chip-8 screenGeardome has just released their free Chip-8 Emulator [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch.  Pretty much one for hardcore retro fans only, Geardome's offering emulates the CHIP-8 virtual machine, initially released in the late '70s on the COSMAC VIP and Telmac 1800 8-bit machines.  CHIP-8 is an interpreted programming language developed to facilitate the easy creation of video games.

Chip-8 Emulator comes bundled with 30 very-low-res public domain games, among them: a Space Invaders clone, a Breakout clone, a Tron lightcycles clone, a Tic-Tac-Toe game, a Joust clone, and a Pipe Dreams clone.  The games play rather slowly and are about as pixellated as you could imagine.  But it isn't the games that make this title truly noteworthy.

Chip-8 Emulator is the first "game console" emulator we've seen appear in the App Store.  (Frotz was the first ever game emulator in to appear in the store.)  While many emulators exist in the jailbreak world, by our count there are now but two in the App Store.  It is known that Apple is not highly anxious to allow the use of foreign executables (which is what emulators do, by nature) on the iPhone.

But, first Frotz, and now this.  Does the arrival of Chip-8 Emulator betoken the arrival of emulators of more complex computers and consoles in the App Store?  Let's hope so.  A  number of oldschool game publishers have released the rights to their aged wares.

We'll keep an eye on the emulator situation and bring word of any future release in the App Store.

App Store Link: Chip-8 Emulator, Free

  • http://www.crunchstuff.it Luca Meghnagi

    Sweet :) !

  • http://www.crunchstuff.it Luca Meghnagi

    Sweet :) !

  • untraceable

    the iphone return definitely in the stone-age !

  • untraceable

    the iphone return definitely in the stone-age !

  • Brett

    Cool, I like the old-school emulators

  • Brett

    Cool, I like the old-school emulators

  • Matt

    Both Chip-8 and Frotz are more interpreters than emulators. There are real emulators on the App Store, Aleste and the SID player, although the first one plays only one game and the latter is a sound player.

    It will be harder for other systems to get into the App Store, since the system's BIOS has to be public domain as well. ZX Spectrum and Vectrex emulation could arrive, provided that the games are built into the emulator.

  • Matt

    Both Chip-8 and Frotz are more interpreters than emulators. There are real emulators on the App Store, Aleste and the SID player, although the first one plays only one game and the latter is a sound player.

    It will be harder for other systems to get into the App Store, since the system's BIOS has to be public domain as well. ZX Spectrum and Vectrex emulation could arrive, provided that the games are built into the emulator.

  • spiffyone

    We'll eventually see Sega Genesis (and possibly Master System) emulation via Sega's own emulated game re-releases, and, as time goes on, Apple will have to open up a little bit. Re-releases of older games are big business in the game industry, after all.

  • spiffyone

    We'll eventually see Sega Genesis (and possibly Master System) emulation via Sega's own emulated game re-releases, and, as time goes on, Apple will have to open up a little bit. Re-releases of older games are big business in the game industry, after all.

  • pante

    i tried this one before it was mentioned at ta site.

    i don't like it... i like old games but this title is just boring, not worth mentioning (although it's a great idea).

  • pante

    i tried this one before it was mentioned at ta site.

    i don't like it... i like old games but this title is just boring, not worth mentioning (although it's a great idea).

  • joecab

    I would go ape for a GBA emulator, but Nintendo would never let anyone else allow such a thing, especially someone who's turning into a handheld competitor for them.

  • joecab

    I would go ape for a GBA emulator, but Nintendo would never let anyone else allow such a thing, especially someone who's turning into a handheld competitor for them.

  • dave

    a MAME and atari console emulator would make me very happy indeed. The iPhone is not complete as a platform to me unless I can have both.

  • dave

    a MAME and atari console emulator would make me very happy indeed. The iPhone is not complete as a platform to me unless I can have both.

  • http://www.joelsimone.com Joel

    >We’ll eventually see Sega Genesis (and possibly Master System) emulation via >Sega’s own emulated game re-releases

    I immediately thought of the iPhone 3.0 software development feature allowing purchases to be made within the application. Imagine, a Sega Genesis emulator with Altered Beast for free...and then additional games that can be purchased from within the emulator application.

