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Microsoft says no to WP7 NES Emulator

The good old days of NES, gaming at its prime – retro style. Throughout the technological advancement, emulators have always been developed to allow older generation games to be played on newer hardware and software. An emulator has been developed (open source) by Matt Bettcher for the Windows Phone 7 platform, but Microsoft has advised him through contact that he will not be allowed to offer his app on the Marketplace. Apple have even allowed emulation to set sail on the App Store, so why is Microsoft blocking it?

There are - of course - legal complications surrounding ROMs and emulators alike, but that may not be the full reason as to why the huge corporation has set up a retro-gaming blockade. The WP7 has one feature that other platforms do not have to offer, Xbox Live. Having emulation (offered on the Marketplace for free) available on your mobile could possibly cause a negative impact on sales of Xbox Live titles and other games from developers.

Support from the mobile community has been called for and if you truly wish to see a NES emulator hit the Marketplace, you can head on over to the vidoe showcasing the emulator and get in touch. He has also set up a CodePlex project up for the emulator, which can be found here.

Source: NES EMU 7; via: WMPoweruser

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Reader comments

Microsoft says no to WP7 NES Emulator

12 Comments

This was one thing I was really hoping to have on my Windows Phone 7. I had Morphgear and all its modules on my old AT&T Tilt with windows mobile 6.1. That was fun, but not so much that I would think it would compare with our more modern games. I love fruit Ninja, and killed half my battery playing it last night on the train. I want the NES, SNES, Mastersystem, Genesis, and any other emulators that can run decently on the hardware. I kind of figured this wouldn't make it through the marketplace right away, but maybe later in the year.

Don't give up hope! If it's on the Iphone, it will probably be on the WP7 as well. This was the only reason I considered Android, becuase I figure if trash can get in there, so can decent emulators.

So wait, does the iPhone actually sell a NES emulator in the app store? If that's true then I find it odd, how can it unless Nintendo can't sue them over using their tech/IP or w/e in some illegal way? Is it because of how old the NES is now?

I was wondering this, too. I seriously doubt Nintendo gets royalties or anything from such things.

I am not aware of a NES emulator that is still active within the Apple universe, however a good number have been accepted then rejected. A few other emulators have/are rumoured to be coming to the App Store after changes in the submission policy. I probably should have made this clearer in the article, although the general ROM/emulation debate still holds true with legality issues, some emulation apps are reported/rumoured to be heading for the App Store.

Emulators aren't illegal, and using them isn't either but only if you own an original copy of the games that you download. If you don't own an original copy of the games that you download, THAT is illegal.

Agreed, however gaming developers don't particularly enjoy having such software/apps publicly available as majority of users don't own the original physical copy.

As far as I remember, Apple accepted this emulator, but when they realized the kind of problem they are going to had in their hands, they promptly banned the App from App Store. I think this emulator was available on App Store for only a few hours.

It's not surprising Microsoft is denying it a place in the Marketplace. It's free games on a platform designed to have awesome paid-for games.

Off topic: What happened to the podcasts? I'd love to have a WP7-related podcast to add to my weekly listening, so I hope you guys can do one again soon.

I doubt that the free part was the issue since I'm pretty sure developers are the ones who are in charge of pricing their items and they could distribute an awesome game they made for free if they wanted.

Well considering that pretty much all of the Xbox Live games cost some amount of money, I think people having access to free games they already know are good would have been a conflict of interest for Microsoft.

Those games cost money because developers/companies want to see return on their investment of resources, not because MS would deny games if they were free.

You can look at it in a couple ways:
1) If, for example, Sega decided to release Sonic 1-3 for free, it wouldn't be a conflict of interest for MS because WP7 would have something that's free, good, and LEGAL to attract people to buy WP7 devices; it would just be extremely silly of Sega to not try to make some money.
2) If all they cared about was app/game sales and they allowed someone to sell the emulator and ROMs for money, they'd be allowing someone to sell someone else's copyrighted material (i.e., fencing). Additionally, they'd basically be green-lighting their consoles to be emulated and their games be stolen, too.

I agree that emulators promote game piracy. However the actual emulator should not be banned. I was going to allow the user to enter a url to the ROM they wanted and not include any ROM's with the actual emulator but that is still not allowed.