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The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis, Atari 2600, and others.

Provenance-Emulator.jpeg

Apple has so far approved emulators on the App Store for older Nintendo consoles and the Commodore 64. For example, Riley Testut's popular Delta emulator is now in the App Store in many countries, and it can emulate games released for the Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64, and Nintendo DS. Provenance would bring the first Sony, SEGA, and Atari emulators to the App Store if approved.

Provenance has been in development since 2016, and it can already be sideloaded on the iPhone and the Apple TV outside of the App Store.

Apple updated its App Review Guidelines earlier this month to allow "retro game console emulator apps" on the App Store for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and other devices. Earlier this week, Apple told us that emulators that can load games (ROMs) are permitted on the App Store, so long as the apps are emulating "retro console games" only.

While a U.S. court ruled that emulators are legal, downloading copyrighted ROMs is typically against the law in the country. On its customer support website for the U.S., Nintendo says that downloading pirated copies of its games is illegal. A wide collection of public-domain "homebrew" games are available to play legally.

Update: GameCube and Wii emulation might not be coming to the iPhone, and our article has been revised to reflect this.

Article Link: PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]
 
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Joe Rossignol

Senior Reporter
Staff member
May 12, 2012
910
3,500
Canada
Commodore on the big screen Apple tv. This is sick!
Commodore 64 emulation is not available in the Provenance emulator that my MacRumors story is focused on. I did link to a separate Commodore 64 emulator that is already available on the App Store, but it is only for the iPhone and iPad. However, you should be able to mirror it to the Apple TV via AirPlay. Have fun!
 

bodhisattva

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2008
265
383
Commodore 64 emulation is not available in the Provenance emulator that my MacRumors story is focused on. I did link to a separate Commodore 64 emulator that is already available on the App Store, but it is only for the iPhone and iPad. However, you should be able to mirror it to the Apple TV via AirPlay. Have fun!
Isn't the one on the iPhone App Store known for lots of adds and clickbait?
 

Todd Fisher

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2008
58
284
Seriously can't wait to play Sega Saturn's "Bug!" my all time favorite game when growing up.
That really was such a fun game back then! Another one that I really enjoyed was Jumping Flash on the PSX, which came out about that same time. That period in video gaming was so much damn fun for me.
 
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LavaLevel

macrumors member
Feb 26, 2024
43
109
Apple might as well stop with Apple Arcade, this stuff is going to blow it out of the water as a free app. No wonder they wanted to block emulators for so long.

Apple Arcade is solely to convince parents that Apple One and/or Apple One Family Plan is worth it. The games stink but many popular licenses. It's horrible to develop and make a profit for. It only pays well for BIG license titles (Again to sell Apple One) and only a tiny handful of developers get those deals. It's a Dino on its way out, But won't leave for a while as long as it keeps selling subscrips to Apple One.
 

bodhisattva

macrumors 6502
Dec 7, 2008
265
383
They should find a way to license these and fill the arcade with this. I'd pay $5 to play as many retro games as I could, legally.
I've come so close to biting the bullet and just buying some of the retro cabinets as Best Buy. To have the original Dig Dug, Pac Man, Joust, Defender, TRON, Star Wars... those were the days. On Facebook I am a part of a C64 group and there are so many posts of the old school games. Each post makes me long for those hours wasted on low res graphics and tons of fun!
 

Todd Fisher

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2008
58
284
I get the excitement of seeing ROM emulators hitting the Apple TV (Finally!). What I don't get is why don't these game companies just start putting the games up themselves, for $0.99 each. I'd buy a gazillion of the games that I grew up with, and I don't even play games today. This is such a no brainer to me... it's such low hanging fruit.
 

frenchcamp49er

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2014
693
1,112
I get the excitement of seeing ROM emulators hitting the Apple TV (Finally!). What I don't get is why don't these game companies just start putting the games up themselves, for $0.99 each. I'd buy a gazillion of the games that I grew up with, and I don't even play games today. This is such a no brainer to me... it's such low hanging fruit.
They do
 

Blackstick

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2014
1,241
6,018
OH
Wonder how long it will take for the game companies to sue users.
Barring 1st party franchises, sooooo many of these ancient games were made by studios that don't exist any more -- or they've been acquired by larger studios, who were then acquired by another, and another, and then another. A one-off Gameboy title that was released in 1989 by some tiny little studio? Not exactly Tears of the Kingdom...

Some of these games, the trail has gone cold. There's nobody around who even remembers working on them, let alone can prove a legal or ownership interest. Some of the ROM files have dates of 1996 on them. They've been sitting around as a 20 kilobyte file for almost 30 years.
 

frenchcamp49er

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2014
693
1,112
Barring 1st party franchises, sooooo many of these ancient games were made by studios that don't exist any more -- or they've been acquired by larger studios, who were then acquired by another, and another, and then another. A one-off Gameboy title that was released in 1989 by some tiny little studio? Not exactly Tears of the Kingdom...

Some of these games, the trail has gone cold. There's nobody around who even remembers working on them, let alone can prove a legal or ownership interest.
If a lawyer thinks he can make money from it they will try.
 
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blazerunner

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2020
1,033
3,697
Hopefully they will stick to the AppStore even in Europe, and don’t make us install a third party AppStore just for an emulator, like Delta dev did.

EDIT: actually I’m gonna reach the developer to ask him to please release the emulator on the AppStore here in Europe.
Just get an Android man, come on. All this walled garden crap Apple is doing needs to be called out. Until they let you use your own device how you want to, just get an Android.
 
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