New PS1 Emulator arrives on the iPhone App Store — here's how it works

Gamma emulator in Apple App Store
(Image credit: Future)

Gamma, the free emulator that allows users to play games from the original PlayStation One, has been added to both Apple's App Store where it can downloaded for use on the iPhone and iPad.

Gamma is similar to the recently released Delta emulator, especially in terms of its interface. The app allows users to customize their on-screen controller skins and supports Bluetooth controllers and wired keyboards. The emulator uses both Google Drive and Dropbox for backing up disc images and saved progress; users can choose which service they prefer for both the game backups and save stages.

The purpose of emulators is to allow users to burn their already purchased games from a disc into software, called ROMs. This would allow people to play PS1 games on the go, something Sony has tried with in the past with the PS Vita. But issues can arise with emulators — namely that people place their burned games online for free, allowing others to download them and play without buying the game. 

For that reasons, emulators on their own aren't illegal, but downloading copyrighted games and running them certainly is. Some retro games have fallen into the public domain, but in other cases companies will aggressively protect their older titles. Take Nintendo, which is well known for protecting its copyright.

For a long time, Apple avoided adding emulators to its store, even with apps widely available on Google's Play Store for Android users. In April, though, Apple changed its store guidelines as the company has faced increasing regulatory pressure, both in the EU and from an antitrust suit brought against it in the U.S.

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.