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Valve Confirms Games, Steam for Macs in April

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 39 comments

Valve Software going after the aluminum-clad computer crowd. Officially.

It was painfully hinted at last week, but Valve today makes it official with its announcement that it is bringing Steam and the Source engine to the Mac.

The Source engine porting over will bring to Mac OS X users Steam and Valve's library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series – all of which will be available in April.

"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

"We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development.

Cook pointed to the recent beta version of Steam that eschewed the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit, which is used in Apple's Safari, Google Chrome and a number of mobile browsers, and the OpenGL support given to Source as added flexibility to move to the Mac.

"We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth," added Cook. "We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows."

Valve also confirmed that the recently announced Portal 2 is also slated for a Mac release alongside the PC and Xbox 360 versions. Those concerned that a Mac version may take away from PC development time shouldn't worry.

"Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," said Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead. "We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."

Now with Valve and Blizzard-Activision jumping on simultaneous PC/Mac releases, other publishers may follow, and possibly nudge Apple into producing Macs that are more catered to gamers.

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  • 26 Hide
    brother shrike , March 8, 2010 7:55 PM
    I'm hoping that
    a) this doesn't slow down valve development too much (it's already pretty slow...)
    and
    b) this means that linux binaries may be coming... They've already done OpenGL...
  • 22 Hide
    tayb , March 8, 2010 8:06 PM
    This is great news for Apple fans but what are they going to play the games on?

    The iMac maxes out with the 4850 and the cheapest model with the 4850 costs $1850. If you want anything faster than a 4850 you'll have to purchase a Mac Pro with a 4870 which will run you $2700.

    In the end this is going to be moot if Apple doesn't get rolling with some serious GPU updates. There aren't going to be any gamers buying Apple with that lineup. Not a single legitimate gaming machine to be had.
  • 20 Hide
    restatement3dofted , March 8, 2010 8:09 PM
    wolfseeker2828This might just be what convinces me to get a Mac for when I go to college next semester.


    So you can pay a premium for outdated hardware? Good plan.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    brother shrike , March 8, 2010 7:55 PM
    I'm hoping that
    a) this doesn't slow down valve development too much (it's already pretty slow...)
    and
    b) this means that linux binaries may be coming... They've already done OpenGL...
  • -7 Hide
    wolfseeker2828 , March 8, 2010 7:55 PM
    This might just be what convinces me to get a Mac for when I go to college next semester.
  • 22 Hide
    tayb , March 8, 2010 8:06 PM
    This is great news for Apple fans but what are they going to play the games on?

    The iMac maxes out with the 4850 and the cheapest model with the 4850 costs $1850. If you want anything faster than a 4850 you'll have to purchase a Mac Pro with a 4870 which will run you $2700.

    In the end this is going to be moot if Apple doesn't get rolling with some serious GPU updates. There aren't going to be any gamers buying Apple with that lineup. Not a single legitimate gaming machine to be had.
  • 20 Hide
    restatement3dofted , March 8, 2010 8:09 PM
    wolfseeker2828This might just be what convinces me to get a Mac for when I go to college next semester.


    So you can pay a premium for outdated hardware? Good plan.
  • 6 Hide
    Sabiancym , March 8, 2010 8:14 PM
    Ya know, I've always wanted to pay $1000 more to do the exact same thing I do now........hmm.
  • 19 Hide
    NapoleonDK , March 8, 2010 8:30 PM
    Brother Shrike...this means that linux binaries may be coming... They've already done OpenGL...

