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Apple Needs To Get Its Game On

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the step-up-to-the-plate dept.

332

BusinessWeek is running a piece exploring why Apple needs to get back into gaming. From the article: "Maybe Apple's user base just isn't fully aware of great games that are now available for the Mac? Sure, there are games to be found at the Apple store, prominently displayed in the software section. But does Apple market the Mac as a gaming machine? Adams says it should. 'The biggest thing that Apple could do is educate its users,' she says. 'Apple's message is so closely tied to iTunes and iLife and the iPod and these are all great selling points. We have a great relationship with Apple and they help us get the games ready. But we really need the users to meet us halfway, and only Apple can make that happen.'"

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Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (0)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457772)

Paragraph by Paragraph summary of the story:
1) I'm a man fanboy.
2) Have been for years.
3) Rand MS bash (Internet deplorer)
4) Sadness for Apple's decline.
5) Mac not so insanely great for games
6) Win 95 better for games.
7) Enough of a fanboy to buy 2nd hand mac to play command & conquer.
8) Bah! Enough, this article is boring....
*shakes head* - a story on mac gaming that doesn't mention the (sniff) bungie [wikipedia.org] tragedy [microsoft.com] !

-1 Waffle.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457803)

lol, man fanboy. we alwasy knew, but thanks for telling us.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457816)

1) I'm a man fanboy.

That's a given for Mac users!

Ah thankyou!

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (0)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457820)

I'm a man fanboy.

At first I couldn't tell whether you mistyped "mac", were referring to man pages, or were just gay.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457887)

He did it on purpose -- just so that you people could comment on his sexual preferences. YHL. HAND.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (0)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457993)

He did it on purpose

Nope. I never bash mac users (or anyone else) for there supposed sexual preferences.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457905)

At first I couldn't tell whether you mistyped "mac", were referring to man pages, or were just gay.

*snort* - nicely put - and three retorts instead of the inevitable one :-)

(and unfortunately I can't use the typo defense having savaged [slashdot.org] someone for accidentally calling me a mac fag instead of a mac fan) :-/

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (2, Funny)

Philosinfinity (726949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458126)

Blame it on the Das Keyboard.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458158)

Blame it on not using Preview.

And ironically enough, I almost submitted that with "now" typo'ed in for "not", of course without previewing.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (0, Troll)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457893)

I'm a man fanboy.

Well I knew macs were gay. But now we have evidence their users are too.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (0)

RealSalmon (177174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458014)

1) I'm a man fanboy.

Yeah, we know.

Re:Paragraph by Paragraph yawnary: (1)

Skynyrd (25155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458046)

7) Enough of a fanboy to buy 2nd hand mac to play command & conquer.
8) Bah! Enough, this article is boring....


Exactly where I stopped reading as well.

Man fanboy? (1, Troll)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458195)

Just because he likes Macs is not a reason to question his sexual preferences!

Eveyone knows winodws is the untimate game machine (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457786)

With solitare, minesweeper, and freecell already installed, who could compete?

Re:Eveyone knows winodws is the untimate game mach (1)

jokerr (618070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457812)

Dude, you forgot Clock. You know, hours of fun...or maybe minutes.

FP? (0, Troll)

wezelboy (521844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457794)

Apple can market their machines as gaming platforms, but that doesn't mean that they are good gaming platforms. BootCamp helps, but they won't really be able to leverage that until they come out with an Intel PowerMac with some hooty graphics card.

Re:FP? (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458054)

PLEASE don't make it a gaming machine! My 15 year old who grew up on FPS and side scrollers is now a network gaming fool. He used to play Halo on his PC but after I got him a Mac mini for iPod compatability and to introduce him to that platform (G4 1.44 and the only non-stock thing was bumping the memory) he decided the graphics looked better there and has been hammering it on various Halo servers ever since. He has a new stack of game CDs for ti now too. If you make a Mac MORE game friendly, he will NEVER leave his room!

Re:FP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458101)

PLEASE don't make it a gaming machine! My 15 year old who grew up on FPS and side scrollers is now a network gaming fool... If you make a Mac MORE game friendly, he will NEVER leave his room!

I know you're making a joke, but you need to kick him out of his room before he becomes more like us. Seriously. He'll bitch at you for a few years, but he'll thank you later.

