Your iPhone now doubles as a full-fledged Nintendo console

A proper iOS Nintendo emulator is here and completely free to download

Delta Game Emulator
(Image credit: Future)
Quick Summary

Although it's not the first retro games emulator to have appeared after Apple relaxed its App Store rules, Delta is the first to not be pulled soon after.

It emulates a wide range of Nintendo games consoles and is available to download for free right now.

Apple's promised relaxation of the rules around gaming emulators on the App Store has just borne its first real fruit.

Delta, an emulator that has been around for ages on Android and on sideloaded iPhones, is now available for free directly on the App Store for the first time. You can download it on the iPhone 15 series, but also older iPhones too.

Depending on your location you might find that searching for the app doesn't yield much, but a direct link can take you there

If you're in the EU, meanwhile, you'll have to get the app from the third-party AltStore, one of the first new app storefronts that have popped up since the rules on that front were relaxed, too. 

Delta is a simple and smooth emulator that will work with all manner of older Nintendo consoles and handheld ROMs (the files that comprise an older game). 

It has some nice skins to make your display look a bit like the console in question as you play, as well as full touch controls and even the ability to use your phone's gyroscope for games that use it on the DS, for example. 

This also means there are a few layouts to choose from, so you can experiment.

Adding ROM files seems to be pretty straightforward, as you can import them by sticking them into your iPhone's Files app and simply finding them in there. 

The app supports AirPlay, which is great for playing on the TV or a monitor if you like, and works with Bluetooth controllers including the Xbox Wireless Controller. 

This all makes it a pretty clear frontrunner at this stage, without too many other polished emulators yet available. 

Without any included game data, it also should be safe legally from any allegations of piracy, since users import their own data – and are in theory only allowed to do so for games they also own physically. 

So, if you've been waiting years for the ability to play retro games on your iPhone without resorting either to jailbreaking it and voiding your warranty, or sticking to flaky browser options that could lose your saved data at any moment, this is your time. 

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.