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PPSSPP emulator eyeing App Store launch this year, if Apple relaxes a crucial restriction

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Recently, Apple updated its guidelines and opened the doors of its App Store for emulators, marking a significant shift in policies. Now that one barrier is gone, the popular Android emulator PPSSPP's creator, Henrik Rydgård, has said that the PPSSPP emulator may debut on the App Store later this year, but only if Apple eases out an important restriction.

Notably, according to the updated App Store guidelines, Apple will allow game emulators to have a place on the App Store only if they offer built-in games or offer them as an in-app download. PPSSPP creator Henrik mentioned in a blog post that he would bring the PSP emulator if Apple relaxed the restrictions and let users pick their game files.

He wrote, "If it turns out that the rules now allow emulators with ISO/ROM pickers, PPSSPP will come to the App Store later this year. If not, well, it won't!" This simply means that now it's for Apple to decide if emulators like PPSSPP can debut on the App Store.

Some ambiguity regarding emulators in the updated guidelines is the main reason PPSSPP creator Henrik still needs Apple's help for the launch of his emulator on the App Store even after a relaxation in restrictions.

Since Apple requires emulators to offer games built-in or as in-app downloads, the majority of emulators may not launch on the App Store. This is because emulator developers don't own the rights to the game titles. So, instead of offering built-in games, emulators provide the option to upload game files, i.e., to use the file picker.

If Apple doesn't ease the restriction on using file pickers, emulators may not see the light of day in the App Store. Besides file picker access, there is also no clarity if Apple will allow emulators to use just-in-time (JIT) compilation. Fortunately for PPSSPP, Henrik confirmed that his emulator doesn't require JIT to boost performance on iPhones.

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