This week, Apple invited various members of the press and influencers to take a closer look at games coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac this year. In accordance Tom’s guideThe event showcased everything from Apple Arcade’s extensive lineup on Apple TV, to The Medium running on Mac, to inventive training games from 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 press and influencers a more intimate, hands-on experience with new products. Apple maintains 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 demo time.
In this case, everything was focused on gameplay. A handful of game developers were at the event to showcase 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 really got me SOOOO inspired and excited!!!!
There were a bunch of developers making apps for the Apple arcade and Mac. Games are so special to me because they can transcend cultural differences and are so based on storytelling and having fun
The developers were also infectiously passionate about their new launches – made my 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 CNN emphasized. Andronico summed it up by saying that “2023 looks like a great time to be an Apple player.” Andronico walked away from the event impressed with Call of Duty: Warzone, which is coming to iPhone later this year.
Activision’s latest Call of Duty game looked great and ran at a smooth 120 frames per second on an iPhone 14 Pro Max – Apple’s current flagship phone – even though it’s optimized to run well on the latest generations of iPhone. I did notice the handset getting warm during my playtime, and more worryingly, the game completely 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 will be ironed out to avoid unintended trips to the Gulag.
However, the game that stood out the most for Andronico was The medium. Apple on display The medium running on a new M2 Mac mini:
I demoed The Medium on a new Mac Mini M2, and it looked about as good as I remember it on my fully loaded PC at home—one that has 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 like at least 60 frames per second (ie it was nice and smooth), and although I did notice occasional stuttering when we got into some dual-reality- game, it still held up impressively well during cutscenes and intensive split-screen action sequences. 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 attributed in part to Apple’s Metal technology, which uses software smarts to optimize games for Mac devices on the fly.
Marshall Honorof by 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 advancements in gaming.”
Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was one of the games shown at an Apple press event highlighting the iPhone maker’s latest advancements in gaming. The company showcased everything from Apple Arcade’s extensive lineup on Apple TV, to The Medium running on Mac, to inventive training games from Apple Entrepreneur Camp.
In fact, Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile was something of an oddity in that regard. It is not designed by Apple; it’s not exclusive to iOS; it is 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 its transition to Apple Silicon, Apple has increasingly begun to pitch the Mac as a gaming platform, along with its continued focus on games for the iPhone and iPad. An event like this is a great way to showcase some of the games coming to the platforms this year.
We’re still waiting for more content from this week’s event to emerge. If you spot anything, let us know.
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