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Apple introduces ‘Game Mode’ for Macs and Macbooks

Game Mode will aid Apple computers in prioritising gameplay and smooth performance.
Apple macOS Sonoma Game Mode Macbook iMac Mac Pro

As part of the 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple revealed a new ‘Game Mode‘ for its upcoming macOS Sonoma operating system, which will enhance the performance of graphically demanding video games on Mac computers, like its Macbooks, iMacs, and Mac Pros.

In 2020, the company’s introduced a new line of Apple Silicon chips to its line of laptops and desktops, dramatically increasing the graphical rendering capabilities of Mac computers, and allowing modern, demanding video games to run with impressive performance. We were previously impressed by how a modern MacBook Pro outperformed several dedicated PC gaming laptops.

Game Mode will be a function that boosts the performance of any game running on the operating system, making sure the computer’s GPU and CPU are prioritising the application in question, while reducing the demands of any other application running in the background. The ideal result is that any game running will have the capacity to run at higher fidelity, with higher framerates, resulting in a smoother experience.

The mode sounds similar to functions shared on dedicated gaming PCs and laptops, usually termed as a ‘Turbo’ or ‘Performance’ mode. However, it sounds like this will become a natural part of the Mac operating system, and all Mac computers.

Read: Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2022) review

Game Mode on Mac will also reportedly work to lower the latency in Bluetooth connections, including reduced audio latency for Apple‘s AirPods (and presumably other Bluetooth headphones), as well as ‘significantly’ reducing input latency for game controllers, such as those from PlayStation and Xbox consoles, when connected over Bluetooth. Apple purports that the Bluetooth sampling rate for controllers will be doubled in Game Mode.

Apple also announced the Metal Game Porting Toolkit for game developers designed to help them port their existing games on other platforms to the macOS ecosystem, with a ‘quicker evaluation’ to determine how much work needs to be done, as well as simpler conversion processes for shaders and graphics code.

Elsewhere in the presentation, Hideo Kojima took the virtual stage to acknowledge Apple‘s continued push into gaming, and announce Death Stranding: Director’s Cut would be coming to Mac later in 2023. Kojima also stated that his team at Kojima Productions is ‘actively working to bring [its] future titles to Apple platforms.’

Other games featured as part of Apple‘s WWDC showcase included:

Elsewhere at WWDC 2023, Apple unveiled its upcoming mixed-reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro. While the company spoke about the possibilities of playing games from its Apple Arcade subscription service on the device, no dedicated mixed-reality games were announced.

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Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran