Metal Developer Tools on Windows Offer New Gaming Opportunities
Apple quietly released a set of Metal Developer Tools for Windows 10 at WWDC this year, which enables Metal Shading Language (MSL) compilation on Windows into Metal Library Objects targeting Apple platforms. This means that game production teams may now use PCs to compile games developed on Windows for macOS and other Apple operating systems.
Many game development studios have established game or graphics asset production pipelines that use the Microsoft Windows infrastructure. One of the key final steps in the asset creation process is compiling the graphics and compute shaders for inclusion in the game.
Since Apple is transitioning the Mac to custom silicon, developers that bring their games to Metal will be able to run them on iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS. Apple's API automatically translates all inputs to whatever the available input method may be, such as touch, controller, or keyboard and mouse. Developers targeting the Apple platform can now develop for iPad, iPhone, Mac, and Apple TV simultaneously. This may make the Apple platform more attractive to game developers as they will have access to a far larger market share than on macOS or iOS alone.
Although it is not possible to develop games for Apple devices on Windows entirely, since a Mac is still needed to sign software and for testing, the availability of gaming-oriented Apple developer tools for Windows marks a significant step in gaming on Apple devices.
As Apple moves the Mac to custom silicon, where it will no longer support Boot Camp, it is interesting that Apple is releasing developer tools specifically for gaming with regards to Windows. Seeing that these new developer tools allow Windows games to be compiled into Metal for Apple platforms, rather than being completely rebuilt, it should now be easier for developers to port native PC games and AAA titles to the Mac.
Update: Max Tech also has a good video covering the topic: