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The Mac as a Gaming Platform, the New Era

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May 1, 2010 5:36:05 PM

go steam :D 
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11
May 1, 2010 5:44:49 PM

the title made me giggle.... no further comment
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32
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May 1, 2010 5:46:35 PM

I dont have a mac, and never used one. But I believe this is a good move for Valve. I've never viewed mac as a gaming platform. But this can change things, and maybe somehow create some competition.. And competition is good for us.
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23
May 1, 2010 5:49:27 PM

Sure, from the business end it seems like a good decision, and for one developer, all of whose games run on a fairly unified engine, it may be viable. For the rest of the developers, especially with more demanding titles, this isn't true. Apple can't continue in it's current practice and adopt gaming as a feature to put on the box...they've got to give up something about the aspect of their hardware and business models in order to not give up gaming. Better hardware in more timely intervals, combined with more open software and developer controls - these demands, combined with the classically-radical and immobile nature of Apple will make it a long time before you'll see games (on the PC level) on the Mac, if ever. The rest of the developers are on stand-by, waiting for Valve to get the hard work (which is several years, if you ask me) done with Apple, then they'll all come flooding through the door saying "me too!".
And then, finally, the Apple users will complain about their machines. "What do you mean a 130M can't play Crysis? It's a Mac!"
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30
May 1, 2010 5:54:34 PM

If they start making Mac exclusives all hell will break loose.

Also, wasn't there something about Steam coming to Linux?
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34
May 1, 2010 6:03:44 PM

I always kinda thought that Apple didnt want games released on their OS because then their customers might realize what over-priced p.o.s's they own. "Why cant my $2000 computer play this game?" That just might ruin the Apple "experience" a little.

I dont really see this doing much for Steam other than getting them a bit more sales $$. Apple's target market doesnt include gamers; therefore how many people do you think will start gaming on a mac now that steam is working for them? When shopping for a computer, if someone thinks that they might game a little, theyve already stopped looking at Apple systems. Doubt steam being on available on Mac's will change that since people still have to swallow the Apple tax to get a mac (that will no doubt, have much worse hardware in it that a equivalently priced PC)
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30
May 1, 2010 6:10:26 PM

We don't know the amount of money involved in development, distribution, management, and marketing spent on the steam client/games for Mac now, but I really question if it's worth it since there really aren't a huge amount of people using Macs compared to PC's.
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6
May 1, 2010 6:11:49 PM

But could it play Crysis :p 
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-21
May 1, 2010 6:21:54 PM

I'm concerned that this is going to further dumb down PC gaming. If Apple somehow makes it easier (hence cheaper) to develop games on their platform, what's going to stop studios from building a Mac game from the ground up and then porting it to PC? Quality is going to hit a brick wall. Look at what happened with the console explosion- tons of crappy ports with a few gems here and there.

And not only that, you can bet this will raise the price of video games in general. Remember when new PC games were released at around $39-$49? Not any more. $60+ is becoming the average for big-name releases because console owners are willing to pay that much, and PC gamers are now getting stuck with those insane prices. Apple getting into the market is going to increase the price on premium releases.
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16
May 1, 2010 6:24:24 PM

got to love valve!
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-10
May 1, 2010 6:29:12 PM

I remember all of those games you mentioned. I wasted many school hours on those :)  Seriously though, I don't think that $2000 locked platform makes sense for gaming. The PS3 couldn't even sell at $599. Not to mention that 90% or more of apple computer owners are using laptops.
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9
May 1, 2010 6:33:02 PM

Well, the picture of "big titles" might not change for a few years from now (thinking also in Linux), but Indie games might get a full (big bang a like) growth, that's all in all a good thing fro everyone. More Dev Studios working on different platforms at a time make knowledge easier to spread.

Go Valve!

Cheers!
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5
May 1, 2010 6:35:54 PM

I can definitely see Apple making a break in the gaming market, but they need to fix several things.

- They need a new version of their Mac Pro. Dump the Xeon processor, and pick up the i5/i7. The Xeon is a great processor, but not cost effective enough for a gaming machine. Then offer some better GPU options for gaming. In my opinion, the iMac will never be able to become a gaming machine in its current state, the case design just doesn't offer enough cooling options.


- They need to push out updates to their graphics drivers. I'm sure ATI & nvidia will be willing to do this if there is money to be made for them. But the current Snow Leopard graphics drivers haven't been updated since June '09.

- They need to more openly adopt OpenGL, perhaps even create a SDK that will use OpenGL to create games on a Mac. Microsoft will never allow DirectX to leave the Windows platform, so they're forced to use OpenGL. OpenGL is great but still isn't up to par to the D3D API. Good news about this... if Apple pushes OpenGL development forward, we'll see it appear on Linux as well.

All said and done, I think there is a great opportunity for Apple to make a huge foot into the gaming world, but probably never the enthusiast part of this world.
Do I think Apple will take the opportunity? I'm not holding my breath.
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3
May 1, 2010 6:43:28 PM

noahjwhiteI remember all of those games you mentioned. I wasted many school hours on those Seriously though, I don't think that $2000 locked platform makes sense for gaming. The PS3 couldn't even sell at $599. Not to mention that 90% or more of apple computer owners are using laptops.

Dont forget, the average gaming rig (running games at 1080P- PS3's and XBoxes do 720 and 540)cost ~USD600 or so....very few tigs actually cross USD1000...

Ragnar-KonI can definitely see Apple making a break in the gaming market, but they need to fix several things.- They need a new version of their Mac Pro. Dump the Xeon processor, and pick up the i5/i7. The Xeon is a great processor, but not cost effective enough for a gaming machine. Then offer some better GPU options for gaming. In my opinion, the iMac will never be able to become a gaming machine in its current state, the case design just doesn't offer enough cooling options.- They need to push out updates to their graphics drivers. I'm sure ATI & nvidia will be willing to do this if there is money to be made for them. But the current Snow Leopard graphics drivers haven't been updated since June '09.- They need to more openly adopt OpenGL, perhaps even create a SDK that will use OpenGL to create games on a Mac. Microsoft will never allow DirectX to leave the Windows platform, so they're forced to use OpenGL. OpenGL is great but still isn't up to par to the D3D API. Good news about this... if Apple pushes OpenGL development forward, we'll see it appear on Linux as well.All said and done, I think there is a great opportunity for Apple to make a huge foot into the gaming world, but probably never the enthusiast part of this world.Do I think Apple will take the opportunity? I'm not holding my breath.

You missed out on upgrades. And the fact that Apple will never let you use radically fast hardware. Do you really think Apple will let someone run quad 5870's? Or even dual 4850's? And what about upgrades? IN two years time I can easily change my 4870 for a 5970 or a GT400 without any problems whatsoever. Or dump a PHII X6 on the mobo. Apple will never do anything like that....
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19
May 1, 2010 6:49:56 PM

kewl munkyIf they start making Mac exclusives all hell will break loose.


Valve is trying to expand its market share, not limit it with a mac exclusive
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12
May 1, 2010 7:02:40 PM

how long till jobs gets at newel and the deal goes south?
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6
May 1, 2010 7:06:33 PM

compfreak93so basically only the valve games are going to mac? is that what everyones excited about? what is that like 10 games the half-life series, CS series L4D series, hahahaah this made me laugh

All 10 being epic great games. I'd say that's something to be excited about.
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6
May 1, 2010 7:12:31 PM

I'll take a positive outlook (hating Macs as much as I do). If Apple made a computer that could do everything my Win machines can do...including gaming....I would buy one in a heartbeat. It would be the same case if linux spontaneously started running win games.

