There's Finally a Nintendo Emulator in the iOS App Store

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There's Finally a Nintendo Emulator in the iOS App Store

Blades of Steel iOS 310x

Floppy Cloud sneaks an NES, SNES emulator in among several file management features.

If you go find Floppy Cloud in Apple's App Store, you'll be greeted by a clip art-ish looking floppy disk logo, sitting atop an app that promises "the good ol days," of local file storage. Once downloaded, Floppy Cloud enables you to preview files stored in your FTP or Dropbox -- or download them locally, if need be.

But the real beauty of Kyle Hankinson's app? It has a built-in emulator for NES and Super Nintendo ROMs. And it's not half bad for a secret software feature.

The Easter egg is fairly easy to use. Assuming you have an account (or an FTP server for the power users out there), you can put ROMs in any of your Dropbox folders, then allow the app to access your Dropbox account. Once enabled, Floppy Cloud displays Dropbox files as you would expect it to. From here, you click the ROM zip file, then the .nes or .smc file within.

If you have any interest in Floppy Cloud, now is the time to download away. Apple will likely remove it from the App Store, even though the company is on a holiday freeze for its app services.

I've downloaded the $1.99 app myself,and it works as advertised without much fuss. Any NES ROM will do, I think, although SNES ROMs are tricky (they need to be .smc files). Once your cartridge backup files of choice are loaded up, onscreen controls automatically display, and games load rather seamlessly. I spent some time with Blades of Steel, and Super Bomberman, and aside from the occasional audio glitch, gameplay was fine overall.

This is a grey area, sure -- the usual "only play games you've made ROM backups of yourself" disclaimer goes here, for those who need it -- but it's a nice, not-so-secret-anymore gamer gift for the holidays. Enjoy it while you can!

Source: Ars Technica | Touch Arcade

Permalink

In other news: android users laugh their asses off at how long it took for it to appear on iOS.

Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

They could ALL be making an insane amount of money by creating and releasing official emulated game platforms.

How long until Apple strips it, black lists the developers, and remotely deletes everyone's copy. This clearly violates their no executing external code rules. Virtual Machines, and Emulators are expressly forbidden.

This isn't the first so "finally" is overstating it. What's news worthy is that this got in by exploiting an app store bug created when Apples freezes the store which will be over on the 29th. If anything this might make apple call someone in to delete it before the 29th.

File management? emulators?
Who pays for this shit?
Only on the mobile market...

Tanis:
Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

Nintendo is already emulating their own software. On the WiiU. You want a 'Classic Console Emulator', get a WiiU.

OT: Yeah, I think this is going to be deleted from the Itunes Store soon. Without Nintendo's permission I can't see it staying up for long.

Well, this isn't gonna last long. Thing is, the VC's emulator is a lot better and more streamlined. And considering how any iWhatever still lacks buttons I'll play games on my Wii U for a small price of admission

"The item you've requested is not currently available in the UK Store." Great, this region thing again.

Nintendo is already emulating their own software. On the WiiU. You want a 'Classic Console Emulator', get a WiiU.

Yep. And if you want Game Boy games there's the system for that as well. My only complaint is that there are still many games that aren't available. It's not like Nintendo has to work out license agreements with themselves, but we still have to wait for their games. Sometimes for years.

while it's funny this snuck in there, android has had this stuff for YEARS, much better versions of it as well, and don't even mention computer emulators and how much better they are, being able to turbo everything is one of the best things about emulators.

for now, I'll stick to the computer emulators, the android ones are nice but I don't care for touchscreen interfaced games, at all.

Tanis:
Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

They could ALL be making an insane amount of money by creating and releasing official emulated game platforms.

SEGA already has. You can get many Megadrive (Genesis) classics on Steam which run on an emulator developed by SEGA.

As for Nintendo: They still it's the 90s.

A lot of console classics can be found on Google Play for reasonable prices, so I guess that the publishers involved do see the potential.

Devin Connors:
Snip

Why would a news story on here direct people towards something that is clearly going to get taken off for breaking the law?
Not much point but if there is an article that makes me want to report the OP its this one. I know the Escapist is very lax in regards to emulation/piracy, but if I or anyone else were to create a thread detailing how to get emulators and games for free we'd still get reported notice at the end or not I'm sure so why not the same in this case?