  • http://www.joelsimone.com Joel

    >We’ll eventually see Sega Genesis (and possibly Master System) emulation via >Sega’s own emulated game re-releases

    I immediately thought of the iPhone 3.0 software development feature allowing purchases to be made within the application. Imagine, a Sega Genesis emulator with Altered Beast for free...and then additional games that can be purchased from within the emulator application.

  • JCat

    Would love to see a C-64 and Atari 8 bit emulator. I think companies like Sega, Atari, Namco etc. are going to milk their games, one at a time (e.g, Centipede, Sonic, Pole Position), so I doubt we'll see any emulators/compilations for some time. Admittedly though, I do love the Iphone/touch versions of Centipede and Missile Command.

  • JCat

    Would love to see a C-64 and Atari 8 bit emulator. I think companies like Sega, Atari, Namco etc. are going to milk their games, one at a time (e.g, Centipede, Sonic, Pole Position), so I doubt we'll see any emulators/compilations for some time. Admittedly though, I do love the Iphone/touch versions of Centipede and Missile Command.

  • Colorado

    @ Joel: Only paid apps can use in-app purchasing, "keep it simple" I believe.

    I would like to a NES Mario emulator where you got the first one for $0.99-1.99, then you could buy the others, in app, if you wanted.

    • http://www.joelsimone.com Joel

      Thanks for the clarification.

  • Colorado

    @ Joel: Only paid apps can use in-app purchasing, "keep it simple" I believe.

    I would like to a NES Mario emulator where you got the first one for $0.99-1.99, then you could buy the others, in app, if you wanted.

    • http://www.joelsimone.com Joel

      Thanks for the clarification.

  • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

    I don't think Nintendo would allow their games or games from their consoles to be publishes for the iPhone, but ScummVM + Public Domain games would rock my socks off. Also, these games could actually work with the iPhone's input capabilities.

  • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

    I don't think Nintendo would allow their games or games from their consoles to be publishes for the iPhone, but ScummVM + Public Domain games would rock my socks off. Also, these games could actually work with the iPhone's input capabilities.

  • Jim

    The controls are unresponsive. I love it. :)

  • Jim

    The controls are unresponsive. I love it. :)

  • http://howtoplanforunemployment.blogspot.com/ Tim

    Man i was was waiting for that kind of game. I mean am old enough to r emember that game and I dont care if they make money off me, I plan to get it!

  • http://howtoplanforunemployment.blogspot.com/ Tim

    Man i was was waiting for that kind of game. I mean am old enough to r emember that game and I dont care if they make money off me, I plan to get it!

  • Vende

    I would pay a fortune for a proper, smooth running SNES emulator that comes with 10 or 15 games. A fortune

  • Vende

    I would pay a fortune for a proper, smooth running SNES emulator that comes with 10 or 15 games. A fortune

  • Pingback: Drei AppStore-Tipps: Retro-Spiele, W-Lan Kontakte, Browser & Cydia

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

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  • George

    i love the old school gameing, but im not paying for free public domain titles, never.

  • George

    i love the old school gameing, but im not paying for free public domain titles, never.

  • George

    Take that back it is free :)

  • George

    Take that back it is free :)

  • Dave

    Not to rain on the parade, but the CHIP-8 was not a real anything.

    It was sort of like Java - a virtual machine designed to be run on old HP calculators. There never was any IP, patents, or copyright involved with it (except possibly specific games). There was never a "CHIP-8 console" or anything.

    This doesn't really mean anything for emulators on the app store, unfortunately, where IP, patents, and copyright are a huge issue.

  • Dave

    Not to rain on the parade, but the CHIP-8 was not a real anything.

    It was sort of like Java - a virtual machine designed to be run on old HP calculators. There never was any IP, patents, or copyright involved with it (except possibly specific games). There was never a "CHIP-8 console" or anything.

    This doesn't really mean anything for emulators on the app store, unfortunately, where IP, patents, and copyright are a huge issue.

  • Prads

    It's not free. Costs $1.19 in Australian Store. Why are they charging money for it anyway? Writing Chip8 emulator is like 2 days work. I think it should be made free. If I knew Objective-C and had a Mac, I would write it and shared it free of cost.

  • Prads

    It's not free. Costs $1.19 in Australian Store. Why are they charging money for it anyway? Writing Chip8 emulator is like 2 days work. I think it should be made free. If I knew Objective-C and had a Mac, I would write it and shared it free of cost.