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This is the only video game emulator I wish I could get on my iPhone

Published Apr 8th, 2024 11:17AM EDT
Image: Nintendo

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Last week, Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store. With this change coming to third-party markets in the EU, Cupertino thought it could be a good call to expand this possibility to users globally.

Here’s what the App Review Guidelines say about retro game emulators:

Apps may offer certain software that is not embedded in the binary, specifically HTML5 mini apps and mini games, streaming games, chatbots, and plug-ins. Additionally, retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games.

With that, the popular video game emulator developer Riley Testut posted on Threads that Delta has been approved for distribution with the AltStore. While, at first, this means the app will be first available for European users only, Riley has likely sent Delta for Apple to approve in the regular App Store as well.

Delta has existed for over a decade, first known as GBA4vOS. The app came and went several times, and one of its perks is being available without requiring jailbreak. If Apple approves this video game emulator for the iPhone, that would mean users have legitimate and easy access to it, although finding legitimate games (or at least the ones people want to pay) is challenging.

This is why I think it’s time for Nintendo to take the next big step.

Nintendo should bring a video game emulator for the iPhone

Delta Emulator running on an iPhone.
Delta Emulator running on an iPhone. Image source: Riley Testut

Since launching a video game emulator for the iPhone is already a reality, Nintendo should take advantage of that and release its own service for Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advanced, and Game Boy Advanced SP.

Not only could it bring even more revenue, but it wouldn’t make Nintendo Switch users ditch their consoles. On the contrary, this could entice people to buy Nintendo’s console.

Take Pokémon as an example. The only way to play the original games is whether you bought them on your Nintendo DS a few years ago. With the Nintendo DS network shutting down, imagine being able to legitimately play Pokémon Crystal on your iPhone and then transfer your creatures using Pokémon Bank, which is also available for iPhone users.

The possibilities are endless, especially for Nintendo to continue exploring the mobile market. It has already had plenty of success with Pokémon GO, Super Mario Run, and Mario Kart Tour. If the company brings its biggest asset (old games) to mobile, this would be a money-making machine.

Wrap up

While I’m excited for Delta to be available for iPhone users, I’m not sure the app will last long, especially if the only way to play my favorite games is by downloading illegal ROMs – and we all know how Nintendo feels about stolen property.

That said, if the Big N joins the mobile market for good, this could be the best way yet to enjoy classic games. Either way, I’m excited for the next few months as Apple continues to open the App Store to avoid government scrutiny.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.