Exclusive: PlayStation iPhone emulator Provenance launch imminent with SEGA support in tow, despite Nintendo takedown order

Provenance app on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

Despite a takedown request by Nintendo, iMore can exclusively reveal that the multi-system emulator Provenance is still coming to the App Store.

On May 1 developer Joseph Mattiello, project lead of Provenance, was sent a DMCA takedown request on behalf of Nintendo. This was because the emulator includes a discontinued Nintendo Switch emulator called Yuzu that the gaming company shut down in March due to copyright infringement and privacy claims.

Mattiello has subsequently told iMore he still plans to release Provenance to TestFlight users as soon as he can — the aim is by the end of this week (May 2/3). Once the app has been thoroughly tested, Mattiello plans to submit the app for review — with the hope that it will be made available for everyone soon after.

Delta, created by Riley Testut, was the first multi-system emulator to be released on April 17 — with a new update being planned that brings native iPad support.

However, Provenance already works with iPad as a Universal app and features support for many more systems. These include the Sony PlayStation, SEGA Saturn, Nintendo Virtual Boy, SEGA Mega CD, and many more. After Mattiello told iMore on April 19 that the emulator was coming to the App Store, the anticipation from users has been as high as it was for Delta after Apple’s rule change was announced.

With Nintendo’s takedown request seemingly resolved, we’re expecting Provenance to arrive in the next few weeks.

A slight hitch but solvable — iMore’s take

It’s fair to say that the discontinued emulator Yuzu should not have been present in any of Provenance’s code — especially given how Nintendo was quick to shut it down back in March. According to court documents, the emulator was ‘fuelling piracy’ — soon after this case was filed, however, it was settled, with Yuzu’s developer paying Nintendo $2.4 million with a promise to shut down the emulator for good.

Given that Nintendo is both litigious and vigilant when it comes to its IP, users were also concerned about Provenance — as the app includes a lot of Nintendo’s past consoles from the last 40 years. Although consoles like the Gamecube and Wii are not coming to this version of the app anyway, due to the lack of access to the iPhone's JIT (Just in Time) renderer, there was a fear that Nintendo may send over a takedown request anyway.

Granted, it’s now happened, but it’s only because of Yuzu. As long as any mention of the Switch emulator is no longer present in the app, the takedown request will no longer be valid. Regardless of this bump in the road, I’m still looking forward to seeing how Provenance will run on my iPhone 15 Pro Max when it’s released soon.

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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.