A new free PlayStation emulator comes to the App Store before Provenance does — and you may have heard of its developer before

Gamma PS1 emulator on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

A new free PlayStation emulator has been released for iPhone and iPad, which already has a lot of useful features as it debuts on the App Store.

Developed by Zodttd, Gamma has a similar look and feel to Delta, a multi-system emulator that came out in April — but this new app focuses solely on Sony’s first gaming console, the PlayStation, released back in 1994. 

Gamma has several features already in its first release, such as being able to save anywhere, syncing games and save states between the best iPhones and best iPads, as well as compatibility with the best game controllers for iPhone, such as those made by 8BitDo. There are plenty of homebrew games you can play right now on the emulator, such as the Net Yaroze collection.

Gamma requires a BIOS file in order to run PlayStation games. If you’re not familiar with this file, we’ve got a handy guide that explains all the terms for understanding what emulators are, as well as explaining why some need a BIOS file to run correctly.

Gamma PS1 Emulator Settings on iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

You may have heard of the app’s developer before. Zodttd was a prolific developer on the jailbreaking scene in the early iPhone days. Jailbreaking would enable an iPhone to run apps not allowed by Apple, and you could also change the appearance of its iOS software to whatever you wanted. Jailbreaking brought with it security risks, circumventing the app approval process and security measures in place to protect users — but it did allow for apps like emulators to have a home on iPhone that they otherwise would not have been able to. Zodttd brought out several emulators on the Jailbreak store, Cydia, such as snes4iPhone and gameboy4iPhone. As he didn’t announce that Gamma was coming, it’s a great surprise to many that a fully functioning PlayStation emulator is now available on the App Store.

Another emulator, Provenance, can also run PlayStation games but is still in testing, due to the amount of additional systems the app also emulates. Over the weekend, support for Sony’s PlayStation Portable console, released in 2004, was added to Provenance’s beta release. Its developer, Joe Matiello, wants to make sure Provenance is in good shape with no app-crashing bugs before he submits it to the App Store review team, ahead of a full release.

For now, though, Gamma is a free app with ads that you can download for your iPhone and iPad.

The floodgates have opened — iMore’s take

Post by @rileytestut
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Riley Testut, developer of the multi-system emulator Delta, has been praising Gamma on the social network Threads, as well as revealing that early versions of Delta were based on code from Zodttd’s gameboy4iPhone emulator.

In my early tests with Gamma, I was able to boot up a homebrew game within five minutes of installing the emulator. The user interface is very similar to Delta, so anyone who may want to try out this new app will experience a lot of familiarity here.

For a 1.0 version, Gamma is a very impressive emulator already — it runs games very well and its user interface is easy to use. I’ve experienced no issues so far, so I’m looking forward to whatever Zodttd has planned for the app in the future.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.