Developer Shows MAME Emulator Running on New Apple TV


Earlier this month, Kevin Smith received his Apple TV Developer Kit. Less than a month later, Smith has gotten the popular MAME game emulator running on the device.

In the video below, a tvOS version of the MAME emulator is demonstrated on the new Apple TV. For those unfamiliar with the emulator, it stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator and features classic video games, including Donkey Kong and Street Fighter II.

YouTube video

In the video, Smith shows several old arcade games running on the Apple TV, including Donkey Kong, Galaga, Street Fighter II, Raiden, and Metal Slug – Super Vehicle. All of the games appear to run well, but there are some sound issues with a few titles.

The video’s description includes some technical hurdles Smith had to overcome to get the emulator working on tvOS:

“I created a target for tvOS and set about getting the code to compile for arm64 (Mandatory for AppleTV), fixed a variety of compiler and linker errors. Removed code which was incompatible with tvOS frameworks and simplified code to work on tvOS. Added a basic icon compatible with tvOS. I added some tweaks to the source to allow the pause button to exit the game and supporting the resolution for the 1080p display.”

Over the years, several apps with the MAME code have snuck into the iOS App Store, letting people run old arcade games. There is a possibility that the emulator will sneak into the tvOS App Store in the future. However, much like the iOS emulators, these apps will only survive for a few hours before being pulled once they are discovered by Apple.

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