Re:FP? (1)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458214)

why? I LIKE being a Geek! I GLORY in my inner Geekness! Geeking is the way to go. I am a like 4th generation (that I know of) Geek and he makes 5... He can't help it. Its the genes thing...
    Sure he could go out and Jock instead; breaking bones on the football field, suffering permanant brain damage from fights and contact sports, spend weekends in the back seat with Becky Sue and watch her as she bears the first of your many childern at age 16 then, to support this family work in the local gas station, food service, factory forever while serving the (yep you guessed it!) GEEK in the front office.
    Naw. I don't think so... The way of Geek is the sure path to a good life...and hey..there are even cute geek girls if you know how to look :)

Educating users ? (4, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457804)

The biggest thing that Apple could do is educate its users

Educate them how ? Like Bob or Clippy ? Like Vista (à la "You need more privileges to move that file") ? No, thanks ! :)

First Thing (1, Insightful)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457808)

First thing Apple could do to improve the gaming situation is to sell an affordable Minitower computer with a accessible PCI-e slot, just like every other PC manufacturer on the planet.

Of course that would never happed because it would undercut all of their high-margin botique formfactors, damage the brand, etc etc etc. Style Nerds have more money than gamers.

Re:First Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457847)

Style Nerds have more money than gamers.

Are you referring to the same gamers that will spend as much on a single video card as most people would the entire pc?

Re:First Thing (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458137)

That group is totally out of Apple's reach. However, there are people who want to spend $800 on a computer and not end up with a MacMini with Intel Extreme Graphics.

Re:First Thing (2, Interesting)

gomer47rehab (967076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457915)

The first thing they could do is sell their games at a reasonable price.

SimCity 4 Deluxe for Mac - $60
SimCity 4 Deluxe for PC - $20

If this is the best they can do, I'll be happy to pay for a copy of Windows XP for gaming and use BootCamp

From the article:

Adams told me, a successful Mac game might sell 50,000 units. It physically hurt my head to hear so low a number. My first question after hearing it was, "How do you do this profitably?" Her reply: "It's always been a razor-thin kind of thing."

Sigh. It looks like it *is* the best they can do.

-g

Re:First Thing (3, Informative)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458110)

Well, the average "Macs Have Games" post brags about 2-3 year old stuff like Unreal Tournament 2004, so I can't really blame the publishers for charging full price for old titles. It's not like there's an abundance of new titles drawing peoples attention.

Note that the price disparity also exists for mainstream programs like MS Office. Mac users are not price sensitive.

Re:First Thing (2, Insightful)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458125)

I didn't know Apple published SimCity...

P-P-Powerbook! (1)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457831)

FTFA: At one stage, I turned to eBay (EBAY) to buy a used PowerBook G3 with OS 8.1 installed, just so I could play Mac C&C.

So THIS is the guy that ended up with the P-P-Powerbook!

I'll bet it still managed to run C&C, though....

iGames (1)

Abnormal Coward (575651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457834)

in the apple way, it would be iGames :P

Re:iGames (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458216)

I don't know if Apple would get into gaming. They would lose lots of money for awhile.

Even Microsoft is losing millions with the xBox and they are subsidizing the price to get it into market.

Who cares about games? (5, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457837)

You can play any Infocom game on the Mac. Who cares about anything else?

Re:Who cares about games? (1)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457950)

Oh Infocom... The early Zork games are by far my favorite games of all time!

Later,
-Slashdot Junky

Re:Who cares about games? (0, Flamebait)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458003)

Thanks for the insightful contribution to the discussion, bub. Now could you move away for the people who actually give a shit about games?

(For starters, text adventure games have improved a great deal since the Infocom days. You think no one makes them anymore?)

Re:Who cares about games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458116)

Thanks for the insightful contribution to the discussion, bub. Now could you move away for the people who actually give a shit about games?

(For starters, text adventure games have improved a great deal since the Infocom days. You think no one makes them anymore?)

YTMNB - You the man now, bub.

Yay for gaming (2, Funny)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457838)

'Apple's message is so closely tied to iTunes and iLife and the iPod and these are all great selling points.'

How about iCantPlayFPSWithOneMouseButton . . . thanks, I'll be here all week (or until the mods show up). Tip your waiters.

Re:Yay for gaming (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457982)

I'm typing this from my Windtunnel G4, and clicking the Submit button with a 5-button-plus-wheel Logitech mouse.

-:sigma.SB

Re:Yay for gaming (1)

cyber-dragon.net (899244) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458187)

I am on a mac and use a logitec trackman with two buttons and a wheel. Shockingly the same I use for windows... and it works just the same. I have yet to run into an app that did not support the right click.

If your going to fling FUD just make sure and know what your saying ;)

Re:Yay for gaming (0, Flamebait)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458236)

How about iCantPlayFPSWithOneMouseButton

How about BuyAMouseFucktard? The only Macs that include a mouse are laptops, and NO ONE is playing an FPS on a trackpad. So the choice of mouse is entirely up to you - the Mac will support as many buttons and such as you throw at it. If you bought a 1-button mouse, that was your decision.

