Enlarge / The Apple TV and the Horipad Ultimate MFI controller. (credit: Andrew Cunningham)

For those of us fortunate enough to have the privilege, late December and early January bring two things: new toys and a bit of vacation time. That makes it a great time to tinker with little tech projects, things that are inessential and maybe a bit time-consuming but fun enough and useful enough to be worth doing.

One of my projects was to experiment with classic console emulators on the new Apple TV. There aren’t many of them yet, and installation takes a little work (Apple doesn’t allow add-your-own-ROM emulators in the App Store), but new capabilities introduced in iOS 9 and the iOS-based tvOS make it possible to install them.

Emulation and the Apple TVx

Right now there are two notable emulation projects targeting tvOS. One is a distant relative of the MAME arcade emulator, though it doesn’t seem as though it’s being maintained. Another, Provenance, is the one we’ll be spending the most time with. It’s a multi-system emulator that supports most major 8- and 16-bit consoles, including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance.

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