Resident Evil Village and RE:4 Remake for iOS/macOS

UnknownSouljer

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It just dropped on the iOS store and about a month ago came out on the macOS App store. It has a demo version which is free! And from now until November 20th, the full game can be unlocked for $14.99. After which it will go up to $39.99. So it seems like if you want this game and are okay with the Apple/Mac/iOS exclusivity that price wise it competes with whatever you'd pay on Steam (etc) during a sale.
This is the first title that has been ported to native Metal that features MetalFX tech. The up-scaler was praised by Digital Foundry as being "similar to DLSS". More or less guaranteeing that whatever Apple ARM device you play on you'll get a nice looking image and a playable frame-rate. This game only works on Apple ARM devices, so it is clearly cutting off "legacy gaming" from Intel/x86.

I'm currently downloading it on my 12.9" M2 iPad Pro (in combination with Nintendo Switch Pro Controller). And while I don't normally play RE games, I've been looking for ways to flex the M2 chip. If anyone wants to mention their experiences on iPhone 14/15 Regular/Pro/Max or on other iPhone/iPads, this would be the place to do it.
 
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It just dropped on the iOS store and about a month ago came out on the macOS App store. It has a demo version which is free! And from now until November 20th, the full game can be unlocked for $14.99. After which I'm sure it will go up to $39.99. So it seems like if you want this game and are okay with the Apple/Mac/iOS exclusivity that price wise it competes with whatever you'd pay on Steam (etc) during a sale.
This is the first title that has been ported to native Metal that features MetalFX tech. The upscaler was praised by Digital Foundry as being "similar to DLSS". More or less guaranteeing that whatever Mac ARM device you play on you'll get a nice looking image and a playable frame-rate.

I'm currently downloading it on my 12.9" M2 iPad Pro (in combination with Nintendo Switch Pro Controller). And while I don't normally play RE games, I've been looking for ways to flex the M2 chip. If anyone wants to mention their experiences on iPhone 14/15 Regular/Pro/Max or on other iPhone/iPads, this would be the place to do it.
It’s 15 pro only. Doesn’t work on any of the older iPhone chips.
 
Thank you for the correction. A shame, but also understandable. It is one of the few titles that's also taxing on Apple's desktop arm chips.
I think it has to do with the fact that the 15 pro chip is the first iPhone chip with the neural/ai engine which is needed for Apples version of ai upscaling. Of course, M1/M2 have had the neural engine as well. It’s nice to see Apple open this up to developers for ai upscaling finally, because up until now the neural engine has been pretty useless outside of like 1 application.
 
I think it has to do with the fact that the 15 pro chip is the first iPhone chip with the neural/ai engine which is needed for Apples version of ai upscaling. Of course, M1/M2 have had the neural engine as well.
Some version of Apple's Neural Engine has been available since A11(?), in the iPhone X. But as you say may require some specific engine. Or simply is just a speed thing. I tend to think it's just an overall speed thing. Speed of the chip itself, speed of the GPU cores, speed of the AI cores, etc.
Everything on A17 Pro got a big swing vs previous generations. The A15/A16 were basically the same chip (as is A17 non-pro), as TSMC was having trouble getting their smaller nodes to work properly. Apple was stuck essentially doing a refresh for a number of years.

From M1=>M2 as an example the number of AI cores stayed the same, but Apple claimed they doubled the performance. I would imagine it's similar on A17 Pro.
 
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Once all of you get your M3 machines, would love to see your performance in this title, especially with RT!
 
So I didn't/haven't recorded any gameplay, but I've been fiddling more recently with RE:Village and RE:4 on my 12.9" iPad Pro M2 + Pro Controller.

My initial thoughts on Village is that the game looks incredibly good. I wish I could easily throw on a frame counter, but I know of no way how to. However it definitely feels like it's playing fluidly. There is an option to control the Hz of the display, and I've left it at 120. I haven't done much testing on this either, but it may be worth testing "Variable" instead. It also has options for MetalFX. I haven't done full testing, but I am running the game at native (which is 2.7x2k) using MetalFX Quality and it's smooth and clean (there is the faintest amount of flickering on very thin objects that are slowly moving like tree branches. But considering that's a worst case scenario, it looks very good and definitely not at all noticeable unless pixel peeping). Dropping it into Performance modes introduces moire and grainy artifacting. However I don't think it's necessary to do on this device. HDR works nicely out of the box and I can only imagine how much more amazing this game would look with RT.