I hope so (2, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457841)

I have fond memories of apple gaming, back in the day. Karateka, Wavy-Navy, Oregon Trail, even Number Munchers.

Re:I hope so (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457921)

Finally, somebody that remembers Number Munchers. All my friends know "Oregon Trail", but when I mention "Number Munchers" ... they have no clue what I'm talking about. Long live the classics!

Re:I hope so (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458141)

I was more of a MathBlasters kid myself...and I've still got a pre-release copy of Where in the World is Carmen Sandieago on an 800k floppy ;)

iSteam (1)

scrow (620374) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457842)

iCould see Apple having some sort of store interface for interactive entertainment. Steam is a pretty good example of that (grumbling about required internet connection aside).

Best of both worlds? (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457854)

Surely given that Apple's next os release will apparently let you dual boot to XP, you could use the XP boot for games, and Apple's OS for all the stuff it's been used so for. At least till we get games coming out that require Vista, I suppose. I guess it's a question of profitably - it'd be possible to convert a great many games on the Mac, but the returns wouldn't be that great until more Mac owners get into gaming. But since there aren't all that many games for Macs, it's catch 22.

Re:Best of both worlds? (1)

jokerr (618070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458159)

you could use the XP boot for games, and Apple's OS for all the stuff it's been used so for.
How annoying would that be. "Yeah, let's jump on line and kick some ass...oh, wait a minute, have to reboot." I dual boot my laptop right now and the thing that keeps me from loosing my mind is a shared partition between Windows and Linux. Don't think that would work for games....

making games profitable to port (4, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457855)

Convince more game devs to use OpenGL, libSDL, OpenAL, and other cross-platform libraries, lest they settle with straight DirectX. Ports become very easy (and presumably less expensive) to do, making it more likely that a port will turn a profit. And we all know how the suits love a profit.

Re:making games profitable to port (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457994)

PC Clones account for the vast majority of the gaming market. They can use a single API and get their code to build for PC or Xbox 360... it's looking like Xbox 360 is going to be the biggest player in the seventh generation console war, with the possible exception of the Wii, depending on how all that plays out. Supporting the Wii well will (say that three times fast) take special attention to the input portion of a game. If you design your game to be playable with a gamepad, Xbox 360 support will take little more than a recompile (plus a new screen, maybe, for controller configuration.) There is frankly little motivation for developers to support OSX for gaming (with the exception of the titles mac users want most) especially when you can now run Windows on your mac.

Re:making games profitable to port (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458201)

Convince more game devs to use OpenGL, libSDL, OpenAL, and other cross-platform libraries, lest they settle with straight DirectX.

Can DirectX be licensed from Microsoft and ported to MacOSX, or is it tied to some technology that is Windows Only?

I know it would defeat the purpose of using Open standards, but wouldn't it make easier to port games?

But for that you need to improve them (3, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458231)

The game developers I know dislike the cross platform tools. They don't dislike that they are cross platform, they just find them inferior to work with compared to DirectX, they find it's a lot more work. One of my friends, who's currently learning all this for the first time (he's at a game dev school at SMU) says how much more work it was for him to get his engine to work in OpenGL mode than it was in DirectX mode (their project requires both).

Now, maybe these guys just aren't very good. Ok, fair enough but you have to consider those people as well as the Carmacks. You cannot make the argument that everyone should be a grand master, most people aren't.

Well, the problem is if 99% of developers find DirectX easier than the cross platform tools, they are more likely to use it. Again you come to economics. You are going to make, by far, more money on Windows than any other platform. So you calculate how much you think you'll make cross platform (and you probably lowball it since you want to CYA) vs how much extra cost in dev time using APIs your programmers don't liek will add (and you highball that for the same reason) and the conclusion is you don't do the port.

From talking to my friend the cross platform stuff just needs a lot of simplification and unification. He claims it takes much less effort to make something work in DirectX than OpenGL and that everything in DirectX, be it 2D, 3D, input, sound, etc is all done in the same way.

So I think what needs to be done first is to out slick DirectX. Produce a unified API that does everything, and does it easier than DX does. You have a leg up in that regard as you aren't shackled to any legacy designs. Make it so that, even if they don't plan on porting, developers want to use it because it is so much better. Port the API to everything, Windows, Mac, Liunx, the consoles, and so on. Then it becomes much easier to make the port argument "Well if you are going to use AwesomeAPI anyhow it takes very little time to port cross platform."

But I do think the better API has to come first. Make it a benefit, not a sacrafice.

