Apple WWDC 2024 Gaming News: New Gaming Modes, Spatial Audio in Gaming, ‘Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ Coming to Mac and iPad, and More

Apple’s big WWDC keynote just wrapped up a short time ago, and while the main focus was on the typical yearly updates to the software that runs across their whole lineup of hardware devices, as well as Apple’s big push into AI with their new Apple Intelligence and partnership with ChatGPT, there were a few nuggets of gaming-related announcements that are worth highlighting. Starting with the iPhone, iOS 18 will bring a new “Gaming Mode" to the device, similar to what’s on the Mac now, that will minimize background activities while you’re playing a game to help maintain top performance. This will also allow for more responsive connections with AirPods and wireless gaming controllers. Next Apple announced that personalized Spatial Audio will be coming to games thanks to a new developer API, with the upcoming Need for Speed Mobile being one of the first games to utilize this new feature when it launches later this year.

While talking about the new version of MacOS, which is dubbed Sequoia, Apple welcomed Ubisoft’s Vice President & Executive Producer of the Assassin’s Creed franchise Marc-Alexis Côté to present during the keynote video. Here Côté announced that the newest upcoming Assassin’s Creed game, Assassin’s Creed Shadows, will be launching simultaneously on Mac alongside its console and PC launch on November 15th. They also announced that the game will be coming to iPad devices, and while there was no mention of iPhone, my personal theory is that they’re waiting until the new iPhone announcement this fall to make that official. Especially since Assassin’s Creed Mirage, our Game of the Week last week, JUST launched on both the iPhone 15 and M1 iPads so I can’t imagine them keeping this upcoming title iPad only, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Finishing off the gaming news from WWDC is the announcement of the new Games Porting Toolkit 2. Apple unveiled the first Games Porting Toolkit during last year’s WWDC, and it’s more or less a fork of the CrossOver software by CodeWeavers which for many years now has allowed Mac users to run tons of software titles even when they don’t have a Mac version. The new Games Porting Toolkit 2 will include better Windows compatibility, new shader debugging tools, and more. It will also allow for a much easier transition when making a Mac version of a game to continue on and make it for the iPhone and iPad as well. Apple doesn’t exactly have the best reputation for being serious about gaming, but they do seem like they’ve shown a much greater interest in it over the past couple years on both Mac and iOS devices. Whether that ends up mattering to a significant portion of the gaming audience remains to be seen, but I’m still always very happy to see Apple talking about gaming in any capacity.