Apple Macs are finally catching up when it comes to gaming, but for me it's too little, too late

Can Apple bring the gaming good times back to the Mac?

Resident Evil 4 Remake
(Image credit: Sony)

The latest rumours around Apple's "Scary Fast" event on 30 October indicate that Apple will be focusing on the Mac as a high-end gaming platform. That's not a huge surprise – gaming was a big focus of the iPhone 15 Pro Max launch too.

In addition, Apple has recently indicated that the same games it was excited about for the iPhone, such as Resident Evil 4 Remake, Resident Evil Village, Assassin's Creed Mirage and Death Stranding: Director's Cut, would be moving to the Mac too. So I wouldn't be surprised if the "Scary" bit means something Resi-related.

I'm trying to get excited, but I'm really not.

As someone who's been running Macs since the 1990s and gaming for even longer, I love Macs, but I don't love them for gaming. I don't see that changing any time soon.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

Every few years, Apple promises that a couple of big-name games are coming to the Mac and we get various stories of the "Macs are coming to DESTROY PC gaming" variety. And then Apple, developers or both lose interest and we all go back to our consoles and gaming PCs. 

That's largely because Apple hasn't traditionally taken graphics performance very seriously – for a very long time Macs tended to have pretty rubbish graphics hardware, with even the most expensive options very limited compared to what you could do on PC. However, it's also been because of the Apple gaming Catch-22: people don't buy many Mac games so game makers don't make many Mac games. 

Apple has attempted to make porting games easier – it announced a new framework earlier this year to help developers, which works in much the same way as the Proton framework that enables them to port game over to the Steam Deck. It's not perfect by any means – it's a translation layer, and Apple itself says that it's more for evaluating games than playing them – but it's a step in the right direction. 

But I think there's a deeper problem, which is that for a very long time Apple hasn't really cared about gaming.

Doom creator John Carmack famously said back in 2008 that Steve Jobs "hated" games. Today's Apple is less opinionated but gaming still feels like a bit of an afterthought: while it's nice to have games on the Mac and Apple is very happy to take its cut of App Store sales on the Mac and on mobile, it doesn't seem particularly passionate about the games themselves – not in the way that, say, Valve or the Xbox division are. 

The problem for Mac gaming isn't a hardware one, but a financial one. Porting games is expensive, and the Mac gaming market remains small. So, for me, the question isn't whether Macs can run the games, it's whether there's enough money to make them worthwhile.

I'm not so sure.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (