Gaming on the Mac has yet to really take off for a variety of reasons, but 2022 looks like we might start to see that shift. Apple’s M1 chips have a lot of potential, and while they don’t rival the current ones, GPUs when it comes to gaming (opens in new tab)gave Mac gamers some hope for the future.
Now, at Apple’s WWDC event, the company is poised to offer a more surprising gaming-specific technology. Along with its new M2 chip, Apple announced what it’s calling Upscaling MetalFX (opens in new tab) to work with the proprietary Metal 3 graphics framework for macs.
It is described as a temporal reconstruction system that allows for upscaling of low resolution graphics to help games run more smoothly. There’s also the ability to load intensive assets directly from the GPU, thanks to another API.
This looks a lot like other PC upscaling offerings like Nvidia’s DLSS or AMD’s FidelityFX. I hope the process is similar enough that it’s easy for developers to integrate it into future projects.
We won’t have to wait long to see these new Apple gaming initiatives in action. The first games we will see using this MetalFX Upscaling will be No Man’s Sky and Resident Evil Village. Both are slated to release on macOS later this year, so at least those looking to upgrade will have something to play with.
When it comes to the social side of gaming, Apple has introduced an activity feature in Game Center. This will allow compatible games to share information such as which games you are currently playing and your achievements or scores with your friends in the app. It will also work with Apple’s SharePlay, which is tightly integrated into Apple’s ecosystem.
Game Center could be expanding to become a much more robust social hub for gaming on the Mac, and that combined with real games to play could really see a rise in the popularity of games on the platform. if 2022 is the year of the Steam Deck, (opens in new tab) perhaps 2023 is even more surprising with the year of Mac gaming.