The trick to these things is to report them after its taken down, not while its up. However I'm merely a reader and one in the minority so I can do nothing but voice my displeasure.

Devin Connors:
There's Finally a Nintendo Emulator in the iOS App Store

Blades of Steel iOS 310x

Floppy Cloud sneaks an NES, SNES emulator in among several file management features.

If you go find Floppy Cloud in Apple's App Store, you'll be greeted by a clip art-ish looking floppy disk logo, sitting atop an app that promises "the good ol days," of local file storage. Once downloaded, Floppy Cloud enables you to preview files stored in your FTP or Dropbox -- or download them locally, if need be.

But the real beauty of Kyle Hankinson's app? It has a built-in emulator for NES and Super Nintendo ROMs. And it's not half bad for a secret software feature.

The Easter egg is fairly easy to use. Assuming you have an account (or an FTP server for the power users out there), you can put ROMs in any of your Dropbox folders, then allow the app to access your Dropbox account. Once enabled, Floppy Cloud displays Dropbox files as you would expect it to. From here, you click the ROM zip file, then the .nes or .smc file within.

If you have any interest in Floppy Cloud, now is the time to download away. Apple will likely remove it from the App Store, even though the company is on a holiday freeze for its app services.

I've downloaded the $1.99 app myself,and it works as advertised without much fuss. Any NES ROM will do, I think, although SNES ROMs are tricky (they need to be .smc files). Once your cartridge backup files of choice are loaded up, onscreen controls automatically display, and games load rather seamlessly. I spent some time with Blades of Steel, and Super Bomberman, and aside from the occasional audio glitch, gameplay was fine overall.

This is a grey area, sure -- the usual "only play games you've made ROM backups of yourself" disclaimer goes here, for those who need it -- but it's a nice, not-so-secret-anymore gamer gift for the holidays. Enjoy it while you can!

Source: Ars Technica | Touch Arcade

Permalink

Nothing says "we run an ethical gaming journalism site" like "go out and pay for this app that has fishy software so you can play pirated intellectual properties.

Go Escapist!

...goddammit! Now I have to change my sales pitch to keep the android tablets moving at work! ><

Because of this thread I've just discovered that Secret of Mana is on the Google Play store.

Now I just have to figure out what Google Play is and how it works...

Mr.Mattress:

Tanis:
Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

Nintendo is already emulating their own software. On the WiiU. You want a 'Classic Console Emulator', get a WiiU.

OT: Yeah, I think this is going to be deleted from the Itunes Store soon. Without Nintendo's permission I can't see it staying up for long.

Phahahahahahaha, getting a Wii U to play emulators? You serious?

And now it's gone because it's been reported. As is everything that breaks App Store policy.

Mr.Mattress:

Tanis:
Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

Nintendo is already emulating their own software. On the WiiU. You want a 'Classic Console Emulator', get a WiiU.

OT: Yeah, I think this is going to be deleted from the Itunes Store soon. Without Nintendo's permission I can't see it staying up for long.

I think the one in the article costs slightly less.

144:

I think the one in the article costs slightly less.

And piriting a game costs less than purchasing it, what is your point exactly.
One is legal, the other ain't.

Rozalia1:
Why would a news story on here direct people towards something that is clearly going to get taken off for breaking the law?

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

I thought advertising piracy was against the Escapist's rules. Or is emulation not piracy now?

Jailbreaking it or getting an android device would be a better idea...

Kahani:

Rozalia1:
Why would a news story on here direct people towards something that is clearly going to get taken off for breaking the law?

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

Just because you own a something containing a rom gives you no right to make an unauthorised (illegal) copy of it. The "As long as you only play games that you own" clause people use never negates copyright law.

Like anyone in their right mind would pay for an emulator in the first place...

UltraPic:

Kahani:

Rozalia1:
Why would a news story on here direct people towards something that is clearly going to get taken off for breaking the law?

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

Just because you own a something containing a rom gives you no right to make an unauthorised (illegal) copy of it. The "As long as you only play games that you own" clause people use never negates copyright law.

