Apple Discusses Push Towards High-End Mac Gaming in New Interview

Inverse's Raymond Wong today published an in-depth overview of Apple's increasing push towards high-end gaming on the Mac. The story includes commentary from Apple marketing managers Gordon Keppel and Leland Martin.

Mac Gaming
One of the biggest reasons that gaming has improved on the Mac in recent years is the switch from Intel processors to Apple silicon, resulting in MacBooks providing industry-leading performance-per-watt. In addition, the latest M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips for the Mac feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading for improved graphics rendering, which is especially beneficial for high-end AAA games.

"Now, every Mac that ships with Apple silicon can play AAA games pretty fantastically," said Keppel. "Apple silicon has been transformative of our mainstream systems that got tremendous boosts in graphics with M1, M2, and now with M3."

Apple silicon also results in the Mac having the same underlying hardware architecture as the iPhone and iPad, simplifying the development process.

"If you look at the Mac lineup just a few years ago, there was a mix of both integrated and discrete GPUs," said Martin. "That can add complexity when you're developing games. Because you have multiple different hardware permutations to consider. Today, we've effectively eliminated that completely with Apple silicon, creating a unified gaming platform now across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Once a game is designed for one platform, it's a straightforward process to bring it to the other two. We're seeing this play out with games like Resident Evil Village that launched first [on Mac] followed by iPhone and iPad."

A new technology built into the M3 family of chips is Dynamic Caching, which allows the GPU to allocate memory usage in real time. Apple says this capability "dramatically increases GPU utilization and performance" for demanding apps and games.

Apple has made gaming-related improvements on the software side, too. macOS Sonoma features a new Game Mode that temporarily prioritizes CPU and GPU performance for gaming. Game Mode also lowers AirPods audio latency, and reduces input latency with popular third-party game controllers by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate.

Earlier this year, Apple released a new toolkit that makes it easier for game developers to port Windows games to the Mac. The toolkit provides an emulation environment that allows developers to run their existing, unmodified Windows game on the Mac and quickly evaluate how well the game could run on macOS before writing any code.

"We've definitely seen interest from developers and publishers like Kojima Productions and Annapurna Interactive Games on how to take advantage of both parts of the Game Porting Toolkit," Martin said. "When you download the toolkit, there's really two parts to it. There's that emulation environment and that's helped demonstrate today's game — you drop in an existing Windows game and see how well it could run on the Mac. The second part is the Metal shader converter and that's there to help developers convert their tens of thousands of shader code into Metal. And they've praised how incredibly useful this is and how it's saved them a bunch of time in their development timeline."

Several high-profile games launched on the Mac this year, including a Resident Evil 4 remake, Resident Evil Village, Stray, and Baldur's Gate 3. Death Stranding Director's Cut and Assassin's Creed Mirage are also expected to launch on the Mac next year.

The full interview at Inverse is a worthwhile read for those interested in gaming on the Mac.

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Top Rated Comments

james2538 Avatar
24 weeks ago
I feel like I’ve read a similar article at least a dozen times over the past decade.

I’ll give Apple credit though. It does seem to be getting better and we’re in a significantly better situation than the PowerPC era.
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mukiex Avatar
24 weeks ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2023/12/28/apple-silicon-mac-gaming-interview/')

Inverse's Raymond Wong today published an in-depth overview of Apple's increasing push towards high-end gaming on the Mac ('https://www.inverse.com/tech/mac-gaming-apple-silicon-interview'). The story includes commentary from Apple marketing managers Gordon Keppel and Leland Martin.



One of the biggest reasons that gaming has improved on the Mac in recent years is the switch from Intel processors to Apple silicon, resulting in MacBooks providing industry-leading performance-per-watt. In addition, the latest M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips for the Mac feature hardware-accelerated ray tracing and mesh shading for improved graphics rendering, which is especially beneficial for high-end AAA games.

"Now, every Mac that ships with Apple silicon can play AAA games pretty fantastically," said Keppel. "Apple silicon has been transformative of our mainstream systems that got tremendous boosts in graphics with M1, M2, and now with M3."

Apple silicon also results in the Mac having the same underlying hardware architecture as the iPhone and iPad, simplifying the development process.

