Parallels Desktop 12 lets you play Overwatch on your Mac

Parallels Desktop 12

A new version of Parallels Desktop has been unleashed for the Mac, boasting a number of fresh features including one that gamers will be particularly excited about.

Parallels Desktop allows Mac users to run Windows apps in a virtual environment, and as you would expect, version 12 of the software is fully compatible with macOS Sierra, and is 25% faster in terms of overall performance compared to its predecessor.

It comes with over 20 new handy utilities that can accomplish various functions – and are also available in standalone format as the Parallels Toolbox for Mac app – but gamers will be most interested to learn about bolstered support for PC games.

Parallels says that version 12 will allow Mac users to play more PC games than ever, and with better performance levels so everything will run smoother. Indeed, the company has actually worked with Blizzard to ensure that Parallels Desktop 12 is fully optimized for popular team-based shooter Overwatch.

Toolbox tricks

Okay, so back to the Parallels Toolbox utilities – what are they all about? These are simple tools to help you carry out everyday computing tasks more quickly, including capturing screen grabs, recording video, downloading videos from social network sites, unpacking ZIPs and the like, archiving and encrypting files, and other little bits and pieces such as alarms and timers.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro users (and those with the Business Edition) will get new tools for free every three months.

Further features for Parallels Desktop 12 include comprehensive support for Windows Ink, and a new wizard which allows users to purchase and install Windows 10 with a minimum of fuss from within the software. The program has also added an option to schedule Windows maintenance, so you can patch up overnight or when your Mac isn't being used.

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac comes with a free one-year subscription to Acronis True Image, and those upgrading from version 10 or 11 can do so right now for £35 (around $45, AU$60).

The standalone version of the program goes on sale August 23 (next Tuesday) and will retail at £65 (around $85, AU$110). Parallels Desktop Pro Edition and the Business Edition will both set you back £80 (around $105, AU$135) per year, and if you want Parallels Toolbox for Mac on its own, a subscription costs £8 (around $11, AU$13.50) per year.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).