Leaving candy-land I don't think this will ever happen. Macs have never had the foundation to "share" titles with Win machines cause Apple likes to keep everything locked up in the family.
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2
May 1, 2010 7:13:18 PM

Wow and I thought solitaire was laggy on the mac
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5
May 1, 2010 7:20:38 PM

It's just a natural progression for Valve. There are three markets dependent on OpenGL and their last attempt at reaching one of them failed when they allowed EA to do the legwork. They don't want that to happen again, nor do they want to abandon the platform as a market for their games.
Since the big hurdle for Valve getting games on the PS3 has been to rewrite Source for OpenGL, once they decided to invest in PS3 development, the much-easier-to-code-for OSX and Linux platforms got dragged along for the ride.
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4
May 1, 2010 7:27:38 PM

Maybe this will mean higher sales on desktop computer games, so developers will be more inclined to work on desktop games instead of giving us console ports.
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8
May 1, 2010 7:37:09 PM

I predict most of the developers will be too stubborn to jump aboard in any timely fashion, but still I'm glad to see that Macs have evolved from an overpriced work computer to an actual "personal computer". I myself am an avid PC builder, but I see the potential. Macs don't have ancient hardware like the xbox 360, but it does have the constant on hardware. They won't match the value or sheer performance of most enthusiast PCs, but this is definitely a noteworthy option (if you have $2000 laying around :p )
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1
May 1, 2010 7:43:48 PM

Actually isn't the 'Can it play Crysis' question pretty fair here? The question is literally, can it PLAY Crysis, not run it at full. I can buy a PC (sans monitor and OS, I have those) for under $400 that will run it at a decent resolution on medium graphics. Exactly as someone said, could it be that Mac owners will wonder why their $1000+ computers are performing so horribly? Granted, on current Source games, probably not. Maybe a little on L4D2, not sure how the GT320s or whatevers perform.

But even then, it is asking developers to code their engines on a whole new API (if they don't support OpenGL already), and that's quite a bit to do, especially for most likely lower performance (hardware, OpenGL is a capable platform), and probably less market.

We'll see, it'll definitely be interesting. I will definitely chuckle if it doesn't pick up very well.
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4
May 1, 2010 7:52:59 PM

Good riddance this is a mac boy's WET Dream a hand full of games vs decades of titles that can still be played on the PC. One can go on all day about the Mac's limitation which are purely artificial thanks to Apple and it's closed market policy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YB4jFuTuNWg

Female voice: What's wrong?
Man on monitor: I just bought one of these yesterday, and it doesn't fit my consumer, and the store doesn't have any of the other kind.
[LUH presses a button]
Male voice: For more enjoyment and greater efficiency, consumption is being standardized. We are sorry ...
Man on monitor: This is -
[cut off]
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-5
May 1, 2010 7:53:57 PM

Meh, it is what it is. PC will always have a 1-up on any gaming platform just due to the ability to customize hardware.
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8
May 1, 2010 7:54:49 PM

$2000 for Mac (to serve as a gaming platform) that can barely compete with a $1000 PC from two years ago. I'd say we entered a new era indeed. It appears the recession magically ended, everyone is working again, and making more money than ever. I just wish I got that memo sooner.

/sarcasm
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21
May 1, 2010 8:01:56 PM

godwhomismike$2000 for Mac (to serve as a gaming platform) that can barely compete with a $1000 PC from two years ago. I'd say we entered a new era indeed. It appears the recession magically ended, everyone is working again, and making more money than ever. I just wish I got that memo sooner. /sarcasm


Agreed and it seams that every one has a high way or a bridge to sell.
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8
May 1, 2010 8:02:54 PM

Wow that's a lot of writing.
Me, I just want less time spent on developing for Macs/Consoles and more time spent developing for PCs.
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2
May 1, 2010 8:04:14 PM

@godwhomismike I agree, also for some reason I'll spend an extra $1000 to get a less powerful GPU and restrict myself to play only Steam distributed titles... yes it makes sense, I'll go sell my Xbox360 and my PC right now 'cause now I can play on a Mac ! yay !

You gotta be kidding me.
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22
May 1, 2010 8:21:21 PM

What's it cost to buy a Mac that keeps up with the $750 budget PC that this web site tells you how to configure? $2,500? $3,000?

