Without adequate game support, MacBooks are half as useful as they ought to be…
Apple is still uninterested in gaming on the Mac, which is a huge letdown — not just for you, but also for your wallet, which just spent a lot of money on a system that will only utilize about half of its power potential.
You may recall that I wrote an article last year about how Apple should care about gaming, arguing that if the company invested in making the Mac platform a fertile one for bringing the best of PC gaming to it natively, it would exponentially increase the value of the MacBook you just purchased.
The article exploded on Reddit (shout-out), with many people sharing my opinion. Why should we need to purchase a second computer (or console) for gaming when it’s obvious that the Mac is capable of doing everything?
You want your shiny, expensive new laptop to be able to do everything, especially when you see that Apple’s SOCs are capable of competing with RTX 3080 systems on the prosumer productivity front. However, that is currently impossible, and the company continues to stall, so let’s take a closer look.
What has transpired over the past year?
Exactly one significant event has occurred. Resident Evil Village is now available for the Mac and runs natively on Apple hardware. I was particularly enthusiastic about this positive development while in Barcelona.
It’s a pretty good demonstration of the capabilities of the company’s MetalFX upscaling, which rivals PC’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR in terms of rendering the game at a lower resolution and upscaling it to improve graphics performance and frame rate.
The fact that it was given such a prominent position at this year’s WWDC gave me a glimmer of hope that someone at Apple HQ was beginning to spearhead efforts to make gaming a major selling point for the company’s Mac hardware.
Then followed silence. The launch has passed, and all we’ve heard since is this singular game announcement. It has become evident that this was merely an attempt to attract developers by demonstrating Capcom’s interest in the platform, but this is insufficient.
What does this signifier?
Simple, it complicates the decision of which laptop to purchase as a creative professional or otherwise. As stated previously, you want your laptop to be capable of everything; after all, you’re spending a lot of money on it.
Because I can quickly edit/process/export video with Final Cut Pro is not sufficient justification. It must be a companion capable of entertaining you and assisting you with tasks. For those who want to relax and play games after a long day of recording and mixing on Logic Pro, the MacBook Pro becomes increasingly difficult to recommend.
In addition to that laptop, you’ll need to purchase a device capable of running all of your desired games; at that point, why bother paying for a Mac? There is a capable suite of creative software options for Windows, allowing you to have a single device that excels at both tasks, such as the Asus ROG Flow X16.
No, game streaming is not the solution. I understand that it’s a thing and that you can play games via it on a Mac, but it’s another minefield of latency and performance issues.
Now is the time to think differently
The Mac gaming market is distinct from iOS; you cannot simply install an app store and expect AAA developers to flock to it. You must do more than that, as I suggested in a simple to-do list at the end of my previous piece, so let’s review what you’ve accomplished:
- Increase Apple Arcade Apple Arcade is already an incredible platform for showcasing the best iOS games (and some casual Mac games). I would gladly pay a premium for a tier that includes more traditional, high-budget games.
- Encourage Mac game development IN PROGRESS: Apple deserves credit for inviting Capcom to WWDC to promote Mac game development. It’s a step in the right direction, but it needs to be followed by steps that are considerably more appealing.
- Purchase some exclusives NOT DONE: At this point, given the company’s market capitalization, Apple could go all Thanos on Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo if it so desired. That would be a foolish business decision, but it would not be foolish to strategically pay for AAA game ports or even pay for exclusives.
Because, despite the adoration we have for MacBooks (and how much I adore my M1 MacBook Pro for getting things done), it is inadequate for the needs of many individuals to work during the day and play at night. For the remaining portion, I had to purchase a Steam Deck.
Apple, this is not a dig at the Deck, but my MacBook has the power potential to play good games. Unlock it and reveal the true value of your systems, as opposed to hiding it.
Because Apple has claimed gaming is important in interviews surrounding this new generation of Apple Silicon Macs. Now that it’s a little late, it’s time for the company to put its words into action.