How gaming on the Mac is getting better with macOS Ventura

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in macOS
With the launch of macOS Ventura, Apple is bringing more focus to gaming on the Mac. Here are some ways that gamers will benefit with the launch of Apple's new operating system.

Game controllers with a MacBook Pro
Game controllers with a MacBook Pro


Gamers come in all varieties from those that want simple, casual games to large AAA MMO titles. Mac users have often been second-class citizens when it comes to gaming as many of the best titles simply aren't available on the platform.

To date, Apple has seemingly been content to ignore this reality. At WWDC, it didn't signal an about-face for Apple but the iPhone-maker did make some crucial announcements that could signal a brighter future for gaming on the Mac.

Gaming gets better

One of the most substantial changes -- though not particularly visible -- is Apple's launch of Metal 3. Metal is Apple's graphics framework that allows it to deeply tap into a Mac's GPU. With the third-generation release, we should see big improvements to game visuals.






If you want to nerd-out on the details, Apple is specific about what it says that MetalFX Upscaling can do.
MetalFX Upscaling enables developers to quickly render complex scenes by using less compute-intensive frames, and then apply resolution scaling and temporal anti-aliasing. The result is accelerated performance that provides gamers with a more responsive feel and graphics that look stunning
SharePlay over FaceTime
SharePlay over FaceTime


SharePlay is better across all of Apple's platforms this year, including on the Mac. With macOS Ventura, you'll now be able to hop on a FaceTime call while playing together in your favorite game. If you don't want to use FaceTime, you can be in a Messages chain as well.

Launching as an accessibility feature, macOS Ventura enables the use of buddy controllers. This is when two controllers can be used in tandem as a single controller.

Speaking of controllers, Logitech G920 and Logitech G29 steering wheels are now supported on the Mac too.

Game Center activity feed
Game Center activity feed


Apple has updated Game Center for the Mac which is its social backbone that connects players with their friends. Now there will be a visible activity feed so you can see what others are playing or accomplishments they've unlocked.

Game Center will also show you what's new in Apple Arcade, leaderboards amongst your friends, and any achievements you've unlocked.

New games for the Mac

Announced at WWDC, Apple revealed a few massive games that are finally making their way to macOS. The new titles are EA GRID Legends, Resident Evil Village, and No Man's Sky.

Some of these games are a bit old, but it is still great to see them coming to the Mac at all. Resident Evil and No Man's Sky are incredible AAA hits that have been sorely missed on Apple's computer platform.

Hopefully this signals more large titles will be launching on the Mac in the future.

Coming soon

At the moment, macOS Ventura is currently in developer beta. A public beta is scheduled to be released in July before a full release this fall. Stay tuned to AppleInsider as we walk through more features for Apple's upcoming software updates.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Sounds like they’re 10-16 years behind. Metal 3 is great but if no one wants to use it, who cares?
    elijahgwilliamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 42
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,367member
    I think some of this was Apple's design decisions previously. Now that Jony Ive isn't there Apple can design computers that are function over form instead of the latter. You take that along with Apple creating some pretty powerful SoC's Apple can still achieve what they like with efficiency along with a great design people expect from Apple. Apple is only 1.5 releases into its new silicon and they're already approaching what NVIDIA an ATI can do with their high-end cards. I'd like to see what M2 Pro/Max/Ultra/Extreme is, and even the new M3. Before, Apple didn't seem interested in designing products to use the higher end NVIDIA/ATI chips that would make a Mac decent for gaming. Now Apple has to better tools to work with so they're not put in a massive thermal box without releasing some big bulky Mac that is not only heavy, but also loud. 

    Hopefully M2 and M3 improve on the already impressive GPU gains Apple has seen and long with Metal 3 improvements, AAA gaming studios will be more on board with developing Mac releases in the future.

    I certainly would love to see Apple take more action on gaming. Its a great market, one that will be very tough for them to gain traction in, but perhaps they could get some of it. I would love to get rid of my PC. It gets so hot and its like a big space heater. 
    jas99watto_cobrawilliamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 42
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,251member
    macxpress said:
    I think some of this was Apple's design decisions previously. Now that Jony Ive isn't there Apple can design computers that are function over form instead of the latter. You take that along with Apple creating some pretty powerful SoC's Apple can still achieve what they like with efficiency along with a great design people expect from Apple. Apple is only 1.5 releases into its new silicon and they're already approaching what NVIDIA an ATI can do with their high-end cards. I'd like to see what M2 Pro/Max/Ultra/Extreme is, and even the new M3. Before, Apple didn't seem interested in designing products to use the higher end NVIDIA/ATI chips that would make a Mac decent for gaming. Now Apple has to better tools to work with so they're not put in a massive thermal box without releasing some big bulky Mac that is not only heavy, but also loud. 

    Hopefully M2 and M3 improve on the already impressive GPU gains Apple has seen and long with Metal 3 improvements, AAA gaming studios will be more on board with developing Mac releases in the future.

    I certainly would love to see Apple take more action on gaming. Its a great market, one that will be very tough for them to gain traction in, but perhaps they could get some of it. I would love to get rid of my PC. It gets so hot and its like a big space heater. 
    I don't think Apple is approaching Nvidia or ATI GPU's,
    Apple’s charts set the M1 Ultra up for an RTX 3090 fight it could never win - The Verge
    Please don't benchmark Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3090 Ti against Apple's M1 Ultra | Macworld
    michelb76
  • Reply 4 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,608member
    Beats said:
    Sounds like they’re 10-16 years behind. Metal 3 is great but if no one wants to use it, who cares?
    Exactly this... There are essentially no big game developers writing their engines in Metal, it's nigh-on irrelevant to 99% of the gaming industry. Pissing about with game centre that is used by 3 people is not going to fix the cause of the Mac gaming problem. Doesn't matter what fancy new features Apple adds because anything that might actually use those features is running everything in Vulkan anyway, with MoltenVK translating it into Metal; causing a performance hit over and above the already dismal level of optimisation devs do for Mac games - causing a vicious circle of less Mac gamers -> less games -> less optimisation -> bad performance -> less mac gamers. Macs are way too small a market for developers to spend vast quantities of cash rewriting their game engine in Metal - and this is 100% Apple's fault for being anti-gaming since pretty much day 1. I imagine they hate the fact that most of the App Store revenue comes from games.

    The only AAA games that end up on MacOS are ones that use the Unreal or Unity engines, which do support Metal. And the only reason for support is it is literally a zero cost tickbox. But Apple's spat with Epic is unlikely to be enthusing Epic into pouring resources into UE on Mac, so I wouldn't be that surprised if anti-Mac Cook kicked Mac users in the balls again by goading Epic into dropping Mac support because Cook wants his already solid gold pockets lined further. But that is a different matter.

    Apple would do better to abandon Metal - or at least officially support Vulkan. If they did so, the number of Mac games would explode overnight. When OpenGL was newer, the number of games that used it on Windows and Mac was growing, but it became stale (especially so on macOS as Apple refused to maintain a remotely current version) so then devs started dropping Mac support and now almost no AAA games are released on Mac. Unfortunately Apple's so stubborn they always have do things their own way, even if its to the detriment of developers, their platforms, customers, and ultimately themselves, so this is unlikely to improve anytime soon. 
    Alex1N
  • Reply 5 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,608member
    macxpress said:
    Apple is only 1.5 releases into its new silicon and they're already approaching what NVIDIA an ATI can do with their high-end cards
    They aren't remotely close to what Nvidia and AMD (ATI is long gone) are doing with their high end cards. Not even close. They're streets ahead with efficiency, and what they've managed to cram on a SoC is incredible, but it is not high-end performance. They were hauled over the coals for their misleading "relative performance" M1 GPU comparison.
    macxpress said:
    I'd like to see what M2 Pro/Max/Ultra/Extreme is, and even the new M3. Before, Apple didn't seem interested in designing products to use the higher end NVIDIA/ATI chips that would make a Mac decent for gaming. 

    Well part of the reason for that is they fell out with ATI (at the time) and then had a childish spat with Nvidia. The Intel Macs from about 2014 onwards had crappy AMD graphics, which ran hot and performed like a dog. I have a 2019 i9 iMac with a Radeon Pro Vega 48. It was the best GPU Apple installed at the time, and was one of the best AMD GPUs, but Nvidia's GPUs were still in a different league in both efficiency and performance, and they did a much better job of writing the graphics drivers than Apple does for the AMD GPUs. Also, AMD GPUs have always been roasting hot. 

    Oh and Apple is being so twattish toward Nvidia that they are shafting their own customers again, by refusing to sign the drivers Nvidia is still releasing (or was) for Nvidia GPUs in Macs. So they won't run and Macs with Nvidia cards were stuck on old drivers.
    macxpress said:
    Hopefully M2 and M3 improve on the already impressive GPU gains Apple has seen and long with Metal 3 improvements, AAA gaming studios will be more on board with developing Mac releases in the future.


    I certainly would love to see Apple take more action on gaming. Its a great market, one that will be very tough for them to gain traction in, but perhaps they could get some of it. I would love to get rid of my PC. It gets so hot and its like a big space heater. 
    As I said above, it doesn't matter what Apple does with Metal because no big studio uses it. Apple needs to support Vulkan to get any semblance of parity with Windows gaming.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 6 of 42
    martinxyzmartinxyz Posts: 87member
    Mac users 1984 to mid-2022: Games aren't important. We are creative.
    Mac users mid-2022 on: YEAH GAMES WE GOT EM HAHAHA SUKKIT WINDOZE LUSERS
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 42
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,294member
    No Man's Sky is neither a AAA title nor was it a hit. All the major retailers were giving refunds to people who purchased the game shortly after release. The game has since been improved with numerous updates, but I highly doubt many people are excited to play the game on a Mac. 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 8 of 42
    CheeseFreezeCheeseFreeze Posts: 1,015member
    Lackluster. Apple needs to be serious and acquire larger gaming studios. Have exclusive titles. Spend cash like they do with their film production endeavors.

    Rebrand and update the Apple TV to Apple Home and equip it with an M2 Pro. Package it with a controller and keep pricing sub-$500. Assume to lose money on the hardware, win through content and services.
    elijahgwatto_cobrawilliamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 9 of 42
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    elijahg said:

    As I said above, it doesn't matter what Apple does with Metal because no big studio uses it.
    I see quite a few big games and big studios on this list: https://www.macgamerhq.com/opinion/macos-metal-games/
    Fidonet127watto_cobraAlex1NFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 10 of 42
    AAA gaming is now the smaller market for revenue versus mobile gaming. If anything, Apple is ahead of the curve for making money from gaming versus AAA oriented companies. That's why you see Epic and Microsoft suddenly doing a full-court press of lawmakers and claiming that Apple's mobile operating systems are anti-competitive. They're the ones that are behind.  
    edited July 2 Alex_Vwatto_cobradanoxwilliamlondonFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,608member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:

    As I said above, it doesn't matter what Apple does with Metal because no big studio uses it.
    I see quite a few big games and big studios on this list: https://www.macgamerhq.com/opinion/macos-metal-games/
    No big studio (maybe except Blizzard's WoW) uses Metal directly. They use it via an engine, like Unity or UE, as stated in above post. Pretty much every major game in that list uses Unity or UE.
    edited July 2
  • Reply 12 of 42
    HrebHreb Posts: 27member
    Metal 3 may very well be great, but it does seem like a major (and perilous) assumption that any game developers will care to bring games to macos in the absence of native Vulkan support -- aside from the 3 games already announced of course.  Metal may be well established for mobile games but it is a remote island when it comes to AAA.

    Another glaring omission is the complete lack of support for adaptive sync on external displays.  Apple is years behind in this department.
    elijahgwilliamlondonAlex1N
  • Reply 13 of 42
    neoncatneoncat Posts: 70member
    AAA gaming is now the smaller market for revenue versus mobile gaming. If anything, Apple is ahead of the curve for making money from gaming versus AAA oriented companies. That's why you see Epic and Microsoft suddenly doing a full-court press of lawmakers and claiming that Apple's mobile operating systems are anti-competitive. They're the ones that are behind.  
    Do you enjoy lowest common denominator Match 3 / loot box dynamics? If so, that’s great. Apple platforms are a paradise of said bottom feeding, extracting great big piles of money from people who are otherwise afraid of gaming and big old mean “gamers”. 

    The rest of us won’t contribute one hot cent to that, even if it means we have a house full of Apple products…. except for the items we gsme
    on. 

    Not. one. penny. to the App Store for games. Not now, not ever, as long as it is made up of mobile gaming garbage. You may feel differently. 
    watto_cobrawilliamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 42
    Hreb said:
    Metal 3 may very well be great, but it does seem like a major (and perilous) assumption that any game developers will care to bring games to macos in the absence of native Vulkan support -- aside from the 3 games already announced of course.  Metal may be well established for mobile games but it is a remote island when it comes to AAA.

