We have previously covered how you can play old school console games on your computer. Now, what about bringing it one step further and install these game consoles on your iPhone so that you can play them while you are on the move?
While there are many games available in the App Store, some with excellent graphics and AI, some people (perhaps the older generation) still prefer to get their hands on the old console games which they spent their childhood playing.
To be able to play console games on your iPhone, there are three things that you must do:
1. Jailbreak Your iPhone
I have previously discussed how to jailbreak your iPhone with the Pwnage tool, so this should be an easy task for you.
2. Be Able To Access Your iPhone Filesystem From The Computer
I have also discussed 6 different ways that you can use your iPhone as an external hard disk. For Windows users, DiskAid or iPhone browser are great software that you can use to transfer files to your iPhone. In Mac, the OpenSSH or Netatalk method is preferred.
3. Get working ROMs for the respective game consoles
There are plenty of sites on the Internet that allows you to download ROMs for different game consoles. If you own the game, it is nearly always legal to own the ROMs and use them on various platforms. Similarly, if you do not own the game, download the ROMs at your own risk.
CoolROM is one great site that allows you to download ROMs that are not protected by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association). They have plenty of ROMs for different consoles, ranging from Atari to GameBoy, Super Nintendo and Sony Playstation, so you shouldn’t have much problem finding the game you like.
Let’s get started…
Assuming that you have got the above three steps ready, here’s what you do to install the various game consoles on your iPhone.
On your iPhone, load up the Cydia application. (the Cydia application will appear only if you have jailbroken your iPhone). Navigate to the Games section. This will be the place where you will find most of the emulator.
Sega Genesis Emulator for iPhone
genesis4iphone is the iPhone emulator for Sega Genesis (MegaDrive) that you can use to play sega games on iPhone. It is based on the popular PicoDrive emulator.
In your Cydia, install genesis4iphone from the Games. You should see the GENESIS icon on your iPhone main screen.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your Genesis game ROM into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/GENESIS/ in your iPhone.
Back to your iPhone main screen, load the Genesis application and you can start to enjoy your Sega Genesis game.
GameBoy Advance Emulator
To play GameBoy Advance games on your iPhone, first install gpSPhone from the Cydia installer.
Search and download the gba_bios.bin file that is required for the emulator to function.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your GBA ROMs and the gba_bios.bin file into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/GBA/ in your iPhone.
Load the GBA application from your iPhone main screen and enjoy your game.
Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME)
If you are a fan of arcade games, then MAME is the application that allows you to play all your favorite arcade game on your iPhone. The MAME version in the iPhone supports many arcade machines from the 1970′s to 2000.
Install mame4iphone from Cydia.
If you have downloaded your favorite MAME game ROMs in zipped format, do not unzip.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your MAME zipped ROM into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/MAME/roms/ to your iPhone.
Load the MAME application from the iPhone main screen. Once a game is started, it will ask you to press OK. Use RIGHT then LEFT then RIGHT then LEFT to press OK.
Nintendo is one of the most popular old school game consoles, so we definitely won’t miss it in this list.
Install NES from Cydia.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your NES ROMs into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/NES/ in your iPhone.
Load the NES application from the iPhone main screen.
For those who miss the LucasArts SCUMM interpreter, used in games such as Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Day Of The Tentacle and Sam and Max, here is the emulator for the iPhone.
In your Cydia, you have to first add the Scumm repositories. Go to the Repositories section in Cydia and install the package Urban Fanatics’ Source.
Next, go to the Games section, you should now find the ScummVM package available for installation.
If you have difficulty finding ScummVM files, the home page does have quite a number of games available for download.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your ScummVM files into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/ScummVM/.
Load the application from the iPhone main screen and you are good to go.
Sony Playstation Emulator
This emulator refers to Playstation 1, not versions 2 or 3.
Install psx4iphone from Cydia.
Search and download the scph1001.bin file in Yahoo (Yahoo gives better search results than Google in this case). This is the BIOS file required to play all PS games.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your PS ROMs and the bios file into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/PSX/ in your iPhone.
Due to the hardware limitation, some of the graphics intensive games could be slow and sluggish.
Super Nintendo emulator
Install snes4iphone from Cydia.
Using your OpenSSH (or DiskAid), transfer your SNES ROMs into the folder /var/mobile/Media/ROMs/SNES/. If you have a ROM in the zipped format, that is fine. You can upload the zipped file to the iPhone folder.
Load the SNES application from the iPhone main screen.
That’s it. Enjoy your old console games on your iPhone.
If you have installed and played console games on your iPhone, tell us about your experiences, whether it was good, bad, sluggish performance, exciting etc..
Image credit: Mustafa Maluka
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