The Bright Future of Gaming on Mac

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    Nov 22, 2023, 8:10 am1k pts

    As great as Apple systems are, there is one area in the modern day where they often fall behind: the computer gaming space. While mobile games run fantastically well on iPhones and iPads, Mac desktops and laptops have failed to keep pace. A pattern of falling behind has been the case for years now, but the winds of change are blowing, and the next few years look to be ones when Macs finally regain gaming ground.

    The Strong Start

    Macs weren't always playing second fiddle in the gaming space. There was a day, many years ago when Macs were one of the best gaming platforms. Famous titles like Myst and Marathon got their start on Macintosh systems, earning legacies and driving successful companies that still exist to this day. If you ever enjoyed the Halo or Destiny series, you have Bungie's origins on the Mac to thank, as these games helped shape the entire industry.

    A Change of Focus

    If early Mac games were so successful, why did the platform eventually shift in its focus? The first answer comes from the forward-thinking approach adopted by its major competitor Microsoft with Windows 95. After evolving from DOS, which was also a strong gaming operating system, Microsoft eventually introduced the gaming API Direct X into all subsequent Windows releases. Aided by the support of Doom, a game that was once installed on more machines than Windows, Microsoft gained an edge.

    The lead of Microsoft was lengthened through PC support of third-party hardware. While Apple systems are closed and thus more reliable, they're also less flexible to build. Gamers on PC could more freely upgrade and swap components, providing greater gaming flexibility at the cost of greater complexity (and often frustrations). Over time, both of these elements eventually caused Apple to fall behind.

    Entering a New Age

    While AAA video gaming has been lacking in the Mac space, it's worth remembering that browser gaming on Mac never lets up. Casino online experiences have been a prime example, with games like The Wild Gang and Fire Joker running at peak performance on Mac platforms. Just as with iPhones and iPads, these offered full functionality without compromise, so Apple never gave up on the concept entirely.

    More recently, it's been the release of the Game Porting Toolkit for Mac that has set the Mac gaming world on fire. These tools allow both developers and gamers a far more streamlined approach to converting titles onto Apple's operating systems. For both cutting-edge new releases and thousands of older titles that never saw official ports, this toolkit has opened the floodgate of potential.

    Driving this potential even further is Mac's recent enormous leaps forward in processing chip development. The recently released M3 is one of the most impressive desktop chips ever released, allowing Macs to run even the most demanding PC titles. It's a two-pronged approach of hardware and software, and it's about to pay off big time.

    With the success of the Game Porting Toolkit and the power of modern Mac chips, Mac is extremely likely to see a resurgence in official new game releases. Instead of waiting for poorly performing hack jobs, we're in for a new generation of games, and access to huge libraries that Mac players once missed. It's an exciting time no matter how you like to play, and the future's only getting brighter.


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