I heard that DF didn't like Village's menus and control over image which surprised me, because it gives good info on how much RAM is necessary to play with the settings that are selected. Though I admit I do experience crashing when flipping through resolution selection.
I have basically everything maxed out except for textures, which I've limited to High 3GB and Shadows which I have on High and not Max. Set this way it says I'm using 7.037GB out of 7.859GB available RAM. Technically I could increase either the textures or shadows and still be inside available RAM, but I just felt like leaving a little space would make issues creep up less.

RE:4 has NO settings like this. And I can straight up say it looks like not only is it running at a lower resolution, it's also using performance MetalFX, as a result, everything looks very grainy. Quickly spot checking it on things like Leon's hair make it super obvious and even the fonts in the menu are obviously grainy. I wish that there was some control over the visuals and performance in this game because theoretically it an RE:Village are running a similar/same engine and RE:4 looks noticeable worse. Uncertain if RE:4 just has way more complexity necessitating this, but I feel like all the control got stripped out, not allowing me to find out.
I'm assuming it's running in 1080p + MetalFX Performance Mode, as 2.7k on RE:Village in Performance Mode doesn't look this bad.
I assume it looks far better on macOS.

I hope Capcom isn't planning on leaving things like this. While Village's menus might've been too complicated for a lot of novice phone gamers, it was welcomed for me. I think there is some balance that can be struck between complexity and IQ. Far more than this anyway.



Would love to hear other people's experiences on this. Both of these titles are the "best looking" titles currently available on iOS particularly showing off both RT and HDR. Alien Isolation also being a great looking full blown title.
 
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Just as another follow up, the macOS version of RE:4 can also be demoed, so I threw that on my M1 Max machine. Game runs flawlessly, every setting is maxed out, MetalFX Performance Mode, HDR looks great. I caught a very small amount of traversal stutter, which I think is just from area transitions.

It makes the iPadOS version all the more disappointing. Literally the entire "Graphics Menu" section that is available on macOS isn't present as I mentioned before, when it is present in RE:Village on iPadOS. I sincerely hope they create an update to allow settings adjustments, as there is just a night and day difference between RE:4 and Village even on iPadOS due to not being able to control graphics settings.

I'm not like a super RE guy, so not sure if I'll keep playing this through. Still very curious about how RT performs on macOS and iOS. Maybe in another few years when I get a Mac with RT hardware I'll finally get to find out for myself.

As another side note, RE:4 supports universal purchase. Buy once and have it on both macOS and on iOS devices. RE:Village does not. So you'd have to buy it twice if you want it on both.
 
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I recently finished RE4R and its Separate Ways DLC on PC and I can say it's a masterpiece and easily the best game I played last year (sorry BG3). That said I really have no interest in playing it again on iOS, especially not for another $40. One of the best parts of RE4R was being constantly wow'ed by the game's pacing and level design escalation, an aspect that's mostly lost on replay despite all the completionist unlocks. YMMV.
 

I caught these. Some of it also seems to come down to how much you're able to optimize the games graphics settings. I'm giving Capcom the benefit of the doubt that they'll patch the game up to perform better.

And like I noted too, the iPad Pro has significant more grunt (though no RT). Both RE:4 and Village play like butter on iPad Pro. But Village looks a lot better because the actual graphics settings can be changed.


That said I really have no interest in playing it again on iOS, especially not for another $40.
It's $29.97 for universal unlock on all Apple platforms. Unless you mean the game + Extra Ways DLC pack. Not that that is low enough for you to consider.

The pricing is kinda weird to me, not that I don't think this game is deserving of its high price, but rather that Capcom haven't been consistent.

