Apple launched a lot of new products at WWDC 2023, as such some may go a tad under the radar. As part of its MacOS Sonoma reveal, Apple announced a new Game Porting Toolkit, and it could make serious MacOS gaming a reality.
Gaming on a Mac has never seemed like a huge priority for Apple, with it remaining one of the key appeals for buying a powerful Windows machine over a Mac desktop or laptop. If you were watching the WWDC live stream, you would be forgiven for thinking Apple’s big gaming reveal was bringing a 3-year-old game, Death Stranding, to MacOS.
The proof will be in the pudding – that metaphorical pudding being whether more PC games come to MacOS over the coming years. But, for now, here’s all you need to know about Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit technology being the company’s renewed MacOS gaming push.
What is Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit?
The Game Porting Toolkit from Apple is a feature of its Metal API, which gives developers access to hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities on Macs. Game Porting Toolkit allows Windows games to run on MacOS.
Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit provides developers with a swift impression of how its game will run on a Mac in its current state, ahead of them beginning the process of porting the title to MacOS.
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In Apple’s words, “The new Game Porting Toolkit provides an emulation environment to run your existing unmodified Windows game and you can use it to quickly understand the graphics feature usage and performance potential of your game when running on a Mac.” Apple also highlights how it “dramatically simplifies” the process of translating a game’s shaders and graphics code to fully utilise Apple Silicon. And, the aim of all this is to drastically reduce the total development time.
During the presentation of this feature, a demo of the DirectX 12 game The Medium was shown running through the Game Porting Toolkit. As Apple notes, this toolkit is intended for developer testing, rather than a fully-fledged application that would allow consumers to run Windows games on MacOS. However, any MacOS user can use the Game Porting Toolkit.
Game developer CodeWeaver commented on the announcement, the company is currently developing CrossOver for Mac and highlighted that Apple is using its emulation solution source code for the Game Porting Toolkit, “We are ecstatic that Apple chose to use CrossOver’s source code as their emulation solution for the Game Porting Toolkit,” and adds, “We are also excited by the potential that the Game Porting Toolkit can offer CrossOver.”