Create a dedicated gaming device
Turn an old iPad into a games console
IF THERE’S ONE thing Apple’s November event showed us, it’s that the company knows how to make amazing processors. But the M1 chip in the latest Macs isn’t the first of its kind — Apple has been outfitting its iPhones and iPads with its own chips ever since they first launched.
That’s good news if you want to turn an old iPad into a dedicated gaming machine. Pairing its powerful A–series chip with its spacious display, lightweight portability and numerous handy accessories, the iPad is an ideal games device for portable play.
Apple Arcade ($4.99 per month) is a great place to start. Apple has explicitly said that games on the platform must work across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV; that cross–compatibility means even old devices should run them well enough, as developers can’t just focus their games on new, top–end devices to the detriment of everything else. All you need is a device that can run iOS/iPadOS/ tvOS 13 or macOS Catalina.
As for accessories, the SteelSeries Nimbus+ works across iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and has a built–in mount for your iPhone. Both the PlayStation 4 DualShock and Xbox wireless controllers work with iPad too. Many iPad cases let you stand your tablet on its side — ideal for use with a controller.
Fans of more traditional console gaming will likely want to connect their iPad to a TV. One way is through AirPlay 2, which allows you to send content from your iPad to an AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV (the original form of AirPlay doesn’t work with smart TVs). You’ll also need an iPad that runs iOS 12.3 or later. Or you can buy a Chromecast dongle and plug it in to your TV, although the range of compatible games is a bit limited. As for cables and adapters, Apple offers a variety, such as the Lightning Digital AV Adapter or Lightning to VGA Adapter. Plugging your iPad directly into your TV works best when you’re using a wireless controller, as there’s no need to keep looking down at your iPad for the touch controls.