Using the new Apple TV to emulate classic game consoles

“For those of us fortunate enough to have the privilege, late December and early January bring two things: new toys and a bit of vacation time,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “That makes it a great time to tinker with little tech projects, things that are inessential and maybe a bit time-consuming but fun enough and useful enough to be worth doing.”

“One of my projects was to experiment with classic console emulators on the new Apple TV,” Cunningham writes. “There aren’t many of them yet, and installation takes a little work (Apple doesn’t allow add-your-own-ROM emulators in the App Store), but new capabilities introduced in iOS 9 and the iOS-based tvOS make it possible to install them.”

SteelSeries Stratus XL, Bluetooth Wireless Gaming Controller for Apple TV
SteelSeries Stratus XL, Bluetooth Wireless Gaming Controller for Apple TV
“Right now there are two notable emulation projects targeting tvOS. One is a distant relative of the MAME arcade emulator, though it doesn’t seem as though it’s being maintained. Another, Provenance, is the one we’ll be spending the most time with. It’s a multi-system emulator that supports most major 8- and 16-bit consoles, including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance,” Cunningham writes. “With iOS 9, Apple has opened up a small loophole for sideloading apps that you can take advantage of with a little bit of work.”

How to use the new Apple TV to emulate classic game consoles here.

MacDailyNews Take: Add a wireless controller and off you go!

The Nimbus Wireless Controller works very well with your iOS device(s) and your Mac(s). Certain games are frustratingly unplayable without one. We like the SteelSeries Stratus XL Bluetooth Wireless Controller ($62) even better (it feels even better and more natural in the hand).

iPad Pro, Apple TV, Mac gamers: Add a SteelSeries Wireless Controller to your Christmas wish list – December 9, 2015


  1. Just hooked up my ATV4 a few minutes ago (sitting on it a few weeks until I had the time to install it) and I’m looking at the Food Network app and notice right away the quality is WAY better than TW cable. Probably because it is less compressed and true 1080p. Fewer digital “munchies” or mushy breakup in camera zooms and moves too.

  2. What does Apple have against emulators? Is it that they don’t want to encourage people to steal online game ROMs? Apple must really have some strict moral code that no other company that makes streaming boxes has. Too bad Wall Street doesn’t give brownie points for morality.

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