The new iPad Pro could be a gaming powerhouse if the Steam Deck OLED is anything to go by

Pips and Pixels iPad
(Image credit: Future)
Pips and Pixels

Pips and Pixels Boxout

(Image credit: Future)

Pips and Pixels is a new column from James Bentley, iMore's resident gaming expert, discussing all things gaming in the Apple ecosystem. Pips and Pixels explores the latest news, accessories, and titles you might have missed out on, and brings you commentary from the leading developers in the app market. As recent advancements in the Apple Silicon M processors and the brand new A17 Bionic chip show, Apple is becoming more serious about gaming. James looks to the rest of the games industry to see what could be next for Apple gamers.

The next iPad Pro is expected to be unveiled on May 7 at Apple’s “Let Loose” event and rumors suggest a very impressive upgrade compared to the 2022 model. Originally rumored to have an Apple M3 chip, recent reports suggest it could be even more powerful than that, skipping the chip entirely and moving straight up to M4. Though this will make it an excellent device for productivity apps and could set it up nicely for Apple AI, this is not the main reason I’m excited about a new iPad Pro. I think Apple’s next-generation tablet could be an absolute gaming powerhouse but not just because of the M4 chip. 

This week we also learned that the incredibly popular Delta Game Emulator is coming to iPad, which could make Apple’s tablet the best way to play retro-style games. 

Finally, this week, we got official confirmation that Assassin’s Creed Mirage, originally shown off on iPhone 15 Pro Max, the best iPhone right now, would be coming to iPad too. 

Read on for the rundown.

This week's Apple gaming news

1. Fortnite is coming back to the iPad along with the Epic Games Store, but only in the EU — company confirms it is moving “full steam ahead’ 

It was revealed earlier this week that iPads would have to comply with the Digital Markets Act and allow third-party app stores and marketplaces. This gives room for Epic to launch its game store on the device, which it has confirmed it will do. 

I think the new iPad Pro will be the absolute best way to play the game on Apple devices, and this is mostly because of the huge display upgrade we’re expecting to see next week. The next iPad Pro is reported to have an OLED display, which allows for deeper blacks, sharper image quality, and the panel itself can be thinner and lighter. Fortnite is a game that benefits from a great display far more than an excellent processor. It’s bright and fun — something iPads are particularly good for. Take the recent Steam Deck OLED refresh as an example, this device is an absolute beauty that multiple members of the iMore team praise at pretty much any chance they can. It’s a fantastic improvement on a device that is already excellent — just what the next iPad Pro needs. 

2. Immensely popular iPhone emulator Delta is coming to iPad — turn Apple’s tablet into the giant GameBoy you’ve always wanted

There are tons of free legal games to play on Delta Game Emulator and these work excellently on iPhone. However, I can’t help but wonder what the superior size and screen of the iPad could do for retro gaming.

Not only is this an exciting prospect but even wider support for retro consoles means that more developers are incentivized to develop new games for it. I mentioned GoodBoy Galaxy in my last column, a retro-styled indie game that is fully playable on GameBoy, but this is only one of many examples., a database and store for indie titles, Game Jams, and various other projects have tabs filled with games that are playable on GameBoy. I can’t wait to start testing out all these games on my iPad when Delta arrives. 

3. Assassin’s Creed Mirage is finally launching on iPhone 15 Pro devices and some iPad models — here’s when

After a long wait, and just barely hitting the ‘first half of 2024’ expectation, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is finally launching on June 6 for Apple devices. Though this is great news, what I’m most looking forward to is playing this huge stealth action game on my iPad. It can work on any iPad with the M1 chip or later but the upcoming OLED screen of the iPad Pro will be able to really show off how impressive Ubisoft’s worldbuilding is. 

Our friends over at GamesRadar gave the original release of Assassin’s Creed Mirage four out of five stars, saying it is a “compact, stealth-focused adventure that punishes anyone trying to go in loud, and it does so in a world that's always a delight to explore.”