    Oh man I hope so...
  • 3 Hide
    scotters , March 8, 2010 8:31 PM
    They'll say this after a while -

    Man this game is running like crap... I guess I oughta buy a pc with some real power.
  • 15 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , March 8, 2010 8:34 PM
    LINUX SUPPORT, NOW!
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , March 8, 2010 8:37 PM
    Please please steam support linux please :) 
  • 1 Hide
    pale paladin , March 8, 2010 8:47 PM
    I agree that the only positive thing I hear is future Linux support. Other than that this is a fail any way you look at it. This Only opens up the rebuttal "macs can play games just like windows can" to the inevitable argument many of us have. Woot spend $2700 dollars on a status symbol that can now play Valve games. No thanks. I can build 5 computers and have a lan party with friends for that much money. The best part is.. they would all be proud of my frugal-ness and impressed with ME because of what I can do. Not the shiney-ness of my white or aluminum computer. Ranting now , sorry.
  • 0 Hide
    sceen311 , March 8, 2010 8:58 PM
    How would the laptops 9600m run these games? or the upcoming Starcraft 2 or diablo 3? speculations?
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , March 8, 2010 9:03 PM
    I do not think this will be a bad thing. The source engine is very hardware friendly. Hell even with a 4350(that is slower then a 8600GT) you CAN play many source games as long as you can play with lowered settings(it does not look that bad).
  • 1 Hide
    deltatux , March 8, 2010 9:07 PM
    Yup Linux support please so it's another step to ditch Microsoft for me :) .

    Also, now I'm wondering if what I bought makes it available for me on the Mac since I do have a Mac laptop. This'll definitely mean I can game on the go as well :) .
  • 0 Hide
    keither5150 , March 8, 2010 9:28 PM
    Anyone who games does it on a PC.

    Valve will monitor how many Macs are currently online at any given time.

    The sound that they hear is crickets.

    The new macs are barely fast enough for L4D. Then again, since most games are currently lousy console ports, maybe a mac can game.... if you can find a mac owner who games..... I hear crickets again.
  • 3 Hide
    Teirdome , March 8, 2010 9:30 PM
    I'm actually hopeful that this will encourage some more PC game development in general. Having more systems to possible sell titles on means that publishers would be more willing to put a big game out there. Apple will still need to remedy their terrible graphics card selection however.
  • 1 Hide
    matt87_50 , March 8, 2010 9:33 PM
    Brother ShrikeI'm hoping that a) this doesn't slow down valve development too much (it's already pretty slow...)andb) this means that linux binaries may be coming... They've already done OpenGL...


    well hopefully the slowness over the last year or so has been because they have done this. from what I can see, they have just made the engine multi platform, hopefully, with a directX branch and an openGL branch, meaning they just develop games like normal on windows, and it just works on Macs as a bonus.
  • 5 Hide
    PieceMaker42 , March 8, 2010 9:34 PM
    taybThis is great news for Apple fans but what are they going to play the games on? The iMac maxes out with the 4850 and the cheapest model with the 4850 costs $1850. If you want anything faster than a 4850 you'll have to purchase a Mac Pro with a 4870 which will run you $2700.In the end this is going to be moot if Apple doesn't get rolling with some serious GPU updates. There aren't going to be any gamers buying Apple with that lineup. Not a single legitimate gaming machine to be had.


    Valve games are well known for being light on the system, their games don't exactly push the envelope in terms of graphics and almost anyone's computer can run a Valve title with decent frame rates.
  • -1 Hide
    livingsacrifice , March 8, 2010 9:54 PM
    It seems funny that mac prides itself on being inventive, cutting edge, and whatever else they seem to think thats along those lines yet only now can they play such mediocre games that a mediocre pc can do and has done for years... odd...
  • 3 Hide
    Jarmo , March 8, 2010 10:05 PM
    Most would be Mac gamers are in the same category as most of the PC users, the ones that buy a "superior gaming performance" market PC with a 2GB GeForce GT210 or something similar. GPU-wise, what you get from a mac is never high end, but at least it's not Intel GMA anymore. At least the stuff in Orange box should be light enough to give a satisfactory performance from a Core2 Duo machine with a GF9400.
  • 4 Hide
    TheDuke , March 8, 2010 10:08 PM
    as long as games don't go exclusive to Mac I'm fine
    I don't want that console war crap on the PC
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