Apple Opens the Emulation Floodgates... Potentiallyby@joseh
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Apple Opens the Emulation Floodgates... Potentially

by JoseApril 9th, 2024
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Apple announced last Friday that they will be allowing retro game emulators on their App Store. This comes after the European Commission hit the tech company with a €1.8 billion fine. The U.S. Justice Department is suing Apple for “monopolizing Smartphone Markets”
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In some shocking but exciting news, Apple announced last Friday that they will be allowing retro game emulators on their App Store.

Although this seems to come out of nowhere, it could be because everyone under the sun is currently gunning for Apple because of their App Store policies.

  • On March 4, 2024, the European Commission hit the tech company with a €1.8 billion fine. In a press release, the European Commission alleged that Apple was “abusing its dominant position on the market for the distribution of music streaming apps to iPhone and iPad users (‘iOS users') through its App Store.”

  • And all of this comes after Apple’s lengthy legal battle with Epic Games which also revolved around Apple’s App Store policies.

With Apple finally allowing retro game emulators, it would seem that the tech company wants to move the App Store in a new direction. One where they’re constantly not being sued.

This seems exciting, but emulator enthusiasts and developers remain cautious about the whole ordeal.

For one, the rules are broad and could be interpreted in many different ways. Here’s what Apple officially said about emulation:

Apple's stance on emulation

What counts as a “retro game console?” What’s the cut-off limit? 10 years? 15 years? 20?

On top of that, allowing emulators is great. But how can users download and play games? Will they allow these emulators to offer ROM links?

I’m not the only one asking these questions. Henrik Rydgård, creator of the PSP emulator, PPSSPP, said this about Apple’s announcement:

Henrik Rydgård on Apple's new App Store policy

It seems only time will tell how this will play out, but in the meantime, it does seem like an exciting time for retro gaming fans.

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Disney to Crackdown on Password Sharing

Following in the footsteps of Netflix, Disney has announced that they too will crackdown on password sharing. This means that Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ subscribers will be affected by this new change in policy. Disney aims to stop users from sharing their passwords with people who don’t live in the same household.

The new policy doesn’t take effect until June, but Disney seems dead-set on making this happen. And why wouldn’t they? Although you would be hard-pressed to find consumers who agree and like this change, the numbers don’t lie. And they spell profits for these streaming services.

When Netflix made this change, there were plenty of people online who swore that they would cancel their subscriptions. And good for them if they did so; I applaud them. Unfortunately, they were a very small minority.

CBS News reported that in the months following Netflix’s password crackdown, the streaming service’s subscriber numbers grew historically.

“By the end of 2023 Netflix had more than 200 million subscribers — an annual increase of nearly 30 million subscribers. It was a massive contrast compared to 2022's viewership number in crease of 8.9 million.”

- CBS News

With Netflix’s numbers growing and Disney implementing its own password policy, it’s only a matter of time until the rest of the streaming services make the same change.

In Other News

That’s it for this week’s edition of the Tech Company Brief. Come again next week to get another dose of can’t-miss tech news!

- Jose Hernandez, General Tech and Media Editor @ HackerNoon

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