Search results for

All search results
Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

The PPSSPP emulator could come to the App Store this year (Update)

Update: It turns out emulators on the App Store can apparently run ROMs downloaded from the web, with a caveat.

Published onApril 16, 2024

The PPSSPP PSP emulator on the Play Store.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • The creator of PPSSPP has confirmed that he’ll bring the PSP emulator to the Apple App Store later this year if Apple offers file picker access.
  • Apple updated its App Store guidelines to allow emulators, but it’s not 100% clear whether people can use their own game files.
  • A new report suggests that people can use their own game files as long as the emulator isn’t running modern titles.

Update: April 16, 2024 (5:15 AM ET): There’s some good news for emulators on the App Store. Apple told MacRumors that emulators on the App Store are allowed to run game ROMs downloaded from the internet as long as the emulator is only running retro games.

Apple didn’t clarify what constitutes a retro game, though. But it clearly thought that Game Boy Advance games were retro when it approved a GBA emulator that turned out to be a knock-off of an established emulator. So it stands to reason that consoles released before 2001 (e.g. PS1, N64, SNES, Mega Drive) are fair game at the very least.

What does that mean for PPSSPP, though? Well, we’ve asked Apple for more details and will update the article if it gets back to us. But it’s worth noting that the PSP emulator has been around for roughly a decade now, and the console was launched back in 2004. This retro game rule seemingly rules out Nintendo Switch emulation, although the lack of JIT compilation would’ve been a major issue anyway.

Original article: April 8, 2024 (7:49 AM ET): One of the most popular emulators on Android today is PPSSPP, but it’s not available on Apple’s App Store as the iPhone maker didn’t allow emulators. Apple recently changed its App Store guidelines to allow emulators, and it sounds like the PPSSPP developer is ready to go.

PPSSPP creator Henrik Rydgård has now confirmed in a blog post that he will bring the PSP emulator to the Apple App Store if the iPhone maker allows emulators that let users pick their own files.

“If it turns out that the rules now allow emulators with ISO/ROM pickers, PPSSPP will come to the App Store later this year. If not, well, it won’t!” he wrote.

There’s some ambiguity regarding Apple’s App Store guidelines on emulators. The guidelines suggest that Apple won’t allow emulators with built-in file pickers. Instead, emulators might only be allowed if games are provided inside the app (or as an in-app download).

The vast majority of video game emulators don’t include games, as the developers don’t own the rights to these titles. Instead, users are typically required to download/rip/dump their own game files to use with the emulator. So emulators on the App Store could be severely restricted if Apple doesn’t offer file picker access. Clearly, Rydgård thinks file picker access is indispensable for a PPSSPP release on the App Store.

Another notable question is whether Apple will allow emulators on the App Store to use just-in-time (JIT) compilation. Fortunately, Rydgård noted that he doesn’t need to use this performance-boosting technique on iPhones as “PPSSPP doesn’t need JIT to perform well on modern Apple CPUs.”

You might like