New macOS Sequoia upgrades mean you can play Xbox 360 games on your Mac if you're willing to jump through just the right hoops

macOS Sequoia
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's big WWDC unveiling of macOS Sequoia as well as software updates for the rest of its platforms mainly focused on Apple Intelligence. But that doesn't mean that there aren't other improvements of note. In the case of macOS Sequoia, one of those improvements appears to pave the way for Xbox 360 game emulation on the Mac.

The improvement comes in the form of support for AVX 2 emulation via the upgraded Game Porting Toolkit 2, a system that Apple offers developers as a way to more easily bring Windows games to the Mac. The lack of AVX support on Apple silicon chips previously meant that Xbox 360 emulation was a non-starter. But that's all changed.

In fact, some people are already able to make Xbox 360 games run on their Macs, and some of those people have published videos showing how well everything works.

Emulators on emulators

Your Mac is now an Xbox 360.. Xenia game emulator works! - YouTube Your Mac is now an Xbox 360.. Xenia game emulator works! - YouTube
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As you'll see in the video embedded above, plenty of games work surprisingly well including big-name titles like Gears of War 2. Some games do perform better than others, but as the YouTuber Andrew Tsai points out, it's a miracle that anything works at all given the layers of emulation that are being used. This is all made possible by the Xenia Xbox 360 emulator running atop Rosetta 2, and that's the simplified version of what's really going on here.

Of course, it's fair to say that anyone who wants to play Xbox 360 games should probably just buy a used console and hook it up to their TV. But from a purely technical standpoint it's impressive to see these kinds of things in action — be sure to check the video out for the full rundown of what's required to make a modern Mac play Xbox 360 titles.

As for macOS Sequoia, that's currently available in developer beta and will roll out to the public via a public beta program next month. From there, a global launch is likely to take place in September.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.