One of the new features in macOS Sonoma is Game Mode, which Apple claims improves gaming performance on Apple Silicon Macs. But there’s something else Apple is doing to turn the Mac into a gaming platform, and that includes letting developers easily port Windows games to the Mac with its new Game Porting Tool. Read on as we detail how Game Mode and Game Porting Tool work.
Running Windows games on macOS isn’t exactly a new thing. There are platforms like Wine and Crossover that translate APIs from Microsoft’s operating system so that Mac computers can run Windows software. With macOS Sonoma, Apple is implementing similar solutions directly into the system, so it will be easier for developers to bring PC games to the Mac.
The company has released a new game transfer tool, which will help developers get their games running on Mac with little or no effort. Interestingly, Apple’s game porting tool is based on Wine, an open source platform that translates Windows programs into Unix environments (such as macOS and Linux).
But Apple does more than just run these games on macOS. As explained by the company, the Game Porting Tool is also capable of translating DirectX 12 to Metal 3. For those unfamiliar, DirectX is an API available on Windows and Xbox consoles that handles graphics rendering and game sounds, similar to an API. Apple metal.
Build a native macOS game
Some games can run just fine without a single change in the code. Apple used Medium as an example. However, the company notes that the original macOS version of the game runs better with almost twice the frame rate on the same device. That’s why Apple encourages developers to do more than just run localized versions of their Windows games.
After using the Game Porting Tool to test a Windows game on macOS, developers can use new tools to convert DirectX graphics to Metal. As a result, the game can be run locally with much better performance. The macOS Sonoma SDK also helps developers take advantage of other native system features, such as support for game consoles, spatial audio, and HDR video.
In addition to the Game Porting Tool, developers can take advantage of Game Mode, which is built into macOS Sonoma. According to Apple, when Game Mode is active, “the system prioritizes the advanced game playing experience.”
Bluetooth latency for AirPods has been significantly reduced, Bluetooth sampling rate has doubled for PlavStation and Xbox consoles, and the game receives higher GPU and CPU priority – resulting in more stable and sustainable frame rates. All of this happens automatically for macOS apps with a game entitlement.
It is contained
The Mac has never been known as a gaming platform, but Apple wants to change that. Now with Apple Silicon chips, Macs are more powerful than ever. Apple is trying to show developers that their games are worth bringing to macOS. And of course, this will end up adding significant value to the platform.
macOS Sonoma is currently available as a beta to developers. The public beta will launch next month, while the official release is expected this fall. More details about the trial version can be found at Apple Developer website.
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