Apple should buy Nintendo (4, Insightful)

drgroove (631550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457865)

This is the only logical step for the company. Microsoft and Sony both have their own gaming systems; Nintendo is the only independent company left still making a system that isn't also part of a PC/Media company.

An Apple/Nintendo merger makes quite a bit of sense from a corporate culture perspective as well - Nintendo, like Apple, is the smaller, more personal of the gaming companies, focused on user experience more than sheer graphic/processing power. From a philosophical standpoint, their directions align nicely.

Additionally, Nintendo could help Apple expand into the Japanese / Asian market with other consumer electronics, given Nintendo's HQ and savvy with that marketplace.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (1, Interesting)

drgroove (631550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457913)

One other point - IIRC, Nintendo's OS is UNIX-based (someone correct me on this if this isn't right).

If correct, not to say that it would be academic to port Nintendo games to Apple, but the path would be a little more straightforward than if Nintendo were Windows CE based, for example.

Also, their portables products could eventually merge into a reasonable competitor for the PSP - GameBoy/DS+iPod, anyone?

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458061)

The OS matters dramatically less than the graphics API. What would make a far bigger difference in Wii and Apple porting would be if the Wii supported OpenGL, since that's what one uses on OSX.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458155)

Also, their portables products could eventually merge into a reasonable competitor for the PSP - GameBoy/DS+iPod, anyone?

Uh.. DS is already outselling PSP by a couple million units and climbing. I doubt that creating a "reasonable competitor" for the PSP is among Nintendo's concerns. If anything Sony should be trying to merge with apple to restore some type of creativity/innovation into their lifeless gaming systems.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (2, Informative)

ProudClod (752352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457981)

Apple's Market Cap is ~$50bn. Nintendo's is ~$27bn. Could Apple "buy them out"?

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458028)

Seeing as Nintendo has been an independent company for over 100 years, is making a shitload of money as is, and has never shown any interest in the PC market even when it rules games with the NES, I don't see this happening. Nor would the two cultures really fit well- Apple's strategy is selling hardware at an insane price premium via a combination of software and fanboyism. Nintendo is about selling low cost game platforms and making money on first party titles and licensing. A merger between Sony and Apple would be more of a fit, both go for the "our brand name deserves a premium" idea.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (1)

jokerr (618070) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458133)

A merger between Sony and Apple would be more of a fit, both go for the "our brand name deserves a premium" idea. Yeah but that would mean that Sony would have to give up the Vaio. I don't see that happening any time soon.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458160)

I don't see Apple going after the game market happening anytime soon, period. Its a crowded market with MS already losing 3 billion there, they're better off out of it, and trying to convince PC publishers to port to Mac. The best thing they could do is support SDI and help improve it to make porting easier.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458172)

That's a stupid idea. Why are you so stupid, stupid?

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458180)

Apple should buy Nintendo...

Realistically, that's not going to happen. Before the switch to Intel processors they were ideally positioned for a partnership. It would have been relatively easy for Macs to ship with the ability to run all Nintendo games, thus bolstering both Nintendo game sales, and Mac OS's deficient game lineup. Now, it would be a bit harder and I think it less likely. Apple could buy a few gaming companies or otherwise arrange for some exclusive titles, but I'm not sure it would be enough. Rather I see two factors making a difference. First, game developers can now use the technology behind WINE to make quick and dirty ports that run about as fast on OS X as Windows and with little effort. Second, virtualization will allow Windows apps to run almost as fast under OS X as Windows, thus making most games run just fine without a port. Which this will be depends mostly on whether Apple builds in the virtualization or leaves it to third parties.

I agree they are a good fit as companies go, but Nintendo will likely not give up its independence. The wildcard in all this is an Apple entry into the TV/home entertainment/PVR/downloadable video market. That would make for another convergence point that could make or break such a partnership.

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458206)

I know of a small sandwich shop down the street which is less about undercutting its competitors' prices, and more about providing a pleasant experience for their customers. Should Apple buy them as well?

There's a lot of parallels that you can draw between Apple and Nintendo, but that doesn't mean it makes any sense for them to merge. Why is it bad that Nintendo is an independent company? Why would Apple want to outlay a huge pile of money to buy them? How many years would it take for that purchase to pay itself off? Would it even work? Even if there was no interruption to either business, and they both continued to turn a profit, the purchase price would be very large, and it'd take many years for the profit to cover those initial costs. Apple is doing pretty well financially, but I still don't think they can afford to buy their way into a huge market like MS is doing.

Apple is already well respected in Japan. They don't need Nintendo's help. Nintendo doesn't need their help. I really don't see the logic in it at all. Sorry :(

Re:Apple should buy Nintendo (5, Funny)

dR.fuZZo (187666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458225)

And they could call the new company Nipple.

