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PPSSPP Emulator Approved for iOS App Store

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PPSSPP Finally Approved for iOS App Store

After a long wait of nearly 12 years, PPSSPP, the popular open-source PSP emulator, has finally been approved for distribution on the iOS App Store. This achievement marks a significant milestone for developers and retro gaming enthusiasts alike, as Apple has relaxed its policies to allow retro console emulators on its platform.

While the initial App Store release of PPSSPP brings the highly anticipated emulator to iOS devices, it comes with some limitations compared to the earlier unofficial builds. These include:

  • Lack of Vulkan support through MoltenVK
  • No support for the Magic Keyboard (iPad Keyboard)
  • Absence of the JIT (Just-In-Time) recompiler
  • Temporary disabling of RetroAchievements

However, the developers have outlined plans to address these limitations in future updates. MoltenVK support will be re-enabled, and they might even write a native Metal backend. 

The Magic Keyboard support will be implemented through an alternative method, and RetroAchievements will make a comeback with an improved login UI.

Performance Considerations

One notable limitation is the inability to restore the JIT compiler due to Apple's current rules. The loss of the JIT is unfortunate as it reduces the CPU emulation performance. 

However, the developers remain optimistic, stating that iOS devices are generally fast enough to run nearly all PSP games at full speed, thanks to PPSSPP's efficient IR-based caching interpreter, which also has room for further improvement.

Availability and Next Steps

Retro gaming enthusiasts and PSP fans can now enjoy this new way of playing PPSSPP on their iOS devices. 

The developers have released the free version of the emulator along with the paid version which is named PPSSPP Gold - PSP emulator

According to the developer,

PPSSPP Gold has all the amazing features of the free version, like savestates, higher resolution and post processing, but also has a nice gold icon and makes you feel good about supporting the project's development.

As the app undergoes "Processing for distribution," users are encouraged to stay tuned for updates, as the developers continue to enhance the emulator's capabilities and address the current limitations.

With PPSSPP's long-awaited arrival on the iOS App Store, retro gaming on Apple's platform has taken a significant step forward, opening up new opportunities for the preservation, exploration, and enjoyment of classic gaming experiences.

You can now download the emulator app from the App Store. The same app is available for Android on the Play Store as well.

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