The M1 iPad Air is a PSP, GameCube, and Wii emulation beast

Gamecube game running on iPad Air
(Image credit: ETA PRIME)

Getting Sony PSP, Nintendo GameCube, and Wii games running on an iPad does mean jumping through some hoops — but if you do it, turns out the M1 iPad Air is the iPad you want to use.

We already knew that the M1 iPad Air was a powerhouse thanks to the use of super-speedy Apple silicon, but now a new YouTube video has shown just how well it handles games like a champ.

A YouTube video by ETA Prime shows an iPad Air running various emulation apps, all spinning up some of the best games of yesteryear. They include classic PSP titles like God of War: Chains of Olympus as well as GameCube title F-Zero GX. And while the apps used to get the games running are different, the results are the same — upscaled games running at breakneck speeds while connected to an Xbox controller via Bluetooth.

ETA Prime says that "the Apple iPad Air 5 runs GameCube Wii and PSP emulators better than any other tablet on the market right now," comparing the GPU and CPU performance with the best that Android has to offer. The iPad Air repeatedly comes out on top, making it a great buy for anyone wanting to play games they remember from their youth.

Not that the iPad Air is only good for emulation, of course. The M1 iPad Air will soon get iPadOS 16.1, adding Stage Manager and making the tablet a multitasking monster in the process. In many ways, the iPad Air is the best iPad for a whole bunch of people right now.

At least, for now. The new M2-powered iPad Pro tablets are expected to be announced within weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for them if you need even more performance than the M1 chip can muster.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.