Image: Gemma Smith / Time Extension

Update [Fri 17th May, 2024 10:45 BST]: PlayStation Portable emulator PPSSPP is now live on the iOS App Store. It's free to download, but a $4.99 version exists for those who'd like to support the development of the project, which has been ongoing for many years now.

Creator Henrik Rydgård notes that this version differs slightly from the one which was previously available on iPhone and iPad via jailbreaking. Apple doesn’t allow Just-in-Time recompilers (hence the fact that Wii and GameCube emulator Dolphin isn't coming to the App Store), but Rydgård is pleased to report that “iOS devices are generally fast enough” to run most PSP games without one.

iPad Magic Keyboard support has also been removed due to the use of an "undocumented API”, but it will return, according to Rydgård. RetroAchievements support didn't make the cut, either, but again, the developer insists that it will be reinstated in the future update – as will Vulkan graphics API support.

Original Story [Wed 17th Apr, 2024 12:00 BST]: Earlier this month, Apple changed its App Store policy to claim "retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games", causing a ton of speculation over what retro emulators people might see on the platform.

It's safe to say things didn't get off to the greatest of starts, with Apple approving and then pulling a Game Boy Advance Emulator for copyright infringement, while another developer removed their own NES emulator shortly after its launch "out of fear" (potentially over the use of the term "NES" in the app's name).

However, there now seems to be some positive news to share on the App Store emulation front, with the developer behind the popular PSP emulator "PPSSPP" teasing in a recent blog post that they may be bringing it to the online storefront later this year (as spotted by Android Authority!).

According to PPSSPP's creator Henrik Rydgård, this will all depend on "how Apple interprets their own rules", as Apple also states elsewhere in their internal policy that "links must be provided to all downloadable software". This suggests that letting users pick from their own UMD files and not just internal App downloads may be a step too far — at least for now.

The website Mac Rumors, however, confirmed that Apple has informed them "that emulators on the App Store are permitted to load ROMs downloaded from the web, so long as the app is emulating retro console games only". This seems to imply that PPSSPP could be safe, depending on how Apple views the console.

Obviously, this statement opens up a can of worms, as everyone has their own ideas over what constitutes a "retro" console. The PSP was originally released 20 years ago in Japan, which will in some people's opinions make it "retro" enough. But without a list of approved platforms, it's hard to know exactly how Apple will react to PPSSPP, should Rydgård decide to launch the emulator on the platform.

[source, via]