Yes and no. Depends on your jurisdiction. For example, in the US, it was ruled that making a copy of a CD to an audio cassette so you could play it in your car violated no copyright. By this logic, it's actually quite fine to make a copy of a physical cartridge ROM to play it elsewhere. It gets slightly trickier when DRM is involved, since even the most rubbish, easily-broken DRM system makes it a crime under the DMCA. Of course, I'm not a lawyer, and most of the people here probably aren't, so the question of if the extremely crude lockout chip designs in the NES and SNES count as 'DRM' I'll leave to them.

144:

Don't worry, intelligent people saw the point. Other things intelligent people do: write "pirating" instead of "piriting", and use question marks.

If the point of a statement isn't immediately obvious, what we usually should ask ourselves is "why did he/she say that? Is it just nonsensical off-topic blather, or should I look more into it if I'm going to respond?"

So what was my point (for those that need me to spell it out)? In this article, we see a way for people who perhaps don't own Nintendo consoles, but do own iPhones (that's a large number of humans) to play old games on the go. The guy I quoted made it seem like there is nothing offered by that that isn't offered by simply owning a Wii U, obviously not true, since there are a number of differences between the scenarios that would prove his statement somewhat ridiculous and fanboyish. I picked the most obvious difference, that being price, to say, "hey, maybe this isn't the thread to be defending Wii U on?" Maybe the "subtlety" of the statement was lost on you, maybe on him (he hasn't responded though, so I assume he got the message), but I'm sure other, smarter Escapist readers got all of these implications and more from just my short one-sentence post.

Oh my I made a couple of mistakes I don't normally, the shame. Nice job calling me an idiot across two paragraphs too, classy.
No need to respond to your points as you've already buried yourself, and you're not charming enough for me to bother with.

Kahani:

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

I know the specifics, and I know the likelyhood of people emulating legally is near non existent.

ToastiestZombie:
I thought advertising piracy was against the Escapist's rules. Or is emulation not piracy now?

Apparently not as I've seen people outright tell others to just emulate games with an emulator instead of buying it, that they support illegal emulation... and nothing.

*shrug* Interesting tidbit, and really not relevant for me since I refuse to own overpriced Apple hardware. But interesting nonetheless that someone got it past the whole AppStore protocol that should have prevented such. Of course by now its probably gone, and a waste of $2 anyway IMO.

I am curious as to who owns the rights to older NES titles. I'm not talking Nintendo's in-house games, but rather the 3rd party developed ones. Does Ninty own them since the devs/pubs had to go through Nintendo's certification process and all that hoopla? Or do the rights fall to the studios that made them? And if its the latter, what happens to the rights of said games if those pubs/devs are no longer with us? Did someone buy up the rights if they acquired the pub/dev studios? Or did they just expire in obscurity until the current age?
I ask because someone was making a complaint about WiiU not containing more NES era games (and maybe SNES era) and I wonder if thats less due to Nintendo holding out and more due to whoever has rights not releasing them for whatever reason...

Yeah, that's not on the store. Just a message saying "Floppy what? Naw man, nothing to see here. Move along...."

Ah well.

Rozalia1:

ToastiestZombie:
I thought advertising piracy was against the Escapist's rules. Or is emulation not piracy now?

Apparently not as I've seen people outright tell others to just emulate games with an emulator instead of buying it, that they support illegal emulation... and nothing.

Which is funny, because if you so much as mention blocking certain monetized webpage elements on this site, you get insta-warned. And that isn't even against the law.

Apparently Escapist's bottom line is more important to them than the actual law is.

Aliasi:

UltraPic:

Kahani:

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

Just because you own a something containing a rom gives you no right to make an unauthorised (illegal) copy of it. The "As long as you only play games that you own" clause people use never negates copyright law.

Yes and no. Depends on your jurisdiction. For example, in the US, it was ruled that making a copy of a CD to an audio cassette so you could play it in your car violated no copyright. By this logic, it's actually quite fine to make a copy of a physical cartridge ROM to play it elsewhere. It gets slightly trickier when DRM is involved, since even the most rubbish, easily-broken DRM system makes it a crime under the DMCA. Of course, I'm not a lawyer, and most of the people here probably aren't, so the question of if the extremely crude lockout chip designs in the NES and SNES count as 'DRM' I'll leave to them.

