Apple is hosting a ‘Scary Fast’ event on Monday, October 30, where it’s widely expected to show off new iMacs and MacBooks – but a new rumor suggests the event could be far more ambitious, and will in fact be a gaming-focused showcase for the new M3 chip.
This would be a radical departure for Apple, as outside of mobile gaming on its iPhones and iPads, the company hasn’t shown much interest in producing console-rivaling gaming products.
However, as MacRumors reports, there have been a few clues strewn around that could suggest we could see some pretty exciting gaming-related Mac products on Monday.
At the recent launch of the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple made a big deal about how the chip it uses, the A17, is capable of not only running graphically-demanding games like Resident Evil 4 Remake, but it can also handle hardware-accelerated ray tracing. This is an advanced way of producing lighting, reflections, and shadows, and many of the best looking games on PCs and game consoles use this technology.
With Apple managing to include ray tracing support on the mobile A17 chip, it’s very likely that it will also include support with the rumored M3 chip for Macs and MacBooks. This could give the M3 chip a big performance and quality boost over the M2 chip – and could potentially turn any Mac or MacBook running on an M3 chip into a formidable gaming PC or gaming laptop.
What about the games?
One of the biggest hurdles for gaming on Macs is the relative lack of games available on the platform compared to Windows 11. This has become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy – game developers don’t bother porting their games to Mac because few gamers buy Macs for gaming, and few gamers buy Macs because… there aren’t many games.
This could change, with Apple VP Tim Millet telling IGN (per MacRumors), that “developers are going to work with us” to bring the big-name games shown off for the iPhone 15 Pro to Macs running Apple silicon (the M1, M2, and rumored M3).
Those games were the aforementioned Resident Evil 4 Remake, as well as Death Stranding Director's Cut and Assassin's Creed Mirage – all major games for PCs and consoles.
MacRumors also points out that gaming giant Capcom has announced that Resident Evil Village is coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and M1-powered iPads on October 30 – the same date as Apple’s event.
Funnily enough, another big player in gaming – Sony – is also planning to launch cloud streaming for PS5 games on October 30 as well. Now, the timing of this is far more likely to be coincidental – at the moment Sony states that you can only stream PS5 games via the cloud on a PS5 console – but it’s certainly intriguing.
MacRumors also points out that the timing of Monday’s Apple event (October 30 at 5pm PT, or 12am GMT / 11am AEDT on October 31) is rather odd, as its events are usually held earlier in the day so more time zones can tune in. However, by holding it at 5pm PT, it means the event takes place during Japanese business hours – and there could be an appearance of a major Japanese game maker (both Capcom and Sony are Japanese, as is Kojima Productions, the company helmed by gaming icon Hideo Kojima, and which created Death Stranding).
Again, I feel this is a bit of a stretch on its own, but it's certainly an exciting proposition combined with the other gaming-related rumors and hints swirling around.
Laying the groundwork
If Monday’s Apple event does indeed show off gaming-related Macs and MacBooks, it won’t be a complete surprise, as Apple has been making increasing overtures to the gaming community in recent months.
Its latest operating system for Macs, macOS Sonoma, comes with a Game Mode that gives a boost in performance when it detects you’re playing games, and also improves compatibility with various game controllers, including Sony’s Dualsense controller for the PS5.
Apple also made a big deal of its Game Porting Toolkit, which is designed to make the process of making a game compatible with macOS much easier.
I’m still not entirely convinced (and this is from someone who has fond memories of playing Lemmings in Mac OS 7), but MacRumors has done a great job of rounding up various hints and rumors. If Apple is showing off new M3 chips and hardware, then I think there could be some exciting announcements for gamers as well. Who knows, maybe Mac gaming may no longer be a joke.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.