Gaming news from our friends

“A completely cruel and baffling decision”: Industry anger over GTA 6 publisher’s closure of two acclaimed studios despite commercial successes and CEO’s $26 million pay rise from GamesRadar

Roll7, the developer behind the OlliOlli series, Rollerdrome, and Lethal League is being closed by its parent company despite its commercial success. Rollerdrome, the developer’s latest game even won a much coveted BAFTA award. Intercept Games, the team working on Kerbal Space Progam 2, is also being shut down. I’ve played almost everything Roll7 has worked on, and knowing not only how commercially successful but how fun its games are, I can’t help but feel disappointed. This news is worrying for so many indie studios bought by huge publishers and I’m concerned about what the future holds.

As eloquently put by Michael Douse, the director of publishing for Larian Studios, the dev behind Baldur’s Gate 3, “The large corporate cycle is just gushing about people, culture, the human element, teamwork & pride. And then when operational failures lead the mass layoffs, the human element is so deliberately thrown away. The mask peeled off. Corporations do not care about you.”

Baldur’s Gate 3 lead went from “joy to anxiety” in seconds after hearing Larian’s next game would be a follow-up to the beloved RPG series from GamesRadar

Farhang Namdar, world-building director for Baldur’s Gate 3 spoke to PLAY Magazine, recalling going from “joy to anxiety” when they realized the big task that is taking on such a beloved property and revamping it for a modern audience. 

Despite this anxiety, Baldur’s Gate 3 is an excellent game that is easily one of the best Mac games right now. 

Calendar: April's Big Game Releases

Abiotic Factor

(Image credit: Abiotic Factor)
  • I've been playing Abiotic Factor over the last week and having a lot of fun. A survival crafting game set in a research facility, and modeled after Half-Life, it is both nostalgic yet refreshing — and an absolute blast with friends. It's only in early access and there are no concrete plans for a Mac launch but this is worth keeping an eye on as it evolves. 
  • Indika is a very different kind of game to Abiotic Factor. It's a third-person, narrative-driven game where you play a nun who is set on a path of self-discovery with the influence of the devil themself. It's out now, though not natively supported on Mac. 
Swipe to scroll horizontally
GamesRelease DatePlatformsPlayable on Apple?
Abiotic FactorMay 2PCNot Natively
IndikaMay 2PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PCNot Natively
V RisingMay 8PlayStation 5, PCNot Natively
Crow CountryMay 9PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PCNot Natively
Read Only Memories: NeurodiverMay 16PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PCYes
Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2May 21Xbox Series X, PCNot Natively

Level Up — Gaming accessories on our radar

A great gaming chair can do a lot when it comes to upgrading your gaming experiences. Just being comfortable and secure as you play can be incredibly important and a big Razer sale means you can get one of the best gaming chairs for $50 off right now. 

Razer Enki X gaming chair | $399.99 $349.99 at Amazon

Razer Enki X gaming chair | $399.99 $349.99 at Amazon

The Razer Enki X has everything you need in a gaming chair: lumbar support, the ability to recline up to 152 degrees, and super comfortable materials that are not only durable but Eco-friendly. That lumbar support means not only do you have a good seating position when you game but this can be your office or everyday chair and you won’t get a bad back while using it.

Hitting the Arcade — What to play on Apple Arcade

Pips and Pixels Hitting the Arcade

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Arcade is filled with tons of exclusive experiences and fantastic games. However, with so many out there, it can be hard to decide what to play. Here are a few choices I've been testing out this week:

Mini Metro+ is a game I’m not sure I fully understand but I like nonetheless. A strategy game all about building a subway, you have to connect different color lines to different stops. The point of this is to efficiently move from one station to another, which unlocks new colors, lines, and tunnels to get across to new areas. You have to build enough lines to get people off central points before it overcrowds. You’ll get the best experience with an Apple Pencil as you can select lines and move subways quickly without getting your fingers in the way. It’s puzzling yet also super satisfying. 

Dicey Dungeons+ has finally launched on Apple Arcade. I talked about this in a column a few weeks back when it was announced and I’m happy to report it’s still that game I loved back in 2019. It’s a roguelike card battler where you play a dice caught in a twisted game show. Though you can stack your equipment to take down enemies quickly, it’s all in the luck of the dice if you succeed. It’s super fun and a great pick for anyone who likes Slay the Spire or Balatro

Have you played any great games this week or seen some interesting Apple gaming news we've missed? Let us know in the comments!

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.