Gamma arrives as the first PS1 emulator for iOS devices

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

After many years of banning, classic console emulators are now allowed in the Apple App Store. Following the announcement, multiple developers launched or announced the future availability of their apps. The latest one to be available is Gamma, a PS1 emulator for iOS devices.

Gamma is not the first emulator to be available on the App Store. Delta, an emulator of retro or classic Nintendo games, arrived first. However, Gamma is the first that allows you to run games from Sony’s first console on iOS. It was developed by Benjamin Stark using the Delta code as a base, with prior approval from Riley Testut (Delta dev).

The first PS1 emulator for iOS devices is now available

Using the emulator is as easy as installing it and searching for your saved ROMs. However, the very nature of how iOS works can complicate the process more than necessary. Android Authority’s Hadlee Simons saw this firsthand during the setup process. It seems like the easiest way to get things going smoothly when loading ROMs is to first save them directly to your local storage.

As Simons says, trying to download ROMs from cloud services or Safari can be a headache. In the case of cloud services (such as Google Drive), downloads may refuse to finish. On the other hand, Safari downloads files directly to iCloud. However, once you manage to bypass this problem, the experience is more intuitive.

Some things you should know

Emulators are apps with which certain delicate lines can be crossed. Therefore, to avoid legal problems related to potential piracy, emulator developers do not always make all the details clear to you. You should already have some prior knowledge of the subject. Making things “too easy” can lead to situations like Nintendo’s lawsuit against the Yuzu devs.

In this case, Gamma does not tell you which types of files it supports. However, as Simons points out, .bin and .img files work fine, while others like .chd are not compatible.

Unlike other emulators, Gamma does not require you to download the console BIOS separately to work. However, it allows you to import a BIOS file into the emulator, which improves compatibility with more titles. Of course, downloading the BIOS is on your own, since they do not provide it to you.

Players report crashes when using gamepads and annoying ads

According to many users, the emulator crashes when using gamepads. So, until a fix arrives, you’ll have to settle for using touch controls. Additionally, the monetization system can be somewhat annoying. Although the app is free, you will see ads before loading each game, and sometimes even after loading saves. For now, the developers do not offer a paid option to avoid ads.

Another point to improve in the first PS1 emulator for iOS is the game configuration. Normally, emulators are full of options to improve graphics and performance. This allows you to harness the power of modern hardware. But Gamma currently does not include these additional options.

These problems could be fixed in the coming weeks. Also, it seems that it will not be the only PS1 emulator on iOS. The popular Retroarch is said to be awaiting approval from Apple. So, competition in the segment seems guaranteed.

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