It's valve's way to simply squeeze more money outta a 3 year old game.
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2
May 1, 2010 8:21:58 PM

"The last change for apple to prove it's quality".. no matter how hard they tried microsoft has the lead in OS market, now apple turning to the great gaming community hoping that this will get apple somewhere cause OSX is easier for gaming developers. where do i belong? it's too early to say, but what i can say that this will open a new door for challenges between the two companies and refreshes the PC gaming once again..
bottom line i love the idea.. but windows gaming will stay the ruler here.
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1
May 1, 2010 8:39:29 PM

We've heard this before. It still hasn't happened... Remember when porting Quake III was going to change the face of Mac gaming? Yeah, so do I. It's too expensive and most Mac users are professional/light users. That is why they have Macs- they prefer a solid interface over high performance. Unless that dynamic changes Macs won't be a big source of gaming revenue.
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5
May 1, 2010 8:47:41 PM

Apple is the real reason to provide games for the Mac. The majority of computers sold today are laptops, and in the PC world, the laptop graphic chipset of choice is Intel. Intel graphics are simply not very good, and that fact cannot be dismissed.

Apple has rejected the Intel graphic chipset because of its poor reputation in favor of better mobil alternatives from nVidia and AMD. This fact makes the Macintosh every bit as good a platform for Games as the PC.
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-4
May 1, 2010 8:48:02 PM

the mac can't be a serious gaming platform until apple puts some competent gpus in their lower priced computers. The only mac with a decent video card is the most expensive imac, and for that price i could do a lot better with a pc.
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3
May 1, 2010 9:04:11 PM

aberchonbieWe don't know the amount of money involved in development, distribution, management, and marketing spent on the steam client/games for Mac now, but I really question if it's worth it since there really aren't a huge amount of people using Macs compared to PC's.


A couple months back, Direct2Drive was having a Mac sale at their website. Dragon Age: Origins was one of the games on sale at 50% (!) off the original price, while PC gamers were stuck with the full price. I emailed D2D asking them if this was the type of promo their customers could come to expect in the future, and I was told (more or less) that since Apple gamers are slowly taking a larger chunk of the market, we will be seeing more and more promo sales catered to Mac gamers. When I questioned why Mac users were getting a much better deal than PCers, the CS rep claimed that Mac sales for DA: Origins were pretty significant, even compared to PC sales (complete b.s. IMO, but whatever).

Up to that point, I had never seen DA: Origins available at that price for PC gamers, either at D2D or at any other digital distributor. Keep in mind that DA: Origins wasn't released for the Mac until almost a month after the original PC release date. This just reiterates the point I made in my earlier post: the more popular Mac gaming gets, the more excuses studios will have to shaft PC gamers on price (not to mention quality).

For the foreseeable future, I don't see the Apple gaming "explosion" as having anything but a negative effect on the PC games market.
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-4
May 1, 2010 9:13:24 PM

Take this Macheads:

http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=2463062322...

From Starcraft II developers:
Quote:

We are aware that SC2 is running much faster under Windows. This is expected because MacOSX is lacking graphic features and the drivers are not as optimized. That said, we will do everything possible to optimize the game.
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5
May 1, 2010 9:14:12 PM

This is very misleading.

Steam CANNOT port games over. Steam has ported their CLIENT over.

Just because you can get Steam on a Mac doesn't mean you can play all the games available on Steam on a Mac.

Developers STILL have to make games for Mac. Then clients can download them on Steam.

So this isn't very big news except for the fact that Half-Life and all related sub-games are on Mac's now.
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2
May 1, 2010 9:29:59 PM

Yeh, Have fun gamign on those mac graphics cards!

Not.
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2
May 1, 2010 9:30:47 PM

Lol. The last time I checked, the $2499 USD Mac Pro comes with one GeForce GT 120, essentially a rebranded OEM only 9500GT, one quad core Xeon at 2.66GHz, 3GB of RAM and a 640GB HDD. For $200, you can upgrade to an HD 4870, a last generation card which performs like the mainstream HD 5770...