    Another glaring omission is the complete lack of support for adaptive sync on external displays.  Apple is years behind in this department.
    Metal 3 is compatible with games using DirectX 12, Vulkan and MoltenVK. That was a major point for showing No Man's Sky (Vulkan) and Resident Evil Village (DirectX 12 on Windows). 
     

    edited July 2 Pascalxxwatto_cobrawilliamlondonFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 42
    s.metcalfs.metcalf Posts: 923member
    Unfortunately, I share the pessimism of most commentators here.  There’s been no rush to adopt Apple silicon versions for games that already have Intel Mac versions, let alone those that aren’t on the Mac at all.

    The games that do tend to get Mac versions are usually low-complexity Unity games like various indie titles and other simple board and card games and the like.  Unity itself seems to be the poor-man’s (person’s) engine anyway.  AAA studios usually use their own.

    Cutting support for external video cards has made the situation even worse.  So while the M chips have pretty good graphics compared to Intel integrated, it doesn’t seem to be enough to be altering the gaming environment on Mac.

    Even Apple Arcade, which I think was a good idea and showed some promise initially, seems to be floundering with a relatively low rate of new titles and most of these are fairly budget-looking mobile-type games as it is.
    edited July 2 watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 42
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,236member
    elijahg said:
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:

    As I said above, it doesn't matter what Apple does with Metal because no big studio uses it.
    I see quite a few big games and big studios on this list: https://www.macgamerhq.com/opinion/macos-metal-games/
    No big studio (maybe except Blizzard's WoW) uses Metal directly. They use it via an engine, like Unity or UE, as stated in above post. Pretty much every major game in that list uses Unity or UE.
    Well that’s great. Two of the biggest 3D engines in the industry support Metal.

    Not sure how this is a negative.
    watto_cobramacxpressFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 17 of 42
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,991member
    As we see here today, people who hate Apple in general are always angry with Apple's bad decisions, but that makes no sense. If they really hated Apple they would be happy when Apple made bad decisions, because then hopefully Apple will die. But no, they hate Apple and they hate when Apple makes bad decisions. That's a contradiction.
    elijahgFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 18 of 42
    swat671swat671 Posts: 122member
    I'm just hoping us Intel folks don't get left behind. I'm not ready yet to toss the 7th Gen, 2017 15" MBP I have. It's still running great! 
  • Reply 19 of 42
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,337member
    The (very) old games don’t interest anyone except the corps looking for an easy buck. 

    Let’s see the last couple of destiny 2 expansions, the new resident evil, street fighter 6 9complete with optional controller kit), a horizon forbidden west port, a halo infinite port, a purchase of EA, a purchase of capcom, crytek, star citizen ( followed by actually completing development), etc. 

    roll those into an entirely new Apple Arcade structure and boom. Startup Success.  Revive the old hits like mega man for a new era and run with it. 

    This whole making it easy for devs who don’t care about gaming on the Mac to port their old has-been games to the Mac only ensures that nothing will change. We got an aspirin Deus Ex game what…like 2 YEARS after it was played out in the market…

    Apple should push to do this. Then they’d own the gaming market as well. It would be tough with ms having Bethesda, but it would be a huge market and probably the most trusted gaming ecosystem. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 20 of 42
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,608member
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:
    crowley said:
    elijahg said:

    As I said above, it doesn't matter what Apple does with Metal because no big studio uses it.
    I see quite a few big games and big studios on this list: https://www.macgamerhq.com/opinion/macos-metal-games/
    No big studio (maybe except Blizzard's WoW) uses Metal directly. They use it via an engine, like Unity or UE, as stated in above post. Pretty much every major game in that list uses Unity or UE.
    Well that’s great. Two of the biggest 3D engines in the industry support Metal.

    Not sure how this is a negative.
    Never said it was. But claiming gaming on Mac is "getting better" when this only really improves things for the two major engines which already have Mac support is a bit of a stretch. Very few AAA games use UE/Unity. They mostly all write their own engine around DirectX. People seem to misunderstand that to write an engine in Metal is literally an entire rewrite of the game's core from scratch. Devs just won't see the RoI from that since the Mac gaming market is so tiny.

    Vulkan libraries on MacOS would mean no rewrite is required, and no performance-degrading MoltenVK sat in the middle. One of the main reasons so many OpenGL games came to Mac was that the engine didn't need a rewrite. No reason Apple's can't provide libraries for both, aside from the fact Apple wants devs to be locked in to their proprietary tech.
    edited July 3 Alex1NFileMakerFeller
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