RE4, I think is the first Universal App across all platforms for Apple, so it costs what it does. RE:Village which came out just a month or so before hand isn't a universal App, and is $15 on iOS and if you wanted it also for macOS would require another $15.

I'm not sure which I think is better. $15 is obviously better if you only care about being able to play the game on one platform. But not having access to things like cloud saves across devices (from iOS to macOS and vice versa) and not having to worry about compatibility at all, are significant downsides.
 
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The Death Stranding port runs pretty amazing. For the cost of $20 it's a great deal right now, because it works on any of your Apple devices for that single cost. Save games automatically update between devices as well. Runs outstanding on my M2 Max MBP, and even cooler is that the Dualsense works out of the box wirelessly with adaptive triggers in this game. (Which is great, because Windows requires you to plug the damn thing in to get any of the special dual sense features) My high-end gaming PC basically doesn't run this game any better at my 1440 resolution, and it's pretty incredible a game of this quality is running on iPhone.

It goes to show if they can get companies to actually invest into porting to Apple silicon properly, they are pretty legit for gaming. I've said it before, but Apple would do well to toss a shitload of money at Sony to basically make all of their exclusives available on Apple devices at launch.
 
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The Death Stranding port runs pretty amazing. For the cost of $20 it's a great deal right now, because it works on any of your Apple devices for that single cost. Save games automatically update between devices as well. Runs outstanding on my M2 Max MBP, and even cooler is that the Dualsense works out of the box wirelessly with adaptive triggers in this game. (Which is great, because Windows requires you to plug the damn thing in to get any of the special dual sense features) My high-end gaming PC basically doesn't run this game any better at my 1440 resolution, and it's pretty incredible a game of this quality is running on iPhone.
I ended up selling my Intel Mac in fall last year. And I think people would "not believe me" if I told them that I played and completed CP2077 on an ARM Mac (Crossover).
It goes to show if they can get companies to actually invest into porting to Apple silicon properly, they are pretty legit for gaming. I've said it before, but Apple would do well to toss a shitload of money at Sony to basically make all of their exclusives available on Apple devices at launch.
I think Apple definitely intends to continue investing in specific devs to port over their games. But I don't think they'll ever get specifically Sony. Sony doesn't really play ball with anyone.
 
I ended up selling my Intel Mac in fall last year. And I think people would "not believe me" if I told them that I played and completed CP2077 on an ARM Mac (Crossover).

I think Apple definitely intends to continue investing in specific devs to port over their games. But I don't think they'll ever get specifically Sony. Sony doesn't really play ball with anyone.
Either way I don't think they're trying hard enough. There is no reason they shouldn't have locked down Death Stranding 2 as a Mac/iOS release exclusive, and a game like that alone would sell a lot of Apple hardware IMO, even more so if they coupled the release of a big game like that with an Apple TV that had like a M3 in it for gaming purposes.
 
Either way I don't think they're trying hard enough. There is no reason they shouldn't have locked down Death Stranding 2 as a Mac/iOS release exclusive, and a game like that alone would sell a lot of Apple hardware IMO,
I'm a bit less critical. They have a lot of politics to deal with.

However what I would say is something to be more critical of, is Apple getting more titles coming to the platform at least during the launch window.

I mentioned this in other threads: but I'm sure as they go along it's possible Apple will try their hand at becoming a publisher. Essentially using the same model they do for AppleTV.
even more so if they coupled the release of a big game like that with an Apple TV that had like a M3 in it for gaming purposes.
I think Apple's strategy is to play to their hardware strength: iPhone and to a lesser degree iPad.
Making new titles "Universal Apps" is basically how they work out their Trojan horse.
And that's how they get people trying it out on iPhone and then likely a Macbook of some sort.
 
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Did you pick it up on macOS/iOS? Have you been enjoying it?

Negative.

The only Apple product I've ever owned was a iPhone 3GS that I found in a parking lot, which I jailbroke w/Smoke and gave it to my daughter.
I think my wife had a iPod the size of a starburst, that she won at a Xmas party eons ago.

I just found it interesting that these games are being ported to macOS & iOS but not Android.

