just wondering if by any chance the WP8 emulator can be installed on a machine which lacks hardware visualization support.
I don't care for the performance of the emulator under this circumstances, I just want to be able to run it and deploy apps from VS in order to debug / test them.
Nope. The emulator requires Hyper-V to run at all. That means you have no choice but to have a Core i-series chip in order to get Second Level Address Translation. It's not a matter of the speed of the emulator, but hardware capabilities required to run it in the first place.