PPSSPP Creator Says He’s Bringing The Emulator To The App Store This Year

PPSSPP on an iPhone

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We’ve been keeping our finger on the pulse of the emulation situation on the iPhone ever since it was announced that Apple was allowing emulators into their inner sanctum. So far the news has mainly been Nintendo-focused, with Apple showing that they’re as ruthless as Ninty when it comes to pulling apps that don’t meet their terms and conditions.

Now, there’s some good news for Sony fans, as the creator of PPSSPP Henrik Rydgard has written in his latest blog post that as long as Apple allows ’emulators with ISO/ROM pickers, [then] PPSSPP will come to the App Store later this year’.

Well, I’ve been doing some digging to get to the bottom of this, and I discovered via Android Authority that Apple has recently spoken to MacRumors about this very topic. (I know that sounds like playground ‘he said, she said’, but stick with me). Apple has clarified that emulators on their app store can run ROMs so long as they’re from retro games.

So, considering Apple has said that emulators can play ROMs, things are looking good for Henrik Rydgard bringing my go-to PSP emulator to the iPhone, and the ‘retro caveat’ gets Apple out of the immediate line of fire for emulating consoles that still have games being produced for them.

How Do You Know If Something Is Retro?

Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSP game case held by Seb

But then we have to dive into the age-old debate as to what constitutes as retro? The Commodore 64 emulator for iPhone undoubtedly falls into this category as the C64 came out in 1982. The PSP came out in 2004 which is now 20 years ago, so PPSSPP should definitely be ok.

And let’s not forget that the only reason iGBA was taken down was because it used stolen source code from GBA4iOS and not because it was emulating a console that wasn’t retro. Henrik created PPSSPP, so while he doesn’t own the ROMs themselves, he owns the rights to the emulator, which means it should pass through Apple’s processes easily.

I generally tend to think that consoles that aren’t in production anymore and aren’t being supported by developers fall under the heading of retro. We can definitely expect to see PS1 and PS2 emulators heading our way, but does that mean we might also see a Wii emulator heading to the App Store in due course? Will I be able to play Super Mario Galaxy on the go? Will Nintendo even allow that?

There are so many questions that still need answering (and in all honesty probably still need asking too) as Apple rolls out emulators onto the App Store, but news that PPSSPP could be on the App Store within the year and the recent clarification from Apple has filled us with hope that at least one of our favourite handhelds will see some support from Tim Cook and the gang. As always, I’ll keep you updated with more information as and when I get it!

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