Opinion: As Nintendo ponders iOS, it’s time for Mac console game emulators to shine

mariogalaxyemu

When Nintendo announced last week that it will collaborate with DeNA to release iPhone and iPad games, gamers split into two camps: people intrigued by the promise of brand new Nintendo titles designed for mobile devices, and others — including myself — who expect Nintendo to release shallow mobile minigames, mostly to promote console titles. Nintendo hasn’t actually committed to bringing the Super Mario games people love into the App Store; instead, it’s saying only that its characters will appear in new titles that won’t require complex controls. The implication is that only Nintendo consoles are capable of playing Nintendo’s console games.

I disagree with that. For years, Macs and PCs have been able to run thousands of classic console and arcade games, including Nintendo’s best-known titles, using emulators. These free programs let discontinued, often HDTV-incompatible games play on computers — in many cases, with noticeably better graphics than you remember. Freed from the fuzzy, low-contrast televisions people used to own, classic games can look pixel-sharp on Retina displays, and some emulators actually improve the edges and textures of 3-D objects. Nintendo may not want you to play its prior console games on your favorite Apple device’s screen, but thanks to emulators, it’s possible today. The picture above? That’s Super Mario Galaxy, running on a Retina MacBook Pro…

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iEmu wants to emulate iOS apps on Android, Windows, and Linux

Ever wished you could run your favorite iOS app on your Mac? What about your Windows machine or Android device? If creators of new Kickstarter project iEmu reach their funding goals, it may be possible sooner than you think.

iEmu is a new project based on the open-source QEMU emulator, currently accepting donations through Kickstarter, that aims to emulate the S5L8930 chipset used in iPhone 4 and first-gen iPads. It will support a number of platforms including “Linux, Windows, Mac, mobile platforms such as Android, and even on iOS itself”.

The goals of iEmu? Well the end goal is an emulator capable of running “most iPad/iPhone apps” that even supports  peripherals like the compass, accelerometer, and GPS. It would also “be extended with plugins for custom iOS exploration” and able to be reflashed in iTunes.
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