Earlier this week, the App Store briefly hosted a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator Nescaline before pulling it. According to Macworld, it was a US$5 app that could play any valid .NES image file, including original, or “homebrewed,” games, five of which were included.
Macworld pointed readers to developer Jonathan Zdziarski’s blog, where the self-described “research scientist and occasional hacker” said: “One of the more useless people at Apple called me to let me know that Nescaline was removed because it was an emulator. Ironically, Apple currently has several emulators in the AppStore, so I am going with the belief that someone (likely Nintendo) probably pressured them about this particular application.”
Mr. Zdziarski also pointed out that Cydia, which hosts apps usable on “jailbroken” iPhones and iPod touches, continues to provide a similar app called NES v3.
The App Store does host several emulators, although there only seems to be one that emulates an old game system: C64, which says it is officially licensed to emulate the Commodore 64. (Unless one counts Chip-8, which emulates a 1970s era calculator that could play games.)