"If you look at the Mac lineup just a few years ago, there was a mix of both integrated and discrete GPUs," said Martin. "That can add complexity when you're developing games. Because you have multiple different hardware permutations to consider. Today, we've effectively eliminated that completely with Apple silicon, creating a unified gaming platform now across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Once a game is designed for one platform, it's a straightforward process to bring it to the other two. We're seeing this play out with games like Resident Evil Village that launched first [on Mac] followed by iPhone and iPad."

A new technology built into the M3 family of chips is Dynamic Caching, which allows the GPU to allocate memory usage in real time. Apple says this capability "dramatically increases GPU utilization and performance" for demanding apps and games.

Apple has made gaming-related improvements on the software side, too. macOS Sonoma features a new Game Mode ('https://www.macrumors.com/2023/06/05/macos-14-game-mode/') that temporarily prioritizes CPU and GPU performance for gaming. Game Mode also lowers AirPods audio latency, and reduces input latency with popular third-party game controllers by doubling the Bluetooth sampling rate.

Earlier this year, Apple released a new toolkit ('https://www.macrumors.com/2023/06/10/apple-releases-mac-game-porting-toolkit/') that makes it easier for game developers to port Windows games to the Mac. The toolkit provides an emulation environment that allows developers to run their existing, unmodified Windows game on the Mac and quickly evaluate how well the game could run on macOS before writing any code.

"We've definitely seen interest from developers and publishers like Kojima Productions and Annapurna Interactive Games on how to take advantage of both parts of the Game Porting Toolkit," Martin said. "When you download the toolkit, there's really two parts to it. There's that emulation environment and that's helped demonstrate today's game — you drop in an existing Windows game and see how well it could run on the Mac. The second part is the Metal shader converter and that's there to help developers convert their tens of thousands of shader code into Metal. And they've praised how incredibly useful this is and how it's saved them a bunch of time in their development timeline."

Several high-profile games launched on the Mac this year, including a Resident Evil 4 remake, Resident Evil Village, Stray, and Baldur's Gate 3. Death Stranding Director's Cut and Assassin's Creed Mirage are also expected to launch on the Mac next year.

The full interview at Inverse ('https://www.inverse.com/tech/mac-gaming-apple-silicon-interview') is a worthwhile read for those interested in gaming on the Mac.

Article Link: Apple Discusses Push Towards High-End Mac Gaming in New Interview ('https://www.macrumors.com/2023/12/28/apple-silicon-mac-gaming-interview/')
Make a game.

Make. A game.

Literally everything Apple says is sugary nonsense until the day they make a game.

Epic sells a game engine. They make a game. It allows them to both improve the engine and test its versatility.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all make game platforms. They all make games. It's what allows them to understand the difficulties conceptually.

Apple makes zero games. They have zero skin in the game that is producing game products. That lends them zero credibility in the field, and that won't change until they do.
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
StudioMacs Avatar
24 weeks ago
Nintendo Switch still manages to have great games with technology that was behind the iPad back in 2017.

Focusing on games is not about the technology. It’s about the games.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
24 weeks ago

"Now, every Mac that ships with Apple silicon can play AAA games pretty fantastically," said Keppel. "Apple silicon has been transformative of our mainstream systems that got tremendous boosts in graphics with M1, M2, and now with M3."
I'm not sure I'd describe playing AAA games like Baldur's Gate 3 ('https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/baldurs-gate-3-now-available-on-mac.2403977/?post=32540118#post-32540118') on a base MacBook Pro with regular M3 and 8GB memory "fantastically" when the developer/publisher recommends 16GB memory.

The game's minimum requirements include the M1 processor and 8GB RAM, but the recommended requirements suggest an M1 Pro or better Apple silicon chip and at least 16GB RAM.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Paradoxally Avatar
24 weeks ago
It's never gonna happen, Apple.

You don't support DirectX 12.

You don't even support Vulkan. No, Metal is not the answer.

Why would game devs compile for the Mac? They are better off just compiling for Windows and Linux, which isn't a pain to do ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRQX9fgrI4s').
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
24 weeks ago
We wanted to learn more about the Mac platform’s shift toward gaming so naturally Apple sent us two marketing guys.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)