Apple making the case that Apple Silicon Mac & iPhone are great gaming machines

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited February 2023
Apple held a surprise, invite-only event on Thursday to showcase some games coming to its devices in 2023, and they aren't limited to Apple Arcade.

Gaming on a Mac
Gaming on a Mac


They include titles such as Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile, Run Legends, Lego Starwars castaways, Honkai: Star Rail, and The Medium. Apple showed off games running on an Apple TV and The Medium, which ran natively on Macs.

Invitees included CNN, Tom's Guide, as well as YouTube personalities such as Jacklyn Dallas who wrote about the experience on her Instagram.

"Yesterday I went to an Apple event that truly left me SOOOO inspired and excited !!!!" wrote Dallas. "It was a bunch of developers that are making apps for Apple arcade and Mac. Games are so special to me because they can transcend cultural differences and are so based in storytelling and having fun."

Devices running Apple Silicon chips have plenty of power for gaming and other tasks. For example, in one demo, Apple showed The Medium running on a new M2 Mac mini.

CNN's Mike Andronico wrote how smoothly he could play the game in 4K resolution and possibly at 60 frames-per-second.

"While developer Bloober Team couldn't speak to specific performance numbers," he said, "the company noted that the game has been tested on both M1 and M2-powered Macs, and should run well on even the basic 2020 MacBook Air."

After the launch of macOS Ventura, Apple started to focus on how it's improving the experience of gaming on the Mac. For instance, the launch of Metal 3 -- Apple's graphics framework -- can tap into a Mac's GPU to significantly upgrade gaming visuals.

The company also has MetalFX Upscaling technology that allows developers to quickly render complex scenes using less compute-intensive frames and then apply resolution scaling and temporal anti-aliasing.

Accelerated performance and gorgeous graphics are the results, giving gamers a more responsive gaming experience.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Getting the big names in gaming to support Apple Silicon is going to time and a whole lot of money. About the only way they will convince gamers themselves is to come up with a Mac that will wipe the floor with their custom setups. Can that ever happen? Maybe, IF Apple decides it’s worth it and is willing to apply the resources.

    My opinion? They aren’t willing.
    thtentropyswilliamlondonravnorodomOferFileMakerFellerbala1234
  • Reply 2 of 55
    great to see that Apple is putting some resources into promoting gaming on their platforms.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 55
    lkrupp said:
    Getting the big names in gaming to support Apple Silicon is going to time and a whole lot of money. About the only way they will convince gamers themselves is to come up with a Mac that will wipe the floor with their custom setups. Can that ever happen? Maybe, IF Apple decides it’s worth it and is willing to apply the resources.

    My opinion? They aren’t willing.
    Come on, Two options?  AppleTV ($149) or M2 MacMini ($599)

    That's pretty compelling especially by the time a PS6 or XboxZ /s comes out, and they can't delivery enough units, and Apple could blow them away?  Looks tasty to me...
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 55
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 431administrator
    Games are a hits-driven business and when 95% of hit titles don't even run on your platform then you're not a "great" gaming machine. Once in a blue moon you'll get a AAA title years late, but even in the most recent case, the Mac version of RE:VIII is one of the worst looking versions of that game you can play. 

    Also, Bloober team is... rough. Layers of Fear was a great horror game (some may say the best), but the 5 or so titles they've done since have been pretty mediocre-to-bad. Observer probably gets a nod, but that's about it. I don't think anybody has faith they will do a good job with the SH2 remake.

    The MetalFX stuff is good (and needed for the resolution Apple pushes in their monitors), but it's generations behind what DLSS offers at this point. If Apple were serious they would bootstrap a solution based off the work being done on the Linux side of things (Wine/DXVK/VKD3D etc.) instead of trying to get developers to port to their proprietary APIs which will never happen en masse. 

    Apple has *never* actually been serious about gaming, but it would be cool to see that change.
    thtentropyswilliamlondonOferelijahgappleinsideruserwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidtFileMakerFellerprogrammer
  • Reply 5 of 55
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,043member
    jSnively said:
    Games are a hits-driven business and when 95% of hit titles don't even run on your platform then you're not a "great" gaming machine. Once in a blue moon you'll get a AAA title years late, but even in the most recent case, the Mac version of RE:VIII is one of the worst looking versions of that game you can play. 

    Also, Bloober team is... rough. Layers of Fear was a great horror game (some may say the best), but the 5 or so titles they've done since have been pretty mediocre-to-bad. Observer probably gets a nod, but that's about it. I don't think anybody has faith they will do a good job with the SH2 remake.

