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NES Makes Short-Lived Appearance on the App Store

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I’m not unfamiliar with video game emulators. I’m not endorsing them, mind you, but I’m not unfamiliar. So my curiosity was piqued when I heard tell of a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone, one that had managed to gain official sanction and was being sold in the App Store.

I didn’t get to it fast enough. Nescaline, as the app was called, not only allowed you to play some built-in homebrew games, which probably would’ve been fine all on its own, but provided a way to download additional ROMs remotely. In effect, you could import any copyright-violating old-school NES ROM that you could find on the web. Such an ability was bound to get the app pulled, and pulled it has been.

While it lasted, it sold for $6.99 and boasted many features like “multitouch” control, full-screen mode, tap-to-shoot light gun emulation, save-state writing and retrieval — even support for Game Genie codes.

While the feature list may sound fairly impressive, user reviews from people who did manage to get their hands on the game were less than stellar, though not entirely negative. Commenter TokyoDisco at Pocket Gamer had this to say:

I spent far too long trying to add my own roms though. I know where to get them and everything, but I’m obviously entering the URL in wrong.

The five included roms are a bit rubbish to tell you the truth. The controls can be pretty unresponsive and the audio is jerky. Portrait and landscape modes are a nice touch.

If you’re still interested in Nescaline, I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a reprieve from the App Store reviewers, like the one recently given to a Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone platform. In fact, it was probably just the fault of someone asleep at the switch that it managed to make it in to begin with at all. Shouldn’t be too hard to get it up and running on a jailbroken device, though, or to use one of the other emulators available for those devices.

One Response to “NES Makes Short-Lived Appearance on the App Store”

  1. It is all about the content, as well as the medium. One of the continuing reasons Apple and my local cable and Sky TV providers miss out on my money is by not providing the content I want to watch at a reasonable price.
    EG – Movies: District 9 just for an example.
    At the Cinema: This cost me NZ$80 to go and see. Parking, fuel, 2 tickets and a babysitter.
    On Blue-Ray – Now available NZ$44 from – Rip with Ripit-HD
    On DVD – 2 disk set with more extras, $NZ34.99 also from Rip with Handbrake/VLC
    I can rent it for $NZ8 from Civic Video if I want to go and pick it up or from if I don’t
    The DRM is already broken on these distribution methods so I can play it wherever I want.

    Now from iTunes: NZ$24.99 for a digital DRM encrusted download of only the movie, no special features, that I can only watch on Apple approved devices, and just over 1GB of my data (I get 20GB/month or 2GB/day before my speed is crippled)

    Priced like this physical media still wins.
    Then TV – The reason I don’t get Sky or Telstra cable is the stupid package bundled. I dont care about sport and I get news from the web and have no need for Nickelodean. I only want Movies and some of the TV channels. Cant pick and choose 8( So I rent DVD’s and have them delivered instead.
    They dont even have the show I want, when I want them.
    My Wife watches Greys Anatomy, I watch Topgear and we both watch Dollhouse. None of these are available here on paid or free TV, (Topgear just aired was last seasons, and the current show airing is the Best-Of stuff)
    So these arrive by torrent 9) I would pay if there was a local channel, but there just isnt, and it is only the ditributers and the broadcasters greed stopping it. It can already be done for free, so how come these distributors cant work out how to make money off it?
    I wont be interested in Apples TV offering as it probably wont have any of the good content in the NZ region, will be focused on US TV only (and the kids TV at that)- no BBC most likely. So it will fail and they will say – “Internet TV didn’t work.”