Wednesday, June 12, 2024

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]


The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple’s rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo.

On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/”homebrew” games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any NES games available for download online, such as Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Nintendo released the NES game console in 1985, so some of these games are nearly 40 years old. On its website, Nintendo says “downloading of pirate copies of Nintendo games is illegal.”

The release of Bimmy comes after Apple removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for ripping off another emulator known as GBA4iOS, which was distributed outside the App Store. Apple said it had approved of iGBA’s functionality prior to learning that the app was a knockoff, suggesting that emulators for older Nintendo game consoles are permitted on the App Store, and Bimmy seems to be the first proof of that.

Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators earlier this month. Apple says developers of emulators are “responsible for all such software” offered in the app, including compliance with “all applicable laws.”

Update: In a post on the MacRumors Forums, the developer of Bimmy said they decided to remove the app from the App Store. “No one reached out to me pressuring me to remove it,” he said. “But I’d rather not have the risk.”Tags: App Store, Emulator
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