Another thing I find compelling, is the iOS crowd actually wanting to play this on their iPhone 15 or Mac, and by that I mean all the iOS users that I know only play games on a console, since "Apple products are not for gaming." Their words, not mine.

I was also unaware that the M1 Mac was graphically as powerful as a 2060 which I own.

Mainly I dropped the video here since it was relevant to the discussion at hand and I figured one more data point couldn't hurt.
 
Negative.

The only Apple product I've ever owned was a iPhone 3GS that I found in a parking lot, which I jailbroke w/Smoke and gave it to my daughter.
I think my wife had a iPod the size of a starburst, that she won at a Xmas party eons ago.

I just found it interesting that these games are being ported to macOS & iOS but not Android.

Another thing I find compelling, is the iOS crowd actually wanting to play this on their iPhone 15 or Mac, and by that I mean all the iOS users that I know only play games on a console, since "Apple products are not for gaming." Their words, not mine.

I was also unaware that the M1 Mac was graphically as powerful as a 2060 which I own.

Mainly I dropped the video here since it was relevant to the discussion at hand and I figured one more data point couldn't hurt.
I didn't buy it for gaming, but those games that are on the Mac and are properly coded/ported to it - I prefer playing on the Mac compared to my PC. Mostly because I can't stand Windows. Plus, my MacBook uses way less power to accomplish the same thing, and the added bonus of proper wireless Dualsense support is nice.

No, I still wouldn't buy a Mac for gaming. Although you'd be silly to buy an Android over iPhone if your key goal is gaming.. That's a different story.
 
Negative.

The only Apple product I've ever owned was a iPhone 3GS that I found in a parking lot, which I jailbroke w/Smoke and gave it to my daughter.
I think my wife had a iPod the size of a starburst, that she won at a Xmas party eons ago.

I just found it interesting that these games are being ported to macOS & iOS but not Android.
Apple is specifically paying for this work to be done. Google doesn't have enough of an interest to do that. Well that and there are multiple reasons why devs would much rather port to Apple than Android.
Namely:
1.) The stats show that Apple users actually are willing to pay for things. Android users by in large are not. This also goes hand in hand with the issue(s) of being open. Meaning that it's likely all ports would be hacked/pirated, rather than being paid for.
2.) Apple's dev tools are similar to nVidia's (extensive libraries). Very easy to work with, everything "just works", all the dev emulation environments are seamless and doing multi-platform launches on Apple platforms is incredibly simple compared with trying to target multiple hardware generations on either Android or PC.
3.) External tools also make Apple development easier. Unreal and Unity both have tools to develop directly for Apple platforms. In other words, a dev basically only has to recompile to port their games to Apple platforms after doing the basic work of targeting specific processors. There is no technical reason why an Unreal game doesn't come to Apple platforms, other than not wanting to bother.
4.) iPhone is now >50% marketshare for smartphones in the US. And it's similar globally when only accounting for phones that cost >$400. Android has only been "winning" in terms of global marketshare because of incredibly low cost phones in third world countries. However when combined with the idea of "people that will actually pay for games" expensive phones and iPhones in particular are relevant for actual profitability.
5.) Which I already mentioned, Apple is collaborating with publishers/devs to do these ports. Capcom and Kojima being at the top, but there are also others.
Another thing I find compelling, is the iOS crowd actually wanting to play this on their iPhone 15 or Mac, and by that I mean all the iOS users that I know only play games on a console, since "Apple products are not for gaming." Their words, not mine.
Phone gaming is very similar to console gaming. App store. Controller. Etc.

If you're a console gaming enthusiast, using something like a Backbone One is just obvious to get a console-like experience. At this point an iPhone 15 Pro is capable of PS4 level graphics (plus HDR/RT) and can be played like a console. Previous phones are not as powerful. But as you know now that iPhone 15 Pro is established, every subsequent phone will be equally if not more fast. 2-3 years, 1080p Ultra settings may be attainable, at 30-40fps.