Apple used to have the premier gaming computer... (3, Interesting)

Faust7 (314817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457881)

Anyone remember the days when games actually came out first on Apple computers? All sorts of stuff used to debut on the Apple II - Castle Wolfenstien, Boulder Dash, Karateka (the precursor to Prince of Persia)...

Re:Apple used to have the premier gaming computer. (2, Insightful)

Schlemphfer (556732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458047)

>Apple used to have the premier gaming computer.

Excuse me? All I can remember of the early-80s gaming scene is that whenever a game came out for both Apple II's and C-64s, the graphics and sound on the C-64 version would blow away the Apple version.

Not convinced? Summer Games from Epyx. I rest my case.

Re:Apple used to have the premier gaming computer. (1)

blugu64 (633729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458173)

I lost weeks upon weeks of my life to that game on the Apple II...then years later I discoverd this thing called an emulator, and once again lost weeks upon untold weeks to that game...

You're mistaken. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458207)

The Apple II came out in 1977 and took off very quickly afterwards - the Commodore 64 didn't come out until 1982. I rest MY case.

Re:Apple used to have the premier gaming computer. (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458146)

... and Prince of Persia itself ...

It's the games stupid (3, Insightful)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457908)

Apple has a website [apple.com] dedicated to advertising the games that are available for the Mac. A cursory glance of the titles gives the impression that Apple actually has a large videogame library. However upon a closer scrutinization the games are a generation or two behind a series that is currently available to the PC. For example, Apple has Battlefield 1942, but they don't have Battlefield 2. Apple has Civilization III but they don't have Civilization IV. Apple has Ghost Recon but not Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. If Apple really wants to win over the gamer market they are going to have to end the typical 6-12 month delay that a game experiences before being ported to a Mac, if it is ported at all. Otherwise the gamers demographic will continue to be dominated by Microsoft.

Re:It's the games stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458143)

actually they do have Battlefield 2 and Civ 4. I never did the clancy games being a UT fan myself....

try www.insidemacgames.com

your point isnt lost however just the examples.

No not really.... (1)

KajiCo (463552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457914)

I'm happy not being able to play games on my Mac. That's what my console systems are for. I'm tired of spending money on hardware just to play the latest games, and then find out the next awesomest specatular game will require the next level card up.

My Xbox cost me 500 dollars in 2001, and it has given me plenty of enjoyment for nearly five years without having to constantly upgrade just so I can play the next cool game. Granted can't play MMORPGS, but they are soul sucking demon spawns anyway (granted, they're fun soul sucking demon spawns).

Now with the 360 it's all happening again.

While the PC market has a very large gaming community, I believe most of them are already content with Windows, and really have no desire for the Mac OS, except out of idle curiosity.

Most want all the goodies DX9 offers, and they pay buku bucks just to get the high screen resolution, most anti aliased, and fasted frames per second possible.

They already know Windows can offer this, and has been offering it for a long time. Why switch now?

What kind of API can Apple provide that will be as powerful as DX? How about video cards, will there still be an Apple premium for video cards?

And Apple would do what, then? (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457923)

1) Apple starts hyping istelf as a game platform
2) Sony/MS/Nintendo nicely kick Apple's arse
3) Apple only loses a few million that year.

No. I don't think Apple should do this.

The biggest thing for Apple to do... (2, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457924)

was switch to Intel. The G5s were nice processors, but the 1.67 GHz G4 in my PowerBook just can't compete with the 3 GHz processors you could get in Wintel laptops at the same time. A 2.5 GHz G5 doesn't compete well against a 3.2 GHz dual core Index or AMD.

Apple's CPUs just weren't up to snuff. Now they are. Next up, graphics cards. I've heard the Mac versions are often terribly slow (mostly from arriving 1+ year after the PC part) for the desktops. The chip in my PowerBook was nice, but it was no screamer either. They also need to fix the integrated graphics issue (which is partially Intel's fault. Who makes a non-T&L chip in 2006?).

Re:The biggest thing for Apple to do... (3, Informative)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458118)

I'm not sure what Apple can do to "fix" the integrated graphics issue. I mean, looking at almost every PC laptop in that $1000-1500 price range, which the MacBook exists in, the Intel Integrated Graphics 950 chip seems to be one of the most common graphics chipsets available. Apple is currently using the ATI X1600 (in 128 or 256 meg variants) in the MacBook Pro and the iMac, and seem to basically be on par with the PC version (although the MBP X1600 is dramatically underclocked, apparently for heat and battery life reasons..... a number of MBP owners have clocked it back up to normal speeds though without too much problem). Given the MBP form factor the ATI X1600 is one of the better cards you can even get right now (and similar offerings from Asus and Acer use a similar video card...... it's really only when you get to the 17" behemoths that the competition is offering stuff like the 7900GS and 7900GTX, which Apple isn't yet offering anything to compete with).

