The iPad M1 Chip Runs Game Emulators Far Better Than Any Other Tablet, Video Shows

Apple introduced the powerful M1 chip to its iPad Pro line-up last year. Previously only available on its Mac laptops and desktops, the M1 CPU also made its way to the latest version of the iPad Air, in March this year, making the Apple devices easily some of the most powerful tablets available on the market. But how well do these chips run game emulators?

YouTuber and regular emulator tinkerer ETA Prime put the M1-equipped iPad to the test in a recently uploaded video. While getting a game emulator onto iPadOS wasn't as simple as getting it onto Android, ETA Prime recommended a method to do so, and then ran PSP, GameCube, and Wii games, via emulators, through their paces on an iPad Air. The result? Pretty stunning.

ETA Prime ran PSP emulator PPSSPP on the Apple tablet and played Tony Hawk's Underground Remix 2, Tekken 6, Dirt 2, and God of War Chains of Olympus. These titles ran upscaled and at 60fps without issue, which can be a problem on lower-powered ARM devices. But the M1 iPad performed without a hitch.

Next, GameCube and Wii games were also emulated such as cel-shaded racer Auto Modellista and F-Zero GX from the former; and Sonic Colors and Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom from the latter. "When it comes to GameCube, Wii, and PSP emulation, this M1 chip definitely does an amazing job," ETA Prime said.

The M1-equipped iPad Air could run games at 1440p resolution while Samsung's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-equipped Tab S8 could run them only at a paltry 720p (thanks The Verge's Dan Seifert). While ETA Prime isn't getting rid of his Android tablets any time soon since iPadOS still isn't as flexible software wise compared to the more open Android platform, the YouTuber demonstrated that the M1 iPad is very capable. Perhaps the thing holding it back is in fact the software rather than the hardware.

It's a great watch to see the GameCube, PSP, and Wii games running on the iPad, so do check out ETA Prime's video shown above.

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