This Nintendo emulator for iPhone is here to stay, probably

A video game emulator called Delta is now officially available for iPhone, marking the first time such a piece of software has been legally published since Apple began allowing them on the App Store.

The launch of Delta comes following the removal of another Game Boy emulator called iGBA earlier this week.

That wasn’t removed – as initially feared – because it was facilitating piracy, but because it was a straight up clone of another unaffiliated product called GB4iOS.

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However, this one’s the real deal! Delta actually comes from the GB4iOS app developer Riley Testut and supports way more than just Game Boy ROMs.

“Delta is an all-in-one emulator for iOS. Delta builds upon the strengths of its predecessor, GBA4iOS, while expanding to include support for more game systems such as NES, SNES, N64, and DS,” the App Store description says of the free download.

The developer says there are more systems to come in future updates. The emulator also supports loads of popular controllers, including the Switch Pro and Joy-Cons and the Switch Online controllers (NES, SNES, N64) for a native experience.

PS4 and PS5, Xbox One S and Xbox Series X controllers are supported, as well as any Made for iPhone controller, or Bluetooth controller.

The emulator includes support for save and load states, which are automatically backed-up so you don’t lose progress. The save stages can be locked too, to avoid overwriting. There’s also support for the various types of cheat codes for the supported systems. For example, you can use Game Genie cheats for SNES games.

The only catch is there are no games included. Instead you’ll need to import ROMs (the app supports Google Drive and Dropbox) of the retro games in question. Provided you’re the legal owner of the games you import (in some form), then it’s considered an acceptable practice. That’s what Apple is relying on in enabling emulator apps onto the App Store, but anecdotally it’s rarely how this goes down.

When allowing the apps for the first time earlier this month, Apple told develpers in a support page: “Additionally, retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games. You are responsible for all such software offered in your app, including ensuring that such software complies with these Guidelines and all applicable laws.”

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