Emulators on tvOS

From Emulation General Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Developer Apple Inc.
Release date 2015

tvOS is Apple, Inc.'s streaming media player operating system. It is a derivative and counterpart to iOS, and a sibling operating system to iPadOS. It was introduced with the 4th generation Apple TV as tvOS 9 (to match then current iOS 9 numbering scheme). With tvOS 9's introduction, Apple opened the platform to third-party developers and introduced the tvOS App Store. It continues to be updated and runs on the Apple TV 4K (5th generation) and Apple TV 4K, 2nd generation (6th generation).

Operating Systems for earlier Apple TV are known as Apple TV Software (2nd and 3rd generations). The first generation Apple TV ran a variant of the Intel version of Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.x).

Reasons to emulate on tvOS include: powerful processing (Apple Silicon) and graphics (leveraging (typically) the Metal API), instant large screen TV set-up, and support for Nintendo Switch Online controllers, PlayStation 4 and 5 controllers, and Xbox One S and X/S controllers (along with MFi, Siri Remote and multi-player support). Reasons not to or to be cautious about emulating on tvOS include: difficulty of installation (requires either a Jailbreak (not available on all tvOS's, or all models), a Sideload (see "AltStore") or building/compiling yourself and installing onto the Apple TV (via Xcode)), limited storage capacity (circumvented with cloud storage), and keeping various emulators up-to-date.



Delta Provenance
Nintendo NES
Nintendo FDS x
Nintendo SNES
Nintendo VB x
Nintendo Pokémini x
Nintendo N64
Nintendo GB/C
Nintendo GBA
Nintendo N/DS x
Sega SG1K x
Sega MS x
Sega GG x
Sega Genesis P
Sega CD x
Sega 32x x
Sega Saturn x
Sega Dreamcast x x
NEC TG16 x
NEC SGfx x
Sony PSX x
Bandai WS/C x
Atari 2600 x
Atari 5200 x
Atari 7800 x
Atari Lynx x
Atari Jaguar x

Legend: • = emulates, x = doesn't emulate, P = Patreon-supporters, (for now)


Provenance.app boasts TopShelf Support (tvOS), automatic ROM metadata downloading including release info, screenshots, case and manual artwork viewer (where available) and Mutli-Disc Support. While it lacks the Nintendo DS support Delta has, it does support all Atari and Sega consoles (save Dreamcast), Neo Geo and Bandai handhelds, and the Sony PlayStation.


Delta.app is currently overseen by the same developer of popular iOS side-loading utility, AltStore. They have a feature-rich roadmap, and are focused on quality, stable releases. While no features are hidden behind a paywall, their Patreon supporters get early access (which will then be released to the public) to new emulator cores (such as Nintendo DS, which is now public, and Sega Genesis, currently in beta) and features (such as JIT enabling on iOS 13.3-15.x, and Dolphin performance increases up to 30%).



Despite its name, MAME4iOS had two version, that are currently available for four platforms: macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS. It currently supports MAME Sets 0.239 (November 2021) and 0.139u1 (September 2010) (the developer recommends storing 0.2x in .7z compression and 0.139u1 in .zip compression, if desired to play concurrently).