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Game emulator Delta arrives on App Store after controversies

Delta, a game emulator for iPhone

Following controversy over the weekend, the Delta game emulator has been made available in the App Store, for potential users outside of the European Union.

Delta from Testut Tech is billed as an all-in-one emulator for iOS. A follow-up to GBA4iOS, it is aimed at users who want to play ROMs of Nintendo games on their iPhone, especially those of portable Nintendo consoles.

The list of supported game systems include the GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, Super NES, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. More consoles will apparently be supported in the future.

As you would expect from an emulator, it has extensive game controller support, including Nintendo Switch Pro controllers, Nintendo Switch Online controllers, Sony and Microsoft console controllers supported by iOS, MFi controller support, and other Bluetooth and wired keyboards.

The app also provides features like support for various cheat code systems, save states, inter-device synchronization, and local multiplayer support for four players.

The app is free to download and use, requiring an iPhone or iPod Touch running iOS 14.0 or later, an Apple Silicon Mac running macOS 11.0 or later, or an Apple Vision Pro. However, like other emulators, users are tasked with sourcing the games they wish to play, and to ensure they do so in a legal way.

Arrival post controversy

Delta's arrival takes place after a number of recent developments in App Store policy, as well as changes in law and a bit of controversy.

On Sunday, the first round of emulators started to surface in the App Store. This followed after Apple changed its App Store Review Guidelines to alter a rule, one which effectively banned the submission of console and classic game emulators.

Less than a day later, the emulator iGBA was pulled from the App Store due to complaints from Delta developer Riley Testut that it was a knock-off of a previously-released emulator, GBA4iOS.

Testut's AltStore account on X confirmed the App Store listing for the emulator as genuine, and is a way for non-EU users to download the emulator.

It also occurs during the launch of AltStore PAL, an Apple-approved third-party App Store that is launching exclusively in the EU.

AltStore PAL takes advantage of the European Digital Markets Act, legislation that effectively forced Apple into allowing third-party app storefronts to exist.