I would say they're not wrong about their assessment though. Apple has clearly targeted professionals for a long time. However it's mostly just lack of software that prevents people from gaming on a Mac now.
I was also unaware that the M1 Mac was graphically as powerful as a 2060 which I own.
While on Intel machines, there was no technical reason why games couldn't come to Macs. The issue was marketshare.
Now that Apple has moved to ARM, Apple is consistently getting 15-20% of laptop marketshare. I would say starting to meet that critical threshold.
The hardware as you note is fast enough, the dev tools are good, Apple seems finally in position to make a gaming push.

The other stats on this are important too: namely what kind of buyers are buying Macs. It's young people and younger generations that are buying MBAs and MBPs. People that will buy and play games. Meaning that if devs actually bother to port their games to Apple platforms there is a fairly direct line to making more profit. While the ROI of course is would be less, the total would be higher.
Mainly I dropped the video here since it was relevant to the discussion at hand and I figured one more data point couldn't hurt.
For sure.

EDIT: The only major question that Apple hasn't fully answered yet is whether or not there are people willing to pay full price for games on Apple's OS'. RE4 Remake just came out, and Apple is selling it as a Universal App for $30. That's less than on any other platform. This is even despite the fact that it could be argued that Apple platforms give some of the best experience in this particular title (specifically for midrange gamers... you could play on your iPhone 15 Pro, your iPad Pro while on the go, and then pick it up on your Macbook Pro or whatever when gaming at home through Cloud saves). If it costed $60 or $70, would it still sell on the Mac side?
 
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Apple is specifically paying for this work to be done. Google doesn't have enough of an interest to do that. Well that and there are multiple reasons why devs would much rather port to Apple than Android.
Namely:
1.) The stats show that Apple users actually are willing to pay for things. Android users by in large are not. This also goes hand in hand with the issue(s) of being open. Meaning that it's likely all ports would be hacked/pirated, rather than being paid for.
2.) Apple's dev tools are similar to nVidia's (extensive libraries). Very easy to work with, everything "just works", all the dev emulation environments are seamless and doing multi-platform launches on Apple platforms is incredibly simple compared with trying to target multiple hardware generations on either Android or PC.
3.) External tools also make Apple development easier. Unreal and Unity both have tools to develop directly for Apple platforms. In other words, a dev basically only has to recompile to port their games to Apple platforms after doing the basic work of targeting specific processors. There is no technical reason why an Unreal game doesn't come to Apple platforms, other than not wanting to bother.
4.) iPhone is now >50% marketshare for smartphones in the US. And it's similar globally when only accounting for phones that cost >$400. Android has only been "winning" in terms of global marketshare because of incredibly low cost phones in third world countries. However when combined with the idea of "people that will actually pay for games" expensive phones and iPhones in particular are relevant for actual profitability.
5.) Which I already mentioned, Apple is collaborating with publishers/devs to do these ports. Capcom and Kojima being at the top, but there are also others.

Phone gaming is very similar to console gaming. App store. Controller. Etc.

If you're a console gaming enthusiast, using something like a Backbone One is just obvious to get a console-like experience. At this point an iPhone 15 Pro is capable of PS4 level graphics (plus HDR/RT) and can be played like a console. Previous phones are not as powerful. But as you know now that iPhone 15 Pro is established, every subsequent phone will be equally if not more fast. 2-3 years, 1080p Ultra settings may be attainable, at 30-40fps.

I would say they're not wrong about their assessment though. Apple has clearly targeted professionals for a long time. However it's mostly just lack of software that prevents people from gaming on a Mac now.

While on Intel machines, there was no technical reason why games couldn't come to Macs. The issue was marketshare.
Now that Apple has moved to ARM, Apple is consistently getting 15-20% of laptop marketshare. I would say starting to meet that critical threshold.
The hardware as you note is fast enough, the dev tools are good, Apple seems finally in position to make a gaming push.

The other stats on this are important too: namely what kind of buyers are buying Macs. It's young people and younger generations that are buying MBAs and MBPs. People that will buy and play games. Meaning that if devs actually bother to port their games to Apple platforms there is a fairly direct line to making more profit. While the ROI of course is would be less, the total would be higher.

For sure.

