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Is Mac on the verge of a gaming revolution?

Mac gaming has always been a bit of a punchline, despite Apple’s best efforts. The fundamental problem is that it takes substantial development resources to bring games over to the platform, which occupies a small fraction of the computing market. Every year a few high-profile games are trickled out, while most other titles skip macOS entirely – but that might be changing.

Apple recently released a tool called the Game Porting Toolkit (GPT), which simulates a Windows environment and translates DirectX API calls to Apple’s own Metal API, all the while translating x86 instructions to Apple Silicon’s ARM instruction set. It’s effectively a translation layer, like Valve’s Proton on Steam Deck, with the same capability to run high-end games at playable frame-rates. But how good is GPT – and are we really on the verge of a Mac gaming revolution?

Actually getting the Game Porting Toolkit set up on a modern Mac computer is a fairly simple process – just upgrade to macOS 14 Sonoma and download Whisky, which is a graphical interface by developer Isaac Marovitz for the Game Porting Toolkit. From there, download the disk image file for the Game Porting Toolkit, boot Whisky and drop it in.

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