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NES emulator on the App Store? Not anymore.


TUAW loves our iPhones and we love our NES games. We've been convinced for some time now they are two great tastes that would no doubt taste great together. Tonight I settled in to write a post about how exciting it was that you could play old school public-domain and freeware Nintendo games on your iPhone now, thanks to Jonathan Zdziarski and Nescaline, the app he built to do just that. Ah, Kid Icarus and Ninja Gaiden and Zelda and Mario, all my old friends back again (if I had legal licenses to the ROM images, of course). I was excited to relive my pixelated past, but it was not to be. Jason updated his site this evening saying Nescaline had been pulled:

Nescaline was removed from the AppStore by Apple at 22:19 PST tonight. I haven't received anything from Apple as to why. I predict they've either proven to be a pushover to Nintendo, who has no valid claim against Nescaline, or decided they really didn't want the ability to play NES games in the AppStore. NESv3 continues to be available in Cydia. Apple's draconian and anti-competitive AppStore practices is [sic] sadly why jailbreaking will always remain a necessity.

I was all set to be indignant about this, but then I read the update again. Is it possible that Apple yanked it simply for being available on Cydia? Not being the person at my house who runs a jailbroken iPhone, I don't have any experience with anything being available through Cydia that is also available on the App Store. I know there are those who have been pulled from the App Store for one reason or another and made their way to Cydia, but I can't find any apps that seem to be available in both places.

I would like to think this is the issue Apple saw with Nescaline and that's why it vanished, since the "Nintendo's knickers are in a twist" reason seems more heavy-handed. Then again, there's also the "no un-vetted code running in emulation" rule that the C64 emulator ran afoul of previously, which might well be the issue.

Either way I'm disappointed: since my phone is not jailbroken I can't just get it from Cydia now that it's gone from the App Store. I do have a couple of long weekends coming though, and Google says it's pretty easy...

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