Retro Game Emulators Are Finally Heading To The App Store

A mobile phone showing retro games console and characters popping out.

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Yes, you read that right. The unthinkable is happening, and Apple is finally opening up their App Store to gaming emulators in a move that has left many on Twitter shocked. The number of memes I’ve seen of Apple ‘sticking it’ to Nintendo this morning already has us reaching for the popcorn and getting ready for what’s to come.

That means that a lot of the Android emulators you’re already using should be heading to the App Store incredibly soon, as well as downloadable games that ‘apply with all applicable laws’, something that they are clarifying in a bid to stop the sharing of illegally obtained ROMs.

Is this a move to stop people from looking to the Alt Store with Apple keeping everything in-house? It could have been at the back of their mind, especially now that third-party app stores have been made public on Apple devices.

Still, it probably has a lot more to do with the fact that the US has slapped Apple for wanting to stop cloud gaming and so-called ‘Superapps’ that provide multiple services in one hub onto their store. It’s funny what a lawsuit can make you do, huh?

Under Pressure From All Angles

It’s no secret that Apple hasn’t had it easy from our side of the world either. They’ve received some warnings from the European Commission as of late for not allowing music apps to contact customers freely and users to make purchases without Apple taking a commission on any ‘out of app’ purchases made.

Apple has stipulated a lot of rules that developers must meet under the new agreement, some of which you can see in the tweet from Wario64 above. We’re looking forward to seeing how the rollout goes and what the ‘downloadable content’ available will be. Obviously getting around the whole illegal ROM situation is going to be the hardest thing, and the last thing that Apple will want is to be slapped with yet another lawsuit like the one that Nintendo pinned to Yuzu’s front door.

Retro Gaming On The Go

best android handhelds

Here’s something that you might not have considered when you woke up this morning – is the iPhone about to enter into the retro gaming handhelds fraternity. While Android phones have generally been the ‘go-to’ for people wanting to play their favourite nostalgic games on the bus or while hiding in the first-aid room at work, iPhones have never really been associated with the retro scene.

Sure, there are emulators that users can download already, but the general public perception has always been to head for Android if you’re looking to go retro. With retro gaming becoming bigger than ever and heading further into the high street, Apple will undoubtedly want to get in on a piece of the 8-bit pie, especially if they can make a bit of extra money along the way.

Could this mean that Apple TV units could essentially become retro emulation consoles? Will we be dragging them out of the attic and hooking them up to access our favourite old consoles all in one sleek-little hub?

Obviously, I’ll be keeping my eye on the rollout of retro game emulators on the App Store and updating you all as more arises. For now, I want you to have a think about what games you’re looking forward to playing in between sending iMessages and FaceTiming your Mum when she asks for help plugging an HDMI cable into the back of the TV. For me, it’ll be all the N64 classics; who can resist a bit of Banjo-Tooie on a Sunday morning!

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