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World of Warcraft may be the first macOS-compatible game that can run natively on Apple’s new M1-powered Mac computers.
Blizzard Entertainment made the announcement as the new Macs began arriving to customers who pre-ordered them. “With this week’s patch 9.0.2, we’re adding native Apple Silicon support to World of Warcraft. This means that the WoW 9.0.2 client will run natively on ARM64 architecture, rather than under emulation via Rosetta,” the company wrote in a forum post. “We’re pleased to have native day one support for Apple Silicon.”
The native support promises to make the game run faster on the new Macs. According to users who’ve tried the update, the hardware is able to run World of Warcraft between a respectable 40 to 50 frames per second for some relatively smooth gameplay.
We’ll have to wait and see if other game developers decide to build support for Apple’s M1 chip. In the meantime, the new hardware can also run existing macOS-compatible games built for Intel’s silicon. However, the computers will do so through Rosetta 2, which can translate the computer code to run on the ARM-powered M1 chip.
The main drawback is how the translation can cause apps to launch or run more slowly than normal. Some users also say certain games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, will not run on the new Macs.
In our review of the M1 MacBook Air, PCMag tried Rise of the Tomb Raider and Total War II: Warhammer, and found the Rosetta emulation does work for some light gaming. However, you’ll need to set the graphics settings at the medium or lower presets to get 40 to 50fps.
A downside with the new Macs is how they don’t support external graphics cards, according to AppleInsider. So the hardware is confined to the M1 chip for gaming processing power. On the plus side, the new Macs can run iPhone and iPads apps natively, giving you a way to enjoy thousands of various iOS games over the hardware.
For more, check out PCMag’s reviews of the M1 MacBook Pro and Mac mini.
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