Apple conducted its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday and showed off many fresh innovations. One notable deviation from Apple’s usual offerings was emphasizing Mac gaming. Apple is excited to finally introduce gaming on the Mac after upgrading it with the M2 Ultra Chip.
Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, gave a public presentation demonstrating the viability of porting Windows games to MacOS. Apple has simplified the process, making it quicker and easier to convert games to Mac. While this is an excellent addition, there is something even better.
Apple finally took gaming seriously after several failures on the Mac platform. Developers put in a lot of hours trying to optimize games for a new operating system, only to find out in the end that they were unsuccessful. The majority of their efforts and time are being wasted because of this. Apple has developed its emulator so developers can test and play Windows games on MacOS before moving them over.
The DirectX12 Problem
Before the arrival of more powerful graphics utilizing games, Mac computers were also capable of emulation. You would believe that emulators like Crossover or Virtual Machines would be sufficient for this purpose, but neither application supports DirectX12. Direct X12 support was added in Crossover 23, although thus far, it can only run Diablo II. Apple has finally discovered a solution to the problem that led third-party emulation software to fail: DirectX12.
Hideo Kojima showed off Death Stranding running on Apple’s Rosetta emulator. Only here did it become clear that the emulator could run DirectX12 titles. Apple claims that the emulator provides near-optimal performance and may be used to evaluate the game’s efficiency before moving it to MacOS.
Since moving to its operating system, Apple has required developers to port their Intel x86 applications to the Apple ARM using the Rosetta Emulator. The successor software, Rosetta 2, was an improved version of the original that could successfully simulate applications. It has now come to light that Apple used the same emulator to enable Macs to run Windows games .
Apple’s Game Porting Tool is Open-Source
Despite the unexpectedness of the emulator reveal, the much better news is that Apple has released the source code for its game porting tool. This is a huge deal; it was just uploaded to Apple’s GitHub web page. Usually, Apple keeps certain aspects of its software under wraps, but it appears that this time, Apple is very serious about bringing Mac into the gaming arena.
Although the Mac hasn’t traditionally been associated with gaming, Apple wants to change that. While Apple’s unified ecosystem has helped it build a sizable customer base, the lack of robust gaming support on Mac computers has caused many consumers to switch to Windows. If the current pattern continues, Windows will have difficulty competing with Apple and retaining its users.
Apple appears to be making a significant push into the gaming industry, and there is speculation that the company will introduce gaming to its upcoming Vision Pro augmented reality glasses.
Source: Andrew Tsai