It seems that Apple has set its sights on transforming the Mac into a formidable gaming platform. On the heels of the reveals at its WWDC, wherein the company announced a new ‘Game Mode’ in the new MacOS Sonoma, the cupertino giant has now unveiled a new Game Porting Toolkit. The toolkit, announced as a part of the WWDC, is aimed at allowing developers to easily port Windows games to MacOS.
The Game Porting Tool developed for MacOS Sonoma is set to unlock a vast library of Windows games for Mac users. By simplifying the process of porting games, Apple aims to bridge the gap between different operating systems and expand the gaming options available to Mac users. This means that popular and highly anticipated Windows-exclusive titles will now be accessible to a wider audience, enhancing the gaming experience on the Mac platform.
Traditionally, Macs have not been regarded as gaming powerhouses compared to dedicated, Windows-powered gaming PCs. However, Apple has clearly set its sight with the introduction of Game Mode in MacOS Sonoma and the Game Porting Toolkit today. By streamlining the process of bringing Windows games to the Mac, Apple is making significant strides in enhancing the Mac’s competitiveness as a gaming platform. This move could attract a broader user base, including gamers who previously gravitated towards other platforms. In time, it could also foster vibrant gaming communities and increased engagement among Mac users, as well as lead to the creation of dedicated forums, social platforms, and events where Mac gamers can connect, share experiences, and participate in competitive gameplay.
It seems that Apple’s new Game Porting Toolkit is based on Wine, a popular open-source platform that translates Windows software to Unix environments such as macOS and Linux. With it, Apple is making it easier and faster for developers to bring their PC games to the Mac. The company is of the belief that the toolkit “eliminates months of upfront work” and enables developers to see how well their existing game could run on Mac in just a few days.
With the toolkit, developers can also launch an unmodified version of a Windows game on a Mac and see how well it runs before fully porting the game in question. And if that is not enough, Apple says that the new game porting tool is also able to translate DirectX 12 into Metal 3. Basically, it works in a similar way to Proton – it converts Windows API calls to work with Apple’s Metal API, and can also translate Intel-based x86 instructions to Apple Silicon. The new Metal Shader Converter helps to automatically convert existing GPU shaders to work with Metal 3. Once they have tested the Windows game on macOS, developers can use new tools to convert DirectX graphics to Metal. Once this is done, the game can run on the Mac with much better performance.