In context: CodeWeavers' CrossOver is a software package designed to run Windows applications and games on macOS systems. The company describes its tool as a "completely unique approach" to cross-platform compatibility, one that doesn't need virtual machines, dual-boot configurations, or other OS licenses.

A year and a half ago, CodeWeavers announced they were working on a new compatibility layer which would bring support for DirectX 12 games to CrossOver Mac. The goal is still a long way off, but the software house has now provided some interesting news about the project. DirectX 12 support is still in its early stages, but the upcoming version of CrossOver (23) should be able to run the Windows version of Diablo II: Resurrected on Apple's newest Arm-based SoC (M2).

The Diablo II project is still filled with bugs, CodeWeavers QA and product manager Meredith Johnson explains, but the fact that the game is running at all can already be considered a "huge win." There is "no single magic key" to bring DirectX 12 support to macOS, Johnson said, and just getting the Diablo II remaster running on Mac was a tortuous journey that involved fixing many bugs in MoltenVK and SPIRV-Cross graphics libraries.

Like other well-known compatibility layers are doing for Linux and Steam Deck, CodeWeavers aims to "translate" API calls designed for DirectX 12 applications (mostly games) to something that can be natively interpreted by Metal, Apple's proprietary graphics API. Both DirectX 12 and Metal are low-level, low-overhead interfaces designed to provide optimized access to 3D and parallel computing hardware acceleration available on modern GPU architectures.

Valve's Proton and Wine can already run many modern and older DirectX games on the Steam Deck console and Linux-based operating systems, but cross-platform game compatibility will seemingly be much harder to achieve for CrossOver alone.

While they are still busy working on Diablo II: Resurrected, the developers will have to add support to DX12 games on a per-title basis. Each game will likely involve "multiple bugs" to fix in upstream projects like the aforementioned MoltenVK and SPIRV-Cross libraries.

Despite CodeWeavers' triumphant announcement, Mac systems will likely continue to get the very meager support from gaming publishers and developers they have been given thus far. The dream for some sort of "universal" cross-platform compatibility with modern, Windows-based gaming machines will probably continue to be that.