    The MetalFX stuff is good (and needed for the resolution Apple pushes in their monitors), but it's generations behind what DLSS offers at this point. If Apple were serious they would bootstrap a solution based off the work being done on the Linux side of things (Wine/DXVK/VKD3D etc.) instead of trying to get developers to port to their proprietary APIs which will never happen en masse. 

    Apple has *never* actually been serious about gaming, but it would be cool to see that change.
    Apple play, Long and do not become dependent on third-party outfits, do what you need to do behind the scenes. In short continue to stay vertical in computing.
    edited February 2023 williamlondonwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 55
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,212member
    If Apple was actually serious about gaming it would set up its own studio and buy a killer game, make it apple silicon exclusive, then start writing follow ups itself, all written and operating natively in metal.  Exactly same strategy as Microsoft did with the originally Mac OS developed Halo to get people to buy Xbox.

    I would regard that as just as important as the Linux approach suggested by Mr Snively.  

    Apple  would probably also need to have Apple silicon able to do ray tracing.

    edited February 2023 jSnivelyravnorodomOferblastdoorwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 55
    Apple wrecked the entire mobile gaming experience with in app purchases and ads. It’s useful sometimes to unlock a full game, but it’s mainly misused to trick kids into many many micro purchases. 
    Some games don’t even let you play for one second without begging you to pay “only” $3.99 to unlock a box of points or a different outfit for your stupid character. 
    Or “only” $6.99 to unlock a bigger piggy bank. And sadly that’s only the very tip of the iceberg. The “upgrades” never end. And at the end of the day kids only end up with hundreds of dollars of “upgrades” for some game that is quickly becoming outdated and will soon lose their interest. 
    williamlondonravnorodomOferelijahgmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 55
    xbitxbit Posts: 391member
    The two games I've played that were fully optimised for Apple Silicon - Disco Elysium and Total War: Warhammer III - played beautifully. It's definitely not the hardware that's holding Mac gaming back.
    ravnorodomwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidtFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 9 of 55
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,866moderator
    lkrupp said:
    Getting the big names in gaming to support Apple Silicon is going to time and a whole lot of money. About the only way they will convince gamers themselves is to come up with a Mac that will wipe the floor with their custom setups. Can that ever happen? Maybe, IF Apple decides it’s worth it and is willing to apply the resources.

    My opinion? They aren’t willing.
    Maybe there's an Apple Silicon gaming system in the pipeline.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 55
    xbit said:
    The two games I've played that were fully optimised for Apple Silicon - Disco Elysium and Total War: Warhammer III - played beautifully. It's definitely not the hardware that's holding Mac gaming back.
    I believe what's holding Mac back is hardware cost and lack of upgrading capability. With these factors, there will always be niche users for Mac OS.
    edited February 2023 elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 55
    xbit said:
    The two games I've played that were fully optimised for Apple Silicon - Disco Elysium and Total War: Warhammer III - played beautifully. It's definitely not the hardware that's holding Mac gaming back.
    Both games should not stress a system that much, so it's not saying a lot about hardware. Apple choose Metal and the windows/gaming industry choose Vulkan. A big issue is software/library support, and an hardware/gpu upgrade path which is non-existent for the foreseeable future. Even if all that would be in place perfectly, it's going to be a chicken-egg problem, because games will need to be bought. So either Apple heavily subsidises makers, much like Microsoft and Sony do for AAA titles, or it's not going to happen.
    williamlondonelijahgwatto_cobraentropys
  • Reply 12 of 55
    jSnively said: Apple has *never* actually been serious about gaming, but it would be cool to see that change.
    Surprised people are still trying to frame it this way. The reality in gaming is that MOBILE is now larger for revenue than consoles + PC combined, so Apple is doing quite well really. They're a major player in the largest segment of the industry and their approach per Apple Arcade makes perfect sense given that fact. Sure, they're still well behind when it comes to AAA games but that part is less important than people think. 
    williamlondondanoxwatto_cobraFileMakerFellerfastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 55
    OferOfer Posts: 259unconfirmed, member
    entropys said:
    If Apple was actually serious about gaming it would set up its own studio and buy a killer game, make it apple silicon exclusive, then start writing follow ups itself, all written and operating natively in metal.  Exactly same strategy as Microsoft did with the originally Mac OS developed Halo to get people to buy Xbox.

