It’s time for Apple to take Mac gaming seriously

“It’s time for Apple to take Mac gaming more seriously,” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple World Today. “The global personal computer (PC) gaming hardware market has breached the $30 billion mark for the first time, according to Jon Peddie Research gamers buy (or customize) high-end (ie, pricey) systems, so a tricked-out iMac might appeal to such a group.”

“Part of the phenomena JPR observes is that the ranks of PC gamers are growing in the Mid and High-End where average selling prices are high,” Sellers writes. “Also, the average PC sale is increasingly motivated by the video game use model which is important to understand in a stagnant or declining overall PC market.”

Sellers writes, “I’d love to see Apple make moves to improve gaming on our favorite computing platform. Some ways: Offer an Apple joystick/gamepad or at least the “hooks” so third parties could make ’em; really push Metal for macOS; lLook into the The GameDock (based on a concept first developed by Mac/Life a few years ago), which was based on the success of the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch as a gaming platform.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck with that; Apple can’t even manage to make Mac displays (they stupidly want us to stare at “LG” all day).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tom R.” for the heads up.]

52 Comments

  1. If Apple doesn’t take it’s Macs seriously, why should they take games seriously?

    Apple is good at selling old slow tech at premium prices. They’re not interested in selling real power machines.

    1. I feel as though when the only device that is updated at all is the iPhone and the Apple Stupidwatch (which is the current situation), then Apple’s once sticky ecosystem is sticky no more.

      Cook has gutted this company. Every product that used to thrive has been ignored, stripped down, or dropped altogether. The iPhone’s removal of the headphone jack is reason for me to stay with my 6S and wait for the MS Surface phone. Cook is lazy, greedy, and incompetent and is only focused on gay rights.

    2. Jambro you’re right on.
      This has been said before and needs to be said again:
      Cook says he loves the Mac. Fine.
      If I said I loved my wife but ignored her for a year she would have cause to question my commitment.
      But then again, Cook wouldn’t know anything about that would he.

  2. I don’t see Apple winning against high end PC gaming hardware or software.

    A wide range of video cards and Steam on the software side is a very compelling draw and is going to be hard to dent.

    1. crucial things about gaming machines is
      GPUs
      without them you can’t run games at full speed on high res displays.
      The new MBP has about one third the speed of a mid range PC video card ( other Apple products are worse )
      For some games you need to turn the graphics to medium or low to play certain high end games even with a brand new MBP.

  3. What is he talking about?!?!

    Another phony who’s been jumping in the Apple world lately…

    Mac user play, they play a lot. They play with audio, video, graphics, animation, web, photography… Real gaming. Those people are casual gamer. For that they have iOS.

    As far as I am concern, the mac gaming is healty enough if not, fire up bootcamp and get a life!!!

    Move on!

  4. Come on, APPLE, wake up.

    Give me four (4) hardware engineers and a small budget and we will design an acceptable Mac Pro that will kick-butt and most Mac power users will be pleased with. We will do it in under 6 months, and very likely under budget.

    It will be ugly by current APPLE standards but it will still look good — I’m going to use the old G4 as my model and just shrink it down. Like the the Mac Pros of old, it will be easy for the user to get into so they can update or expand the internals.

    It won’t be a world-beater in looks, and it may not win any awards for thinness, but it will be functional and powerful and most users will want to show it off. Go ahead, google Mac Pro G4 to see what it will look like but think of it binge about 1/3 that size.

    I know, you’ll take a lot of grief from the pundits who will claim APPLE has lost its mojo and can no longer design its way out of a wet paper sack, but in offering this solution you will make a lot of Mac power users happy. Think MUSCLE, SPEED, EXPANDABILITY.

    Oh, and my team will also design a “new” monitor with an APPLE LOGO as part of the “new” Mac Pro bundle.

    And since so many design people will be offended by this back-to-the-future package because it doesn’t meet their standards, I encourage you to name it “Mac Pro Cretin.”

    1. “It won’t be a world-beater in looks …”. “… and my team will also design a new monitor with an APPLE LOGO …”.

      I’m a bit concerned that you see no problem or contradiction between these two statements. Totally agree with your last statement though.

    2. How about “Mac Pro Retro?” And yes to give professionals the malleable & upgradeable machine they want would not be hard or complicated by other device standards. Or just turn the whole magilla over to quality PC Workstation people like Puget Systems who could custom build any size Mac Pro you want.

    3. While I applaud your enthusiasm (and whish senior management at Apple had just a tiny fraction of it) unless you plan on just assembling a Hackintosh with an Apple logo on it you are NOT going to design a new Mac Pro in just six months with just four hardware engineers. You’re enthusiastically naïve if you think you can do so.

      Additionally, a true Mac Pro machine will not be able to be 1/3 the size of the G4 Mac Pro. The thermodynamics of a true pro machines with top of the line “K” or Xeon processors, up to 128 GB ECC RAM, and two high end graphics cards, e.g., 1080s, won’t allow it. That’s just reality.

  5. From the minds that brought us the Apple Watch, and the $300 coffee table book, and from the geniuses who figured out you can remove the ports, sell them separately as dongles for $50 each, and still jack the price of the laptop up to $5000 with last years GPUs, you want gaming? I’m much more confident that previous article on Apple glasses is probably more likely.

