is said to have new proprietary Arm-based laptops in the pipeline, while consumer versions of the that run on the chipset are believed to be on the way. While in the past this would have meant that x86- and x64-based Windows software developers would have to port their apps, Qualcomm has tried to reassure game developers that their titles will run fine out of the box on any unannounced Snapdragon X Elite systems that happens to come.

At the Game Developers Conference, Qualcomm engineer Issam Khalil told the audience that PCs will use emulation to run many x86 and x64 games at near full speed without the need to change code or change any assets. According to , Khalil explained that games are usually GPU-heavy and emulation has no impact on GPU performance. Because of this (barring some CPU overhead when a block of code in a game goes through the emulation process for the first time), Qualcomm assumes that many titles will perform well.

There are some caveats. Some games simply won’t work through emulation, especially those that use . However, Qualcomm has tested its emulation with the top games on Steam and seems confident that its technology should be able to handle most games.

Otherwise, Khalil told developers they have two other options for running their games on Snapdragon-based Windows machines. They can fully port their titles to the native ARM64 for optimal CPU performance and power usage. Alternatively, Qualcomm will support a hybrid applications where Windows libraries and Qualcomm drivers run natively, but other parts of the software are emulated. This is said to provide “near-natural” performance.

If Qualcomm can indeed pull off this emulation trick as promised, it will be an impressive move and could ultimately help Arm-based Windows laptops offer a combination of strong performance and better power efficiency than x86 Intel-based machines. However, the proof is in the pudding. So far, Qualcomm hasn’t had a great track record in x86/x64 emulation. In fact, Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar on Windows’ poor emulation.

So far, Apple has been perhaps the most successful company in emulating x86 software on its Arm-based using its . One key point to keep in mind here is that Apple has complete control over the entire ecosystem, as notes, including the hardware and operating system. As such, Apple can perhaps optimize the emulation process better than other companies that provide fewer parts of the equation, such as Qualcomm with its GPUs and CPUs.