Apple has long been criticized for neglecting the gaming potential of its Mac computers, which often lag behind Windows PCs in terms of performance, compatibility and availability of games. But the company is hoping to change that with a new toolkit that will make it easier for developers to port their Windows games to macOS.
The toolkit was announced at Apple's WWDC 2023 event on Monday. It is a set of tools and libraries that will help developers optimize their games for the Mac's hardware and software, including the M-series chips, Metal graphics API and macOS Monterey.
Apple's toolkit will also allow developers to use existing Windows game engines, such as Unreal Engine and Unity, and leverage their features and assets on the Mac. Apple claims the feature will reduce the time and cost of porting games by up to 80%, and that it will support a wide range of genres and styles.
Apple showcased some examples of games that have been ported using the toolkit, such as Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077 and Forza Horizon 5. The company said that these games will run smoothly and natively on the Mac, without requiring any emulation or virtualization.
Apple also announced that it will launch a new section on the Mac App Store dedicated to gaming, where users will be able to discover and download games that have been ported using the toolkit. The section will also feature exclusive titles from Apple Arcade, as well as curated collections and recommendations.
Apple said that the feature will be available later this year as a beta for registered developers, and that it will work with both Intel-based and Apple Silicon-based Macs. The company hopes that the toolkit will attract more developers and gamers to the Mac platform, and that it will create a more vibrant and diverse gaming ecosystem.
Prepping to Bring Gaming to the Apple Vision Pro?
It is perhaps not a coincidence that Apple is making its ecosystem more attractive to gaming. Earlier at WWDC, the company announced its Vision Pro, a VR/AR headset that Apple thinks can mainstream virtual content. The company has already positioned Vision Pro as a computer that users wear as a headset. It will provide productivity (including Microsoft Office apps), browsing, images, movies, music, and it seems also gaming.
The Vision Pro is a headset that can switch between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) modes, depending on the user's preference and the content they are viewing. AR mode allows users to see digital elements overlaid on their real environment, while VR mode blocks out the real world and transports users to a fully virtual one.
The Vision Pro uses two chipsets to power its mixed reality capabilities: an M2 chip and a new R1 chip. The M2 chip is the same one that powers some of the best MacBooks and Macs, and handles the traditional apps and features on the device. The R1 chip is a new co-processor that deals with the mixed-reality and sensor elements, such as tracking the user's head, eyes, hands, and voice.