The future of Mac gaming may convert this PC loyalist


Will new gaming gear and Mac hardware win over seasoned PC players?

Since the days of Oregon Trail and other early edu-tainment games, I’ve played games on PC exclusively since I was in elementary school. However, it has been literally decades since I’ve had any need to switch back to Apple products.

It’s also not exactly a closely-kept secret that Apple hasn’t done much to foster gaming on its devices over the past 20 years, except from a few hit mobile games and the occasional independent release.


Since I wouldn’t be able to play the greatest PC games or use my huge Steam library of primarily niche titles—which don’t have the funds to support Mac development for such a limited audience—I had no interest to buy laptops or PCs from the company.

The cycle of developers not releasing games for Macs due to a lack of tools and support, gamers not purchasing Macs due to a lack of titles to play, and Apple not supporting gaming due to a tiny audience continues.

Naturally, this meant that I was a long way from the greatest MacBooks and Macs, so I figured that any games running on macOS must be badly optimized, and the controls are probably just as bad.


Recently, however, we tested the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021), which is regarded as one of the best laptops available, especially when it’s equipped with the Apple M1 Max chip in our test unit, to compare it to the most recent Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2). During this time, I also had the opportunity to try out some of the top Mac games.

To put it mildly, I was pleasantly delighted.

Apple deserves a chance 

So I played some of the top PC games that supported Macs, encompassing a wide range of graphics and gameplay variations, such as World of Horror, Crusader Kings 3, and the original Dying Light. With the exception of the more graphically demanding games’ sporadic framerate hiccups or slowdowns, almost all of them operated without any issues.


The stunning visual quality was by far the nicest feature. More than any other Windows laptop I’ve tested so far, the MacBook’s high-end Liquid Retina XDR display allowed the color palettes and textures to stand out.

The results were nonetheless amazing despite a few small difficulties considering that this laptop wasn’t originally intended for serious gaming. After seeing Apple for so long as sort of a PC gaming afterthought, it was almost frightening to learn how typical the experience was.

The experience may be much better with greater support, but there is currently little justification given the power of Apple silicon. The business still has to spend more money on PC gaming hardware and provide tools and assistance to developers so they can adapt their newest games to Apple desktops and laptops.


The good news is that the digital giant now has a brand-new tool at its disposal that might change the course of events.

Can macOS 13 Ventura usher in a new future for Mac gaming?

A powerful new gaming tool, MetalFX Upscaling, was unveiled during the Apple WWDC 2022 announcement of a new version to their flagship OS, macOS 13 Ventura. It might be a game-changing upgrade to Apple’s Metal rendering API and is essentially the company’s response to Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR).

These techniques produce frames for display at a reduced resolution, then upscale those frames using algorithms and specialized hardware. This lessens the stress placed on a GPU when playing graphically demanding games, and when done correctly, it significantly boosts performance with little effect on graphical fidelity.


And it demonstrates how serious Apple is finally becoming about gaming that it whipped up such a potent feature to compete with its main gaming rival. The most exciting advancement in gaming technology in more than a decade, even more so than ray-tracing, is algorithmic upscaling.

Because these games are not optimized for Apple hardware the way EVE Online is, there were some graphical issues with the more demanding games that I stated previously, despite the M1 Max’s capabilities. However, as rendering at a smaller resolution is far less demanding, many of these problems would go away if MetalFX Upscaling increased frame rate. We still need to see how MetalFX Upscaling performs, but if it’s on par with DLSS or FSR, we could soon witness some genuinely amazing performance that might compete with the greatest gaming laptops.

Some AAA developers are already embracing the Mac. Will more follow?

The collaboration between Resident Evil Village by Capcom and Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is another Apple endeavor that excites me. This both gives Apple two hugely successful AAA games to enhance its gaming catalog, which is one of the Mac’s biggest weaknesses, and utilizes them as high-profile showcases to highlight the capabilities of MetalFX Upscaling.


Additionally, this isn’t the first time a well-known developer has spoken out in favor of Mac gaming. Since the introduction of the M1, EVE Online developers have emphasized how much promise they see in Apple’s products.

Can you imagine using a MacBook Pro or even a MacBook Air to play AAA games with high visual demands? I had never thought about it before, but it’s not only a very real possibility; it’s already occurring. I’m interested to see how Apple will do with this new turn in technology.

If it does, consider myself a brand-new Mac gaming convert.


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