Play More Windows Games on Mac with Apple’s New Toolkit [VIDEO]

diablo 4 mac

In an exciting development for game developers worldwide, Apple has unveiled a new tool suite aimed at streamlining the process of bringing high-end Windows games to the Mac platform.

A recent series of 2023 WWDC sessions has sought to introduce and guide developers through the innovative Game Porting Toolkit and Metal Shader Converter, both of which significantly expedite the game porting process.

The process traditionally involves extensive steps such as recompiling source code, converting custom shaders from High-Level Shader Language (HLSL), reimplementing the graphics subsystem, and converting the use of audio, input, display, and High Dynamic Range (HDR) rendering. However, with the new toolkit and converter, developers can now see their game’s first scene running on a Mac platform much earlier.

This advancement is particularly useful for the current generation of Windows games, many of which leverage advanced graphical techniques like tessellation and geometry shaders. The Game Porting Toolkit translates the game’s Intel instructions and its use of Windows APIs for a range of features including keyboard, mouse, controller input, audio playback, networking, and file system use.

Developers can use this toolkit to evaluate the graphics feature usage and performance potential of their game when running on a Mac. This way, they gain insights into the performance and potential issues of the game without needing to do any actual porting.

Moreover, the Metal Shader Converter aids in automatically converting all existing HLSL GPU shaders to Metal, which considerably reduces the time spent in bringing shaders and graphics to Mac. This move allows developers to ship their games sooner and yet gives them more time to exploit the unique features of Mac and Apple Silicon.

Apple employee Aiswariya demonstrated the toolkit’s power using Bloober’s recent game, “The Medium.” After using the Game Porting Toolkit, Bloober was able to get an understanding of how their game would run on Mac, even seeing improvements in frame rate when making optimal use of Metal 3 and Apple Silicon.

In addition to the technical aspects, Aiswariya also emphasized the importance of porting game’s audio and user inputs natively, as well as the opportunity to leverage Apple’s built-in display features to provide a more immersive gaming experience.

Here are the WWDC sessions on How to bring your game to Mac:

The conclusion from these presentations is clear: with the Game Porting Toolkit and Metal Shader Converter, bringing games to the Mac is now more accessible than ever. Apple looks forward to seeing developers use these tools and is excited to play their games on the Mac.

Some developers didn’t skip a beat in trying this out. One Redditor already showed Diablo IV running on an M1 Max 14-inch MacBook Pro on macOS Ventura 13.4:

Diablo IV on M1 Max (MBP 14″) using MacOS Ventura (13.4)
by u/LayerKey in macgaming

Others have shared that they are playing Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077, Hogwarts Legacy, Counterstrike 2, Spiderman, Warfare and more on their Macs, thanks to the new game porting toolkit, making it easier than ever to port top Windows games to the Macs.

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