PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

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
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.

Top Rated Comments

mdnz Avatar
4 weeks ago
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.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Populus Avatar
4 weeks ago
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.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baron Thompson Avatar
4 weeks ago
Commodore on the big screen Apple tv. This is sick!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Todd Fisher Avatar
4 weeks ago
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.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
4 weeks ago
We've come full circle...

Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
4 weeks ago

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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
CarPlay Sound Recognition

Apple Previews Three New CarPlay Features Coming With iOS 18

Wednesday May 15, 2024 9:18 am PDT by
Apple today previewed new accessibility features coming with iOS 18 later this year, and this includes some new options for CarPlay. Apple highlighted three new features coming to CarPlay: Voice Control: This feature will allow users to navigate CarPlay and control apps with just their voice. Color Filters: This feature will make the CarPlay interface visually easier to use for...

Hands-On With the New M4 OLED iPad Pro

Wednesday May 15, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
Today is the official launch day of the new iPad Pro models, and these updated tablets mark the biggest feature and design refresh that we've seen for the iPad Pro in several years. We picked up one of the new 13-inch models to check out everything new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, Apple is still offering 11-inch and 13-inch size options ...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...