EDIT: The only major question that Apple hasn't fully answered yet is whether or not there are people willing to pay full price for games on Apple's OS'. RE4 Remake just came out, and Apple is selling it as a Universal App for $30. That's less than on any other platform. This is even despite the fact that it could be argued that Apple platforms give some of the best experience in this particular title (specifically for midrange gamers... you could play on your iPhone 15 Pro, your iPad Pro while on the go, and then pick it up on your Macbook Pro or whatever when gaming at home through Cloud saves). If it costed $60 or $70, would it still sell on the Mac side?

Nicely put and broken down.

I would love to see Apple designate more resources and manpower to prime time AAA gaming than to Final Cut.
I just don't think that Apple Arcade and a couple of RE ports is a big enough push into that direction...yet.

I remember a few years ago, when one of my son's friends came over to the house, bragging that his new Mac could play Bioshock at over 30fps.
My son had a very modest rig, FX-6300 & R9 270 @ 1080p. He fired up Steam and loaded up Bioshock Infinite and blew that poor kids mind and made him a believer.

About 2 weeks later, he dropped by the house with a check from his old man begging me to build him a "Pc gaming machine!"

I want to live in a time where I can buy a Mac and load my Steam library on to it, and get the same performance if not better, than the comparable PC.
Sadly I'm not the demographic that Apple cares about...yet.

I know the M series of chips are extremely potent, and I also know if Apple was serious and thought they could curb the Pc gaming community into their clutches and make a "Gaming Mac", the notion of
"Mac's don't game" would be a distant memory and the demographic would change overnight.

I wonder how much a "G-Mac" would cost?
 
Nicely put and broken down.

I would love to see Apple designate more resources and manpower to prime time AAA gaming than to Final Cut.
I just don't think that Apple Arcade and a couple of RE ports is a big enough push into that direction...yet.
They have to start somewhere. If you're not the sort to be watching Apple, at WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) in June of 2023, that is when they announced that they have 13 next gen games coming to Apple platforms. What we're seeing now is the results of that. RE:Village, RE:4, Life of P, Death Stranding - are probably the big names.

With Layers of Fear, Solis, No Man's Sky, and Stray being a second string also coming.
https://www.ithinkdiff.com/upcoming-games-for-mac-shown-at-wwdc-2023/

Is it enough to get people who want a gaming first platform? Heck no, not even close. With the only exception of if you just play exclusively WoW and want good mobile battery life. It will take a lot of years of concerted effort to get devs to produce games on macOS. Apple generally knows how to go one direction for a long time, but gaming has been elusive and never prioritized until... well now really.
I remember a few years ago, when one of my son's friends came over to the house, bragging that his new Mac could play Bioshock at over 30fps.
My son had a very modest rig, FX-6300 & R9 270 @ 1080p. He fired up Steam and loaded up Bioshock Infinite and blew that poor kids mind and made him a believer.

About 2 weeks later, he dropped by the house with a check from his old man begging me to build him a "Pc gaming machine!"
I was resistant to both Mac's and Mac gaming too. My first PC (that was actually mine and not shared) was way back in 1996, and I more or less hated Apple/Mac. I think I came in at a golden era of PC builds and building as I got the VooDoo2 experience all the way up to the nVidia 6800. I got my first Mac in 2008. And went exclusively Mac in 2010. The irony now is I might buy and build a gaming PC, which will literally have no other function. I really dislike Windows and Windows telemetry and I dislike Windows too from a management and usability standpoint. So as long as I can help it, I won't use a PC for productivity.

I would still definitely say if you're a gamer first, then PC really is the only alternative. It's just wrought with compromises because Microsoft is the only OS that's viable and they keep doing things with their OS' I don't like.

