🎮 The Future of Legacy Mac Gaming

It wasn’t my original intent, but I installed Steam on the 2013 Mac Pro just so it could have some fun and play a few games. Don’t mock me, the Mac can play games…

For recent games it works like a charm, not that I’ve got anything that really taxes it, although a mega-city in City Skylines could be a fun test.

However, I’ve come across the “Not compatible with 10.15 Catalina or above” message when browsing through my Steam library. And I’m a bit surprised. I figured that devs coding for Mac would just go straight 64-bit. Poor Windows, still living in its 32-bit world.

Interestingly, Sid Meier’s Railroads plays just fine on Monterey. But the original Hand of Fate isn’t compatible. When new games come out, there won’t be an issue, you kind of sort of have to make them 64-bit if you make them for the Mac. But what about the legacy games I’d like to keep playing?

I haven’t retired my 2010 Mac Pro, and now it seems that ain’t happening. With its Radeon RX 580 card, it has no problem playing games. And ironically, that single card is more powerful than the D700. But clearly these games will never run under Apple Silicon. Does that mean I should plan to make room for the 2010 Mac to be a gaming rig?

It looks like there’s a few options, but none of them seem really great, except for keeping the Mac Pro 2010. I’m never getting rid of this machine. It’ll be a trophy computer.

  • Turn the 2010 into a gaming machine? This is the most likely scenario.
  • Use the Mac Pro 2010 or 2013 with Boot Camp?
  • Abandon those old games and move on?
  • Buy a cheap Intel/AMD based machine for gaming on Windows, like something from Woot?
  • Upgrade the gaming rig I have running Windows 7 and a GTX-660. It’s a decent card, but well past its prime. They’re legacy games, so is it worth upgrading the card?
  • Should I attempt to play the Windows versions of old games under Crossover?
  • VMWare or Parallels? I’m not a huge fan of Parallels and their subscription model. I don’t want to waste money on a copy of Windows, let alone keep paying year after year to run it.

The thing is, I have a lot of games that I’d still like to play, and I’d prefer to play them on a Mac. They obviously aren’t going to get an update to get make them 10.15 or above compatible, let alone full Apple Silicon. So, if you want to play the legacy games, and want to do it on a Mac, what’s the path to follow?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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