    1. Exactly, I swear to God that last time I walked into an Apple store, the Genius Bar made me sign away my next year’s income just to reserve a spot in line. I can’t believe that we have literally no choice but to buy all the products, and the most expensive versions, that the company sells. It’s extremely disruptive to my lifestyle having to visit Tim Cook’s slavehouse to visit the son I traded for an unlocked iPhone 7+.

      The silver lining, however, is that he’ll be officially released once I trade the phone in for the next model with my other child.

  6. Well, with usb-c, it’s now possible to bootstrap an external video card to a Mac mini.

    Got me rethinking my intention of putting a Windows box together, after all, I only needed a beefy video card set-up.

    Why should I pay for all the other stuff (mobo, OS, ram, cpu, etc.) when all I really needed was the video card?

    https://bizon-tech.com/

    Now, if only I could get an Apple branded 4K monitor…

    1. I’ve seen these but don’t really know anything about them. Are there issues with OS updates breaking drivers?

      The bigger question it raises though is why would you need to spend additional money for a current GPU? Apple is selling at premium prices and giving customers stale hardware. The competition manages to update their top of the line products on a regular basis to use current generation CPUs and GPUs.

    2. I had a hard look at the Bizon 3 for just this purpose; the limitation unfortunately is that it will not work for Windows software on your Mac. That cuts out AAA titles that the serious gamer would want to run. Apparently there are complex ways around this issue, but personally I’d rather wait for a hard solution. I still think the GPU-augmented monitor would be an awesome solution – but lack of upgradeability would make the external box a wiser choice.

    3. I do not get the fascination with an Apple branded monitor for the Mac. It belies a fundamental lack of understanding of industrial design (ID) as practiced by Apple under Steve Jobs. The implication is that ID is only skin deep based only on form. Jobs NEVER saw it that way and neither does Ive.

      Apple needs to do more than repackage existing monitor hardware and slap an Apple logo on it. Doing that would drive the monitor price up without increasing its value to the consumer. How many people really want to pay $200-$300 more for an Apple logo? Any takers? Thought not. This would feed the narrative that Apple design is all surface without substance. That would harm the Apple brand.

      Apple could offer swappable GPU/VRAM, FaceTime camera, and touch input for a start. But that’s not good enough as competitors could easily replicate that configuration. If Apple is serious about replacing OS X with iOS, then iOS needs to go large screen. Ive must know this as his designers have been using CAD forever. The Apple monitor should have a place to hang and connect an iPhone to it and use the large screen as the main I/O with the iPhone’s A series processor working as the CPU. That would pave the way forward for an eventual iOS take over and make it more challenging for competitors to replicate.

    1. Well, Apple has made little bits of efforts here and there to promote or enable gaming. It hasn’t been a brick wall dead end. But the efforts have never been enough.

      The Mac used to be incessantly called a ‘toy’ by Apple haters. My sense is that Apple turned to pushing the professional uses of the Mac in response, neglecting much of anything having to do with play. Steve Jobs even outlawed Easter Eggs in applications, a very Scrooge thing to do IMHO.

      1. Remember Pippin? Not too many people do because it never shipped. The idea was basically a MacOS-based video game console.

        While a $30B global annual market in PC gaming hardware is substantial, it is not all that enticing for Apple. First of all, Apple will only get a piece of the business. Second, selling gaming hardware only works if the gaming software is available, and the Mac has always suffered in gaming software because of its smaller market share.

        Apple stands to make far more money in the iOS hardware and software business, which includes a strong gaming element. And this growing iOS-based revenue stream does not require Apple to step outside of its core business and take the risk of attempting to penetrate a new market.

    2. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he produced the G3 and it came with an ATI Rage Pro, and there were many premium game titles available for the Mac at the time. Never as much as there were for PCs anyway. I know it was for about 2 generations, but anyway.

      Today the gaming subject on Macs involves much more than gaming. VR is in its infancy but VR could be more than just gaming. Also AR. But the point is with such a powerful hardware ready for visualization and multimedia I think the possibilities are open for a combination of technologies to emerge and produce a next wave of high end computer utilization in many fields. Will the iPad or the iPhone be enough in a few years? maybe. But a desktop will always bring the fuller experience and be the dedicated center for the home and the office.

      So the risk this Apple is facing is they may not be prepared to be a substantial part of technologies and opportunities that may come in the next years. Only a visionary could be intuitive enough, or at least prudent, to be prepared. But surely a visionary will be ahead of the curve and hit hard when the opportunity appears and he is ready.

      Tim and Jony can’t think the desktop will be a significant part of the future and they underestimate the opportunities it may offer. But mostly I don’t think they can see anything beyond even with the iPhone and iPad on top of their heads.

  7. There are far too many technical issues that Apple needs to clean up on the Mac side before taking this on.

    As someone said, they have iOS for games, fix the important stuff first.

    1. The single biggest hardware hold back are the GPUs, as Zooner and others have pointed out above. Apple has been considerable miserly putting high quality, contemporary GPUs into Macs. Intel graphics NEVER cuts it for decent gaming, in my experience. And yet, that’s Apple’s staple for hardware graphics support. Cheap and stupid. 😛

    2. But it wont be solved on its own, right? And besides who has more resources than Apple today. What they don’t have is a vision or enough motivation. This Apple is a me too company enjoying their last impulse.

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