Apple wants to boost macOS for gaming with Game Porting Toolkit

The computers Macwhich preinstall the operating system macOS, they have never been especially oriented to video games, and despite this, they continue to occupy second place within the sector, far behind the ubiquitous Windows. However, in the near future the situation could change if we see some announcements that have occurred in the last few days.

To begin with, Hideo Kojima himself was seen at WWDC 2023 to announce that Death Stranding Director’s Cut is coming to macOS and has left the door for future iterations of the franchise to reach said operating system. It is not clear if it is a port native or if a translation layer will be used to run the game, but everything indicates that it will be the first to see everything that Apple has exposed in this regard.

In fact, Apple itself announced the same day Game Porting Toolkita toolkit designed to allow developers of Windows games to determine how easy and fast a game runs on macOS for the possible purpose of porting it to that system.

Some of the details about the Game Porting Toolkit have been posted on the official blog of CodeWeavers, the company behind Wine’s well-known commercial implementation, CrossOver, but the actual developer of the toolkit is Apple, whereas CodeWeavers, which at least Currently not involved in its development, has praised the giant of the bitten apple for using CrossOver for the creation of Game Porting Toolkit.

Diablo IV on M2 Max using macOS Sonoma and game porting toolkit
by u/just_reload_it in macgaming

Game Porting Toolkit consists basically in a patch of about 20,000 lines of code for Wine that makes it easier to run triple-A games for Windows on macOS. This approach is very reminiscent of the one used by Valve in the development of Proton, a compatibility layer for Linux based on the same Wine and created with the same objective.

However, while in Proton all there is are translation processes, with Game Porting Toolkit you add architecture emulation by running software compiled for x86 on ARM. The toolkit includes the Metal Shader Converter, which takes care of automatically converting the shaders HLSL to Metal, Apple’s own graphics API.

Hogwarts Legacy on M2 Max
by u/just_reload_it in macgaming

Game Porting Toolkit will not fulfill the same function as Proton or what amounts to the same, its purpose is not to become the standard way to play games on macOS, but rather as a first step to test feasibility or ease and then start the process of porting a game to Apple’s desktop operating system.

Phase that Game Porting Toolkit would occupy in the development of a port for macOS of a video game made for Windows

Phase that Game Porting Toolkit would occupy in the development of a port for macOS of a video game made for Windows.

We’ll see how far the Game Porting Toolkit goes, but some are already speculating that Valve will adopt it as a means to run Windows games on macOS without having to do a port native. This possibility is not unreasonable when you consider that the Proton build for Mac was discontinued years ago.

If anything has become clear at WWDC 2023, it is that the head of Mac equipment is determined to take the triple-A gaming scene seriously after launching Apple Arcade in 2019.

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