This week, Apple invited various members of the press and influencers to give a closer look at games coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac this year. According to Tom’s Guide, the event “showed off everything from Apple Arcade’s extensive lineup on Apple TV, to The Medium running natively on Macs, to inventive fitness games from the Apple Entrepreneur Camp.”
Apple’s…first event of the year?
Apple has held small, invite-only events like this in the past. They generally focus on giving the press and influencers a more intimate, hands-on experience with new products. Apple has a dedicated location in New York City where it occasionally holds private briefings with members of the press to give presentations and offer hands-on demonstration time.
In this case, everything was focused on gaming. A handful of game developers were at the event to show off what’s on their roadmap for Apple platforms this year.
YouTuber Jacklyn Dallas, “NothingButTech,” wrote about the experience in an Instagram post on Friday:
Yesterday I went to an Apple event that truly left me SOOOO inspired and excited!!!!
It was a bunch of developers that are making apps for Apple arcade and Mac. Games are so special to me because they can transcend cultural differences and are so based in storytelling and having fun
The developers were also infectiously passionate about their new launches – made my whole day :)
According to Jacklyn, the games showcased by Apple at this week’s event are:
- Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile
- Honkai: Star Rail
- Lego Starwars castaways
- Run Legends
- The Medium
CNN’s Mike Andronico also attended the event and wrote about the day on CNN Underscored. Andronico summed it up by saying that “2023 is looking like a great time to be an Apple gamer.” Andronico walked away from the event impressed by Call of Duty: Warzone, which is coming to iPhone later this year.
Activision’s latest bite-sized Call of Duty game looked great and ran at a fluid 120 frames per second on an iPhone 14 Pro Max — Apple’s current top-end phone — though it’s optimized to run well on the last few generations of iPhone. I did notice that the handset got warm during my playtime, and even more concerning, the game fully crashed near the end of an intense match. Activision was quick to point out that we were playing pre-release software, so hopefully these bugs get ironed out to avoid any accidental trips to the gulag.
The game that stood out most to Andronico, however, was The Medium. Apple showcased The Medium running on a new M2 Mac mini:
I demoed The Medium on a new Mac Mini M2, and it looked just about as good as I remember it on my fully loaded PC back home — one that sports a high-end Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, mind you. The game’s moody cinematic action ran at an immersive 4K resolution and what looked at least 60 frames per second (i.e., it was nice and smooth), and while I noticed the occasional stutter once we got into some dual-reality gameplay, it still held up impressively well during cutscenes and intensive split-screen action sequences alike. While developer Bloober Team couldn’t speak to specific performance numbers, the company noted that the game has been tested on both M1 and M2-powered Macs, and should run well on even the basic 2020 MacBook Air. That can be chalked up in part to Apple’s Metal technology, which uses software smarts to optimize games for Mac devices on the fly.
Top comment by IOI
Gaming on any Apple device is simply depressing, for me it’s unbelievable how behind Apple is in the gaming industry compared to everyone else, even when it’s the fastest-growing industry in entertainment.
They have the hardware, the developer connections, the money, but they simply have no interest in the gaming industry other than revenue from microtransactions in free-to-play mobile games.
Marshall Honorof of Tom’s Guide also attended the event and wrote about the experience in detail. Honorof described it as “a press event highlighting the iPhone maker’s latest advances in gaming.”
Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was one of the games on display at an Apple press event highlighting the iPhone manufacturer’s latest advances in gaming. The company showed off everything from Apple Arcade’s extensive lineup on Apple TV, to The Medium running natively on Macs, to inventive fitness games from the Apple Entrepreneur Camp.
In fact, Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was something of an oddity in that regard. It’s not designed by Apple; it’s not exclusive to iOS; it’s not part of Apple Arcade. But it does provide a perfect showcase for how well iOS can run mobile games, as well as how those games are starting to overcome the limitations of their platform.
As part of the transition to Apple Silicon, Apple has increasingly started pitching the Mac as a gaming platform, alongside its continued focus on games for the iPhone and iPad. An event like this one is a great way to show off some of the games coming to its platforms this year.
We’re still waiting on more content from this week’s event to emerge. If you spot anything, let us know.
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