficos por que no se puede utilizar un D3D o OpenGL o simplemente cambiar la resolucion.
Hellboy · November 22, 2002 - 19:35 EST #64
You can't use Gameshark on the VGS, but you can use PSX Emulation Cheater.
Doomo · December 2, 2002 - 20:41 EST #65
Where can I find a list of games for the VGS?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · December 2, 2002 - 21:00 EST #66
Doomo - ever since the VGS was discontinued, information about it is getting more scarce by the day. I found several hits when I searched for VGS compatible games, but most of the links didn't lead to anything that worked. In fact, this site on GeoCities is the only one I found that seemed useful enough to mention here.

P.S. - the link offered in a previous comment for a compatibility list no longer works.
Juse Luis · December 5, 2002 - 23:57 EST #67
Es muy buen programa, pero cabrones pongales mayor definición a las gráficas.
Tom S. · December 28, 2002 - 21:12 EST #68
I have version 1.4.1 and some newer games will run, except that the graphics are incomplete. Much of the detail and close scenery objects do not show up on the screen, making the game unplayable. The latest was Treasure Planet (NTSC). Is this incompatible or is there some memory, extension, or monitor setting that could fix it?
David McFarland · December 31, 2002 - 19:17 EST #69
This is the best thing I have ever seen. It is a good, solid program. The graphics could be better, but it is definitely a good idea.

How do you get sound? I have none.
Anthony · June 4, 2003 - 13:35 EST #70
I wonder why I can't play Harvest Moon with CVGS? Maybe it's just too old for it?
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · July 31, 2003 - 09:36 EST #71
We'll do this again:

No, the VGS will not work with PS2.

No, you cannot use GameShark.

To make a memory card, I believe you hit Command-K, then click on Create Memory Card.

And once more—development of the VGS has been discontinued. There will no further updates, enhancements, or additions. This information is nearly 2 years old now.
anonymous · August 25, 2003 - 08:29 EST #72
I created a memory card file on VGS, but I can't save and load games. What should I do?
Zeus Campos Sánchez · August 29, 2003 - 21:30 EST #73
This is a great emulator. It's very easy to use. I love it, but it doesn't play the game I like most--Parasite Eve 2. I'm sad.
Cheryl Cruz · September 2, 2003 - 04:00 EST #74
The VGS is good, but when I play Chrono Cross, the key items menu won't display when I press the button, so I can't play it properly. Why?
anonymous · September 8, 2003 - 12:02 EST #75
Just a word to Lee - I feel your pain - the gnawing sense of deja-vu as I scroll down through the comments - the grating sound of teenagers struggling through their angst, numbing the pain of youth by staring at a computer screen until it becomes interesting. I hope they get sunshine enough so they don't turn into Morloks.

Kids, stop asking about VGS. Enjoy what you probably inherited from the prior computer owner or got for free from some neighborhood shmoe whose acne is indeed an eternal curse. If VGS is not working the way it should, stop obsessing about it and go play outside. And, if you're over 18 years of age and asking why your copy of "The Little Mermaid" for PS2 doesn't work, the problem goes way beyond VGS and the demise of Connectix. Please get help.

I hope this little piece of tough love furthers your cause, ATPM.com. Rock on, Lee Bennett.
Andrew Kator (ATPM Staff) · September 12, 2003 - 13:30 EST #76
It's a little confusing why so many are trying to get an OS 9 application to work, especially when this age group is so busy bashing those Mac users who are still using OS 9.

There are many arcade and console emulators available for the Mac, but many do not match the quality, usefulness, and stability of VGS because they are not developed by companies with large resources. Even so, there are many options for arcade, computer, and game emulation: Basilisk II, Bochs, Flarestorm, Generator, Genesis Plus, MacMAME, MacMESS, MaxUAE, OSXII, SMS Plus, SNES9X, Virtual ][, and vMac, just to name a few.

