Apple makes a play for gamers with Metal 3 and more game controller support


Apple makes a play for gamers with Metal 3 and more game controller support
Craig Federighi, Apple software chief, made a pitch for more Mac and iPad gaming at WWDC22.
Screenshot: Apple
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Mac is not the preferred platform for most gamers, but Metal 3 in macOS Ventura shows Apple hasn’t given up. And iPadOS 16 is getting support for a wider range of game controllers.

These are just a couple of gaming features Apple is bringing to Mac and iPad.

Better gaming with Metal 3 in macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16

All work and no play makes Mac a dull boy. But there’s no way around it, top games are reserved for PC and consoles. There are reasons that stretch back for decades, but the result is that Mac is great for many things, but not gaming. Apple keeps trying, though.

Its latest effort is Metal 3, a new version of the software that powers hardware-accelerated gaming on Apple platforms.

It includes MetalFX Upscaling, which “enables developers to quickly render complex scenes by using less compute-intensive frames, and then apply resolution scaling and temporal anti-aliasing.” The promise is more responsive games with beautiful graphics.

There’s also a Fast Resource Loading API that minimizes wait times.

Metal 3 is coming to both macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. And it’ll be used in Capcom’s Resident Evil Village when it comes to the Mac.

More types of game controllers in iPadOS 16

iPads can already use Playstation and Xbox game controllers, and the variety of these supported by Apple devices is growing. Apple says, “Many additional Bluetooth and USB game controllers are supported by the Game Controller framework on macOS 13, iOS 16, and tvOS 16 and later.”

The first iPadOS 16 beta is out, and testers found that it supports Nintendo Switch Pro controllers.

New Game Center collaboration features

Game Center lets Mac, iPad and iPhone users easily share their high scores. And it’s getting new features to be more collaborative.

A redesigned dashboard allows players to see which games their friends are playing. “We’re bringing Activity to the Game Center dashboard,” said Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, during Apple’s WWDC22 keynote on Monday. “You can see what your friends are playing, highlights of their achievements, and even find out when they beat your high score.”

And with SharePlay integration, players can start multiplayer games with friends during a FaceTime call. “In a multiplayer game using Game Center, just start a SharePlay session and bring your friends right in,” said Federighi.

None of this will guarantee that Mac will become more of choice for games. But, if nothing else, Apple can console itself with the fact that iPhone and Android gaming bring in far more money than PC and console combined.


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