Blame sw dev stupidity, not Apple (3, Insightful)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457936)

I can relate to what this guy is saying.

Macs are 100% capable of running all the latest games, and doing it well. Hell, these days they are basically a typical x86 machine with a totally ideal OS. You can get the most recent powerful video cards no problem, so it's not like performance is an issue, especially considering that every new Mac has a cutting edge Intel CPU in it (other than the G5s).

It would be nice if, for example, developers would use OpenGL more often considering it's actually the only reasonably cross-platform 3d API that has fairly widespread acceptance. I can't understand why companies willfully lock themselves into a Fisher-Price platform just because all the kiddies use it. It's frustrating as hell to me that game development companies are so shallow that literally all they care about is what will make them money.

I guess I'm just too idealistic in imagining a world where software is written with adherence to cross-platform standards, where people can run the same pieces of software regardless of what platform they prefer.

I shouldn't have to be locked out of huge portions of the software industry because I purchase the computers that work best for me. Unfortunately, it seems that "those who make the decisions" don't agree with that sentiment at all.

Re:Blame sw dev stupidity, not Apple (1)

PMAvers (449202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458016)

Actually, from what I hear, they're able to deal with DirectX pretty well.

It's really just Havok that's causing problems, since they're asking at the very minimum six digits for the Mac version, which would completely *kill* any port's budget.

Re:Blame sw dev stupidity, not Apple (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458096)

Well, the whole idea of "porting to Mac" is flawed to begin with.

Software should be developed to run on numerous platforms from day one.

Take a look at Halo. The port from Xbox -> PC was painful. Very painful. Then they ported PC -> Mac. So that's two layers of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Well actually, the worst part is that Halo really started out on Mac OS... but that's a whole different story...

Anyway, Mac games have a really bad rep for being slow/laggy, and it's 100% because all our games are ported from Windows versions! Essentially every time a game is released from the start for both Mac & Windows, the games run great.

It's even worse that the vast majority (95%?) of the time, the company porting the game to Mac OS is not the same company that developed the original Windows version...

Re:Blame sw dev stupidity, not Apple (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458171)

Mac games have a really bad rep for being slow/laggy

It's even worse that the vast majority (95%?) of the time, the company porting the game to Mac OS is not the same company that developed the original Windows version...

Yes, Aspyr, we're TALKING ABOUT YOU.

-:sigma.SB

Re:Blame sw dev stupidity, not Apple (4, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458221)

FWIW, OSX is still not an ideal gaming platform. You mention OpenGL--take a look at the world of warcraft Mac technical support forum, or various benchmarks sets. On identical hardware, OSX WoW performance lags very far behind windows.

And this from Blizzard, a company that has always been very with-it, wrt cross-platform design.

tough point in Mac OS history for developers (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457945)

Games that are more complicated than Solitaire require a bit of effort to produce. Any other risks in testing just make it harder and harder to publish something that has a short shelf life, as most games do.

The range of Apple hardware specs and Mac OS variations are at their highest right now. There are still OS9-ready titles on the Apple store shelves, and now you have to worry about the difference between Panther, Tiger, as well as PowerPC and Intel.

Sure, I want to go into the store and see a pile of Universal Binary games that can run on my living room's Panther eMac and my wife's Core Duo Macbook Pro, with a nice frame rate and snappy audio feedback, but how many game developers really have the room for that level of publishing complexity, when the TOTAL of all said platforms still pales to the Wintel empire?

WTF is Apple supposed to do? (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457970)

I don't understand what it is that Apple needs to do to improve 'Mac gaming' other than what they have been trying to do for years: increase marketshare.

They plug the hell out of what games are available for the Mac currently, and have made some interesting contributions to the scene (Netsprockets a while back, firm OpenGL support, writing drivers for videocards, etc). Heck we even have them (amongst others, don't get me wrong) to thank for pushing widescreen resolutions.

What else could they do to try and spur development, other than sell more Macs?

Why Apple doesn't care about gamers (1, Flamebait)

johansalk (818687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457974)

Because computer gamers are dorks. Not flamebating, but social fact. I can easily imagine an Apple switch ad for a Garageband user who'd go on and on about how "Music is my life...", but not a one for a hardcore gamer. Yes, "music is my life..." makes my stomach turn, but, apparently, it's socially accepted as a positive thing and makes girls swoon. Desktop Gaming, however, ummm, no!Can you imagine Steve Jobs as a gamer?