Go to MacUpdate or VersionTracker and search through their software listings. I would suggest searching for "Playstation" or "emulator," since many are obviously unable to figure that one out. There are also many open source projects that offer emulation. Try searching SourceForge.net for open source emulators. There's more there than you could shake a stick at.
Darko Sigur · September 20, 2003 - 15:37 EST #77
You can play Parasite Eve 2 on the VGS. Search the net and download the VGS video patch. When you run it, check option "Parasite Eve 2 fix." Good luck.
Amr Kassab · December 16, 2003 - 17:48 EST #78
I want program to play Dreamcast games on my computer.
Anderson Fernandes · January 16, 2004 - 21:32 EST #79
VGS is the best emulator for Playstation 1, but it doesn't have a Gameshark emulator.
Ghemri Abdellah · February 29, 2004 - 12:12 EST #80
I think that VGS is the best emulator, but I need an emulator that configures with a 3D card.
anonymous · March 2, 2004 - 07:09 EST #81
VGS has been out of production since at least 2001.
moussa · March 9, 2004 - 05:51 EST #82
hello thank you for this place
Talles Juliano Teixeira Santos · December 30, 2004 - 00:46 EST #83
I got a VGS 1.41 640x480 demo, but it don't have the memory cards. I change two of this from epsxe to vgs using a tool but it wasn't enofy.
I enjoy a lot of this emulator, but it's useless to me without memo cards. If someone know how I can get this or how I can get a full version of this emulator, please, tell me.
talljts@hotmail.com
thanks
Brasil, state MG, city Ipatinga.
Nasrath Faisal · January 28, 2005 - 00:34 EST #84
tell me isn't there any way to download gameshark for VGS or get an upgraded version for VGS.
or on which website can I download gameshark for VGS or EPSXE.
Mike Clarkson · April 14, 2005 - 06:54 EST #85
It seems that from reading all the postings that there is a need for VGS or indeed a worthy type of Playstation emulator for Macs. I am surprised that none of the big corporation software companies or even Sony (that acquired VGS rights) would not continue with the development of playstation emulators. Surely, from reading all the postings, it shows that there is a very good demand for such an emulator that allows, for example , people that wish to play playstation games on compact 12" and 15" ibooks/powerbooks instead of lugging around a bulky playstation console.
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · April 14, 2005 - 10:17 EST #86
Mike - You may be right, but from Sony's point of view, why spend money and resources developing an emulator when they know the people who'll really want to play (thus buy all the games) will buy a console anyway if that's their only choice.

I'm not saying Sony shouldn't make an emulator. I'm only saying that I don't imagine they have much motivation to do so.
gilbert smith · August 17, 2005 - 10:56 EST #87
I have just afew question. first can the vgs play actual games from the disk, and second where can i freaking find the program. ive been looking with no luck on the net and nothing
Lee Bennett (ATPM Staff) · August 17, 2005 - 23:52 EST #88
Gilbert - I have no information on the first question, but the second question has already been answered many times in past comments. Here goes again. VGS was discontinued. No one sells it. Any download of it is illegal, thus ATPM does not permit them to be posted here.
Christian Landry · September 6, 2005 - 12:15 EST #89
Gilbert: Yes, VGS can play actual games from the actual Playstation CD, it would defeat the point if it couldn't.
henry983 · September 19, 2005 - 11:06 EST #90
Why can't we use Game Shark with this program?
imickey503 · October 12, 2005 - 13:28 EST #91
Wow I really was looking to get like a usb or ADB serial convertor reader for ps1 memory cards. I am still looking. However, there are better many ps1 emulators out there with more options and so forth, but the botom line: The real trhing is just so much more fun to tweak. I have 4 psx machines and 1 ps1. The ps1 was a let down becase of no Link capability. I still use VGS and have to say it is the most impresive software to date for any old G3 mac. It really shows of the grafix capability if these cards. It's almost sad that most other pc games still look a far cry to what the origianl PS1 games are. There is an exeption to every rule, but I am sure that this software will live on forever. Long Live VGS
clarK nermous · October 19, 2005 - 06:39 EST #92
when i play digimon 3, something that make me angry is the game error. so i can't finish the game.
AbbasJin · January 6, 2006 - 13:08 EST #93
CVGS was a cool emulator, its so bad that no company tried an emulator for the PS2. Connectix shouldn't have sold their emu to Sony :S - AbbasJin (Pakistan)
Lenneth Valkyrie · March 18, 2006 - 20:32 EST #94
VGS is very cool emulator for playstation, but it's really boring, because I can't play a game that I like (harvest moon 1 and 2, digimon 3, Dragon warrior 7, valkyrie profile, final fantasy 4, final fantasy 6) . + I can't use gameshark (T_T), why and why?.