With macOS Sonoma, the next version of its operating system, Apple intends to revolutionize the porting of Windows games to Mac. For good reason, the process will be greatly facilitated thanks to a dedicated tool called Gaming Porting Tool.
This Monday, June 5, 2023, Apple occupied the media scene with its new WWDC 2023 conference. During this high mass dedicated to developers, the apple brand presented its future products, starting with macOS Sonoma, the next version of its operating system.
macOS Sonoma already promises to many new featuressuch as these interactive widgets, advanced and smarter video conferencing tools, a complete overhaul of the Safari internet browser and even improved accessibility options.
But what we remember above all, these are the novelties centered around gaming. For the time being, Mac players are used to trying Windows PC games via various open-source tools such as Wine, Crossover or Parallels. And. can you imagine that Apple has finally decided to offer its own proprietary tool: the Game Porting Tool.
Apple wants to revolutionize the port of Windows games on Mac
Behind this name is actually hidden a game porting toolkit, similar to what we find at Valve with Proton and the Steam Deck. For simplicity, Apple’s tool instantly translates Windows games to run on macOS.
“The new Game Porting Toolkit provides an emulation environment to run your existing unmodified Windows game and you can use it to quickly understand the graphics feature usage and potential performance of your game when running on a Mac” , summarizes Aiswariya Sreenivassan, project manager for GPUs at Apple.
Apple’s new Game Porting Toolkit translates Intel-based x86 instructions and Windows APIs to Apple Silicon. As for the APIs related to the keyboard-mouse, joysticks, audio playback, network or even the file system and Direct3D are all translated to corresponding APIslike Metal 3, in macOS.
A first step to develop native versions
This way, both developers and resourceful users can try out Windows games on macOS. According to Apple, this is mainly a first step to evaluate the performance of a Windows game on macOS before considering a native version of the title.
The Game Porting Toolkit being available for download at GitHub, some users have already tried some titles like Cyberpunk 2077 on a MacBook Pro M1, Diablo IV on a MacBook Pro M1 Max or Hogwarts Legacy on an M2 Max. The first results are rather promising, even if we note obviously some bugs and performance issues.
Anyway, we feel that Apple wants to convince developers to return to Mac with macOS Sonoma. In addition to the Gaming Porting Toolkit, the latest version of the OS also contains a new game modewhich allows titles to get priority access to the GPU and CPU for better performance.