    I would regard that as just as important as the Linux approach suggested by Mr Snively.  

    Apple  would probably also need to have Apple silicon able to do ray tracing.

    Agreed on all of the above! Sadly I don’t see Apple doing any of this. They’ll pay lip service to gaming without doing what’s actually needed to make the Apple ecosystem a serious gaming environment.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 55
    Ofer said: serious gaming environment.
    Serious gaming environment = AAA games = smaller market than mobile. Why do people think the smaller market is more important? It's not unimportant, but the days of it being considered the primary segment in gaming are long gone. That's why Epic and Microsoft suddenly started whining about iOS to the courts and legislators. They're the ones that missed the boat, not Apple. 
    williamlondondanoxwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 15 of 55
    Games were
    Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile
    Honkai: Star Rail
    Lego Starwars castaways 
    Run Legends 
    The Medium
    Tell me you don't care about games without telling me that you don't care about games.
    williamlondonJapheyjSnivelyblastdoorwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 16 of 55
    Apple IMHO hasn’t taken computer gaming seriously since Bungie up and sold themselves to Microsoft just as Halo was getting ready to be released as a multi platform, multiplayer game and not a FPS as it is today. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 55
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,675member
    I don't care about games, but there is no reason any successful game on iPhone or iPad can't be ported to Mx Macs.  It avoids all of the "too hard to port from Windows/x86 to Apple Silicon" argument, if anyone has ever actually said this.

    I think Apple's problem is that Macs market share is just too small to be even worth trying.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 55
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,780member
    Using a completely different API to the Windows (and Linux) world is a big reason. Vulkcan is everywhere on non-Apple platforms, and a lot of devs know it inside out. Apple are the sole providers of Metal, and unless MoltenVK or a cross platform engine like Unity or Unreal Engine is used, porting from Vulkan to MEtal is a massive rewrite of most if not all of the game's engine. MoltenVK of course has performance implications too. It's just not worth it for devs to support what is a tiny platform for gaming, unless it's little more than a tickbox.

    Apple's historic antipathy to gaming has always irked devs, such as refusing to support anything past OpenGL 4.1, even at a time when Metal was far from usable or stable. OpenGL was around 5 years out of date at this point. But now, all of a sudden, Macs are gaming machines? Yeah, sorry, there's more to it than "look it's got a good GPU!".

    Jobs apparently didn't really like the fact that games became a big part of the App Store. He wasn't really too keen on them, from what I recall reading somewhere. That seems to still be in Apple's DNA today, unfortunately.
    jSnivelywatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 19 of 55
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 431administrator
    jSnively said: Apple has *never* actually been serious about gaming, but it would be cool to see that change.
    Surprised people are still trying to frame it this way. The reality in gaming is that MOBILE is now larger for revenue than consoles + PC combined, so Apple is doing quite well really. They're a major player in the largest segment of the industry and their approach per Apple Arcade makes perfect sense given that fact. Sure, they're still well behind when it comes to AAA games but that part is less important than people think. 
    While true, I think there's maybe a language disconnect. When I say they don't take gaming "seriously" I am talking about embracing and enabling the medium itself. I'm not talking about profit margins and revenue streams. Arguments for innovation outside of pure technological grunt are valid (look at Nintendo for the prime example), but they're not doing that either. 

    Let's not forget that this is nothing new for Apple. They always dog-and-pony show something every handful of years, but it's always a gigantic nothing burger. We get one or two games ported and it's over. I would love to see them make a real pivot with the AppleTV in this space, but I don't think they ever will. Apple has always viewed games as just 'more software' and they have never looked at it as the unique storytelling medium that it is.

    It's the same cycle with them when it comes to games again and again and again.
    watto_cobrabeowulfschmidtFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 20 of 55
    Here’s a theory... mac gaming is smaller than WinPC gaming for one simple reason — all the cheater hacks are designed for WinPC. 

    Casual gaming has thrived on handhelds/phones/consoles because it’s nearly impossible to apply cheats, so attracts a different audience. 

    It has nearly zero to do with what Apple does or doesn’t do for gamers or game devs. It’s simple a matter of cheat culture centering around WinPC … exactly where you’d expect 80% of the little turds to be.

    (Just look at how many console players turn off cross-play options. Particularly for FPS.)

    What about before the rise of easy hacks and mods, you say? Cheat culture rose out of the pirate software culture. WinPC gaming won because it’s (still) easier to pirate Windows software. 
    edited February 2023 danoxwatto_cobra
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