An audio recording is a audio recording, a computer programme is designed (and licensed) to run on a certain hardware systems. The transferring of one media to another for audio was a hard fought thing that as not happened for computer programmes yet since you also need the hardware rom's, or at least code from them to work. And it's not like a Nintendo/Sega/whoever is going to licence them like cloanto does with commodore hardware roms.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

I am curious as to who owns the rights to older NES titles. I'm not talking Nintendo's in-house games, but rather the 3rd party developed ones.

Nintendo holds the rights to the nes, the rights to the games belong to whoever owns then, so they both have to renegotiate. The problem with that is most old ip's are being hoarded in hope of re-purposing like syndicate/flash back.

Mr.Mattress:

Tanis:
Nintendo, SEGA, and other 'classic' console makers...
REALLY need to get off their assholes and start making their own emulation software.

Nintendo is already emulating their own software. On the WiiU. You want a 'Classic Console Emulator', get a WiiU.

OT: Yeah, I think this is going to be deleted from the Itunes Store soon. Without Nintendo's permission I can't see it staying up for long.

But the Wii line is not portable, let alone as compact as a smartphone. Hundred-millions of people have smartphones and/or other smart devices, but only a fraction of them bother with the big DS/3DS. It would be great to add retro gaming to the myriad of proper functions on a smartphone of your choice.

As it stands, Apple does not allow emulation on iOS, whereas Google does not mind emulation on Android OS. It's a shame, as it is one of a handful of features and capabilities that make me want to move over to an Android phone in the new year.

UltraPic:

Kahani:

Rozalia1:
Why would a news story on here direct people towards something that is clearly going to get taken off for breaking the law?

The law has nothing to do with it. The developer of the app has broken Apple's rules. As long as you only play games that you own, as the article says you should, then you have not even done that. At no point has anyone broken any laws.

Just because you own a something containing a rom gives you no right to make an unauthorised (illegal) copy of it. The "As long as you only play games that you own" clause people use never negates copyright law.

Actually, in most countries you have every right to make a personal backup of a rom, and it is not illegal.

US Supreme court ruled that the person making the backup could even alter it.

Making backups of games you own is legal in almost all European countries (inc. UK, france, italy etc), the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc etc

In other countries like Russia and China where copyright laws are not enforceable (and they don't have any of their own), they can do whatever they want with their software, including copying and distributing.

So, yes, the "as long as you only play games that you own" clause does in fact negate copyright law in most countries, usually under the "fair use" part of the relevant copyright law.

Edit: I did also forget to mention that emulators are perfectly legal, in more countries than making backups/having roms is legal in, an emulator is a tool that does not violate any law in any country that I am aware of.

It might be a violation of copyright law, in some countries, to download ROMs, even if you own them, and it is certainly unlawful to upload/host ROMs in most countries, though the US supreme court ruled that it was not unlawful to own a backup of software you own and it did not matter how the backup was obtained.

I don't believe emulating games for a dead system should be illegal; if it's a dead system, who's being hurt?

ToastiestZombie:
I thought advertising piracy was against the Escapist's rules. Or is emulation not piracy now?

Actually, Emulation isn't piracy, or at least, an emulator does not break any law. It is an original work, and despite Nintendo arguing/campaigning that emulators/emulation software should be illegal because of XYZ, they are not even illegal in Nintendo's home country of Japan, nor are they illegal in any country I know of.

It is also legal in most countries to make backups of, and play, ROMs you own for personal use (under relevant fair use clauses).

Distributing ROMs is almost always illegal, and downloading ROMs is illegal in some countries; downloading is a grey area in a lot of countries due to the fact the downloader doesn't have any way of knowing if the entity has permission from the copyright holder to distribute the ROMs or not (similar to buying stolen goods that you didn't know were stolen, if you made a legal purchase without knowledge of where the goods came from, you have not breached any law.)

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