It'd be a fun keynote.. (1)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458114)

Steve Jobs on stage playing CS going "omgz, i soooo pwnzor'd u!!!11" at MacWorld.

Apple should do more gaming just so I can see this keynote.

Yes.

You would think (3, Interesting)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457997)

I was actually talking to an art teacher friend last night. She's going to buy a new computer, and has decided on a Mac, because of their better graphics capability.

Whether or not they actually have better graphics capability or not anymore, I don't know. But I know the historical use for Macs in business has been for graphic design, or other things that require very fine graphics.

All the best games have great graphics. You'd think that those games would be even better on a Mac, since they reportedly have so much better graphics capability. And yet, the big downfall for Mac historically has been that you have to have a Windows machine for gaming, because there just aren't games for Macs.

Which leads me to believe that maybe the "Macs have better graphics" line has always been a bunch of hooey. Had there been extensive game development for Mac earlier on, maybe there'd be 90% market share for Apple and 10% for Microsoft now. And you'd think that, early on and capitalism being what it is, game companies would have pushed games for the Mac. Did they?

Re:You would think (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458073)

That really doesn't have anything to do with it. In particular, what makes a platform very good for professional graphics work (technologies like ColorSync, etc.) don't really have much to do with what makes it good for gaming. I wouldn't really say that the lack of Mac gaming software really means that the platform's suitability for graphics work is "hooey", as you put it. The fact that PC's have been such a great gaming platform has a lot more to do with PC hardware and DOS and Windows being standard platforms to develop games for. You can also look to Microsoft's DirectX. It isn't to say that the Mac has never been a capable platform for gaming. A few companies like Blizzard have long supported the Mac. On a related note, NextStep (which is the predecessor to OS X) was actually the OS of choice for the original development of Doom. OpenGL games are a different matter, of course. But really, with the Mac's small marketshare, most game development companies just don't have the time or interest in doing direct Mac games development - and especially if you are making a DirectX game, a port to the Mac is a lot more difficult. There are some companies out there who specialize in porting PC games over to the Mac though. -Zadillo

Re:You would think (2, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458129)

Better professional-level graphics tools does not equate to better gaming performance. You have to recall that "graphics" production involves a different set of software tools and hardware muscles than playback of graphics, so to speak. The word graphics has such a broad meaning that people often misapply it.

PCs for the longest time (and even currently to a lesser extent) had better video cards available. Macs were still preferred for graphics work, because most REAL graphics work doesn't involve a video card except to view the finished product. In other words, you've got to build the camera before you get excited about the buying the best printing equipment to show off your work.

Re:You would think (2, Insightful)

KajiCo (463552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458134)

Graphics / 3D Art / 2D Animation and Game Engine development and Game Design are not all the same.

Yes, Macs have been touted as better for graphics, that's not really true, but the difference is in the work flow, and the community.

3D development is just as powerful on a Mac as on a PC no difference there.

Game development is a whole other ball game, all the while Macs were running on PPC, it has made it very difficult for game companies to port their systems from x86 to PPC, not to mention that also the OS structure is different than Windows. Even though now Macs run on Intel, developers have to use tools for the Mac like Xcode, to take their Windows code, and change all that code to be compatible with OS X.

Additionaly things like MS' DirectX are not available for Mac, so they have to make sure their engine will run under OpenGL using OS X's window displays.

Games won't be "better" on Macs because it doesn't work that way, you're not designing something, you're playing with something that was already created. Something that was created for a larger market.

While game development software does exsist where you can develop on Mac and port out to Windows (ie OTEE.dk Unity), the market share is very small.

Integrate with iTunes (2, Interesting)

tji (74570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458015)

I am a Mac user, and not much of a gamer.. I do play the occasional game for 15 minutes when I'm bored, but that's about it.

I think it would be to Apple's benefit to improve gaming a bit on MacOS, but I don't think that trying to compete with real gaming platforms is a good battle to fight.

What they need to do is:

- Integrate software purchases into iTunes. ITMS is simple and ubiquitous.. expand the scope of the store to include software, and you could guarantee good sales for small developers.

- Concentrate on mini games, which would be fast to download and appeal to the casual gamer. Solitare card games, Tetris, etc.. License old arcade classics, like Pac Man, Galaga, Tempest, etc. Charge a few bucks per game and you'll get plenty of sales.

-- Maybe produce a couple more complex games, like a flight simulator, golf game, racing game, or something like that.

No. NO NO NO NO NO. (1)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458199)

- Integrate software purchases into iTunes. ITMS is simple and ubiquitous.. expand the scope of the store to include software, and you could guarantee good sales for small developers.