Even the $1,999 iMac is better with an HD 4850 and 4GB of RAM... -.- Which still can't max most modern titles.
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2
May 1, 2010 9:31:53 PM

dot dot dot.....
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-3
May 1, 2010 9:37:48 PM

A lot of the people on this site don't seem to understand that computers aren't just for gaming. Most people buy computers for internet/communicating and some video and music stuff. Some people also like to play the odd game. More and more young people are switching to Macs - particularly at University (College). These people have not bought their computers for gaming but if the option to play the odd game on them is there then some will go and buy a game. Chances are this casual mac gamer market is pretty big and there's a hell of a lot of money to be made there.

Out of myself and all of my friends, I'm the only person who has ever built a 'gaming rig'. I'm not the only person that games though. At least 50% of my friends have switched to Macs now too. Probably more.
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2
May 1, 2010 10:07:41 PM

To me the question is how manny Mac users and also PC users will spend $1800-2000 on a Mac as their PC/gaming system if they "save" the 300-500 they would spend in a gaming console. Add to this number of users those with legacy iMacs and Mac Pros with capable graphics. And if you are willing to speculate add a possible new Mac or an iMac with at least one graphic upgradeable option. Macs could run Windows too so there is an added value.

Who could qualify to enjoy this Mac/console gaming system:
A) Mac Pros users starting with 2006 Intel machines but better with 2008 Mac Pros. They will just need to pay for the games and maybe they will need new graphic cards. So at least $150-400, depending on whats available this year.
B) New Mac Pro buyers interested in gaming: They will spend $2500-3000 for the Mac Pro.
C) iMacs If they have capable graphics they will spend from $0 to $2200 for a new one.
D) If something new appears it could be iMacs with upgradeable graphics or a new headless desktop Mac with some upgradeable graphic options. It could be something around $1500-2000.

I think for this model to work Valve will want a new "middle Mac" or iMac upgradeable or they will depend to much on Mac Pros and iMacs with the best graphics.

Al least once a year Apple offers an entry level and a medium high end graphic card. So in the 5-10 years of a gaming console life cycle if you have upgradeable graphics you could upgrade the gaming console/Mac maybe 3 or more times. Whenever you have the opportunity.
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0
May 1, 2010 10:20:02 PM

Way to write this in a 'us vs them' tone. I really don't think anyone here with a lick of maturity is going to buy into this mess.

Steam is trying to expand its customer base by 8%. News at 11.
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3
May 1, 2010 10:20:11 PM

Big deal. So some Valve titles will work. It's not like you're going to be able to download Call of Duty or Battlefield via steam and have it run on a Mac.
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0
May 1, 2010 10:20:25 PM

Go play counter strike with their "magic mouse" xD
Mac and gaming is a big no-no for me but it might be a good thing for some of that poor mac users.
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2
May 1, 2010 10:24:36 PM

How rude !

"and there is nothing you can do about it."
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
May 1, 2010 10:26:15 PM

This article is comparing Mac's to consoles? I read that right didn't I? The point of a console is to take out the hardware question and play it from the couch. Guess I can do that with my Mac as it's a laptop but the point of the hardware is really only kinda true in a way. There's several different models of Mac's and they change annually. So it's hardly static, though easier to work with then Wintel, which ironically I haven't used an intel CPU on a windows machine in years.

The only real change I see is that the tiny "trendy" crowd will have access, so a few more sales on that front. Personally I run both for mostly different uses so it will be sorta nice to be able to take my games with me. Granted I don't see gaming on the go much, not that big of an issue. Nor would I expect it for anyone else, the apple premium price becomes really painful when you have to start upgrading because games don't stop advancing.

Though I think it's ironic really, some game developers use a lot of Mac's for building their titles, yet so little does make it to both platforms.
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-3
May 1, 2010 10:27:24 PM

Mac != Gaming
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-3
May 1, 2010 10:44:09 PM

kewl munkyIf they start making Mac exclusives all hell will break loose.Also, wasn't there something about Steam coming to Linux?

Looks like the answer is yes. Steam is working on client for Linux, but it is not ready yet. During the Mac OS-X beta test they leaked the Linux client. Some guys are trying to start it up, but they able to get only couple of screenshots. Here you can read all about it:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODIw...
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