This article gives an excellent summary of the emulation debate. It presents key arguments on both sides, acknowledging the advantages of video game emulation (allowing older software on current hardware and the unprecedented level of interaction with the inner workings of the game (modification, save states, etc.)) and the potential problems of letting emulation run rampant (resulting in a possibly huge loss of revenue for the industry and a massive amount of video game piracy). It also provides a number of statistics, ranging from revenue data for the N64 to an analysis of Moore's Law as it relates to video game consoles.
However, the core of the article is a series of suggestions by the authors for the video game industry. The authors believe that the RIAA made a mistake in its continued assault on piracy, and want the ESA to try a different tack (lest they end up isolating their consumers as the recording industry did). They suggest that video game companies avoid alienating their consumer base and instead embrace emulation. Provide emulators for older systems. Remake older games so that they are available on current hardware. And possibly even explore other distribution schemes (they suggest a Netflix-style business model).
In many ways, this article is extremely prophetic. Since it was published in Spring 2004, Sony and Microsoft have both emphasized backwards compatibility for their consoles, and Nintendo introduced the Virtual Console, allowing customers to purchase ROMs of older video games and play them on their Wii. Older, popular video games are consistently remade and upgraded for modern consoles. The suggestion of a Netflix-style program is nevertheless interesting, even though it is unlikely to happen (the industry will not want to give up their current system). And the article still provides a good introduction to the core arguments used by both sides. Its intention (to ensure that video game consumers do not end up hating their industry in the same way that music consumers do) is noble, and the authors seem to genuinely want to please both sides of the debate. Overall, an excellent article.