If Valve ever gets to a place where they can have a verified parts list and SteamOS can just be "dropped in" a build without extensive configuration, I think it could supplant Windows specifically for gaming (can you imagine how hard hardware vendors would fight to get that SteamOS verified sticker? Potentially landscape redefining). If that happened then Microsoft likely wouldn't be able to pull their BS either because there would be actual OS competition. That's a long way from happening though. A dream of a dream if I ever heard one.
I want to live in a time where I can buy a Mac and load my Steam library on to it, and get the same performance if not better, than the comparable PC.
Sadly I'm not the demographic that Apple cares about...yet.
I think Apple wants that too. But the only way it gets there is by developing much faster GPU's at a much faster rate than it has been. I don't think it will ever be possible that Apple fully competes 1:1 price wise with a comparable PC, though I think performance wise it will be possible perhaps in a few years. Though if I'm honest the 4090M (which is AD103, but still) is not "slow" by any definition. Apple definitely has its work cut out for them.
I know the M series of chips are extremely potent, and I also know if Apple was serious and thought they could curb the Pc gaming community into their clutches and make a "Gaming Mac", the notion of
"Mac's don't game" would be a distant memory and the demographic would change overnight.

I wonder how much a "G-Mac" would cost?
I don't think they'll ever make a Mac exclusively for gaming. But I do think they will keep making the software and hardware feature sets more conducive to gaming. The things that will help Apple win in Blender are generally the things that will help it win in games. I certainly don't think they will ever release some tipple fan, RGB, 1000watt machine. At least not in the foreseeable future. Apple would have to produce a dedicated GPU first or start supporting third party GPU's, and I don't think either is going to happen. Though it should, because as it stands the Mac Pro is basically the most worthless $7000 machine in existance. Without a dedicated GPU it's a non-starter.
 
I don't believe the Mac Pro is at all intended for the normal consumer side or even prosumer side at all. I get the feeling it's made for some specific big contracts for industry/government. It would be cool if they could make add-in GPU cards for it though to make it more valuable than the Studio or a MacBook Pro.
 
I don't believe the Mac Pro is at all intended for the normal consumer side or even prosumer side at all.
The Mac Pro has always been specifically targeting professional users. It's always been priced in the range for pros or people with a lot of money. It has always been well priced out of the range of enthusiasts.
I get the feeling it's made for some specific big contracts for industry/government.
That's the problem though, we can only at best make guesses at who this thing is even supposed to target. Without a dedicated GPU it's more or less a non-starter. The only type of user that would ever consider the Mac Pro over the Mac Studio is someone that specifically wants an insane amount of internal I/O. If they filled every PCI-E slot with 8x NVME drives to run a database + LLM's or something that's a possible application.
But the number of people who specifically want a Mac to do that is minimal. Especially considering that for the same $7000 price, 2x 4090's could be purchased (even with their inflated $1800-$2000 price), and the rest of a complete system; which for $3000 easily could include Threadripper + top end NVME + a heaven ton of ECC RAM. That $7k Mac Pro price wouldn't include the NVME drives or cards, so that part of the price is a wash and would be equal.

There simply isn't a usage case for Pros that the Mac Pro covers that for 99.9999% of cases the Mac Studio does not or a PC for the same price would do better. And the Studio costs $3000 less for the privilege. Even if you want to run certain PCI-E cards, it still may be more cost effective to run them over Thunderbolt rather than internally if the amount of cards that are needed are few and if latency isn't a hindering factor (especially if $3000 is too much to swallow for a bit better latency).
It would be cool if they could make add-in GPU cards for it though to make it more valuable than the Studio or a MacBook Pro.
Exactly.

My tl;dr is: - Basically all I'm doing above is extrapolating how any use case you can come up for Mac Pro is such a wild edge case that is riddled with asterisks. I have zero numbers to back this up, but I would venture to guess that the 2023 Mac Pro has sold VERY few machines.
I go back to my original statement that if there is no dedicated GPU, then the Mac Pro more or less doesn't have the big reason to even bother owning it. One of the problems had to do with Arm v8 having architectural issues with dGPU's. It wasn't just an Apple problem, it was an ARM problem. But those have been fixed in Arm v9. So if Apple doesn't either make a competitive dGPU (which I'll be honest, it's doubtful they can) or support a third party (like their long partner AMD), then they probably should just cancel the Mac Pro. It's too much money for essentially what amounts to some PCI-E slots of dubious usefulness.
 
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