There seem to be a number of different things that suggest "console emulation" so any suspicions of snake oil are certainly reasonable. Some simply emulate distortion characteristics and filter shapes of famous name brands, no different than "channel strip" plug-ins (hardware or software). But when you want to emulate a real life console, crosstalk between channels is a possible feature. Another, is to introduce small random variations in each channel that represent the spread of component tolerances. For example, if you set all the channels to the same frequency, Q, and boost or cut and apply the same signal to them, what comes out might have a couple of tenths of a dB between them at a measured frequency. Same goes for pan settings. It's a good excuse to mix with your ears rather than your eyes.
Try running a console emulation through Room EQ Wizard and look at frequency response and harmonic distortion sweeps to get a more accurate picture of what's going on between input and output.