No. No no no no. iTMS is for media. iTMS is not for software. Bad, bad idea. Bad bad bad.

If games by small developers is what you need, extend Made4Mac [apple.com] to have a better games browsing site, fine. iTMS is for music, videos, and the like. It's not designed for selling software, it shouldn't be for selling software. iTMS is not for software--I don't know what else to say. It's just not.

It's like this: I start a restaurant. Our specialty is pasta (music). Later, I add meatballs (videos). You can also buy wine (iPod) which easily goes with the pasta. I'm not going to go and sell furniture now.

Great Games? (0, Troll)

Clazzy (958719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458021)

"Maybe Apple's user base just isn't fully aware of great games that are now available for the Mac?"

Now, I love Solitaire as much as the next man, but what great games? Oh, I almost forgot Tetris. Reminds me of this [google.com] video.

Could the Title Be Any More Misleading (1)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458024)

So...a game bitch complains that Apple doesn't push games, and the title says that Apple has to push games? WHAT? Who edits these things? Maybe Apple cares about gaming the same way Red Hat does...not at all.

No iGame (1)

Mr.Ziggy (536666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458048)

Apple is all about designing, delivering, and controlling the user experience, and marketing itself as creative expression.

Games are OUTSIDE of Apple's control unless Apple want to become a game developer.

Given that Mac games are oftentimes delivered later than the PC versions, or not as good, games at best make the Mac on the par with PC's, and at worst highlight the Mac's shortcomings.

Ulp. I can't believe that I'm suggesting this (4, Insightful)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458078)

What Apple needs to do is hire the WINE [winehq.com] people or Transgaming [transgaming.com] to get something usable on the Intel Macs and include it free of charge (no Quicktime Pro nag) with the OS. This would be a stop gap solution as Microsoft is planning on destroying everything with Vista anyway but it would at least lower the "Mac's aren't for games" cries.

First though, Apple needs to sit down with ATi, Intel, and likely soon nVidia and get their drivers in better working order. they have the push to be able to do this so there should be no reason not to. Currently, the Intel Macs perform significantly worse under World of Warcraaft under OSX than booting into XP. Yes, this is just one app but it is a driver issue. This needs to change immediately.

Apple also needs to woo the developers (developers! developers!) to OSX. It's not going to happen immediately but if they can prove that there is both a market and a valid gaming system (get rid of crappy GMA-950, fix drivers) then they might have a chance. Developers are already going to have to switch to Vista's new way of doing things, they could also switch to OSX.

So, first step: get the back catalog. Next step: get the developers. Apple has a serious chance here. They better not screw it up.

Od course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458080)

I'm sure many great ports of PC games exist for Macs.

bPizn4tch (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458091)

completely before theorists - luck I''l find fucking numbers,

Apple doesn't support ISVs very well (1)

shodson (179450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458112)

Since when did Apple ever support 3rd party ISVs ever? They want to make the whole stack. They always push their own software heavily as reason enough to buy a Mac. The push Office and Quicken because they help people switch away from Windows, but besides that and Adobe they want you to do everything else with Apple software. Microsoft, on the other hand, knows they owe their existance and success to third-party developers and treats the valuable ones like royalty.

Buh (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458121)

Maybe Apple's user base just isn't fully aware of great games that are now available for the Mac?

I'm pretty sure everyone's played Super Breakout and Warcraft 3 at least once already now.

My life as a Mac Gamer (1)

Frobozz0 (247160) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458148)

One of my favorite franchises has just released a new game for the PC -- Heroes of Might and Magic V. I can't wait to get it. I have a PC that I had originally bought to run a specific piece of high end software for a job. Turns out it's a kick ass game machine. Upgraded the GPU and I'm off to the races. But I'm going to wait until this game is released on the Mac to support Mac gaming. For a Mac gamer, it's as much about advocacy as it is anything else. I'd dare say anything but casual gamers have a console, PC, or combination in the wing to anchor their gaming.

I have a MacBook Pro 2.16 all decked out. It should run HOMM5 beautifully. I'll support Mac gaming by waiting on this one (as I could have done for Doom 3 and Quake 4 ... but didn't.)

I think Mac gaming is there for the taking. I find that, because of the way the OS is written, you're never going to get that last 10% or so of FPS. But most people really don't care. Most people who enjoy games just want to get the latest stuff and have it playable.

Myst (1)

Hitchcock_Blonde (717330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15458210)

Anybody remember Myst? That game was designed on, and came out for the Mac WAY before it was available on Windows. Ah, those were the days!

I think the subject's missing a noun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15458234)

What does Apple need to get its game on? Steroids? The fast track? Maybe off of life support?
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