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Valve Confirms Mac Versions of Steam, Valve Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the branching-out-to-the-apple-tree dept.

OS X 541

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Gamasutra: "Valve will release a version of its Steam digital distribution service for Mac next month, along with Mac-native versions of its own games, the company confirmed today after days of hints — and owners of Valve games will have access to both platform versions. The Source engine, which Valve uses to develop all its internal titles and also licenses to third-party developers, will incorporate OpenGL in addition to DirectX, to allow Mac support for all Source developers. ... '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,' said Cook. 'Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates.'"

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The first thing to come to my mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405326)

Will we be able to play online with PC people?

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (5, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405356)

Part of the announcement was that, yes, you will be able to play online with PC users.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (3, Interesting)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405444)

And what does this mean for us Linux users? OSX and Linux are both Unix variants, a little difference in FreeBSD/Linux kernels, but not nearly the jump to port that it is for Windows. Discuss.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405464)

It means that Valve still thinks you loonix people are fags

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (2, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405564)

OS X is UNIX, Linux is Unix "like".

And "A Little Difference" is huge, probably as large of a difference between them and the NT kernel. Not only that, OS X doesn't even use the FreeBSD kernel, they use the Darwin one.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405918)

Eh, but userland is more or less the same. There are differences for IO drivers, and you can use Quartz Compositor instead of X, but the two are very similar.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405574)

I would love to see a Gentoo release!

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405586)

Not much to discuss, really. These games probably will be built on something layered over Apple's Objective-C frameworks, not on X, and so porting this stuff to other Unices would take a lot of work.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405660)

And what does this mean for us Linux users? OSX and Linux are both Unix variants

Mac OS X native apps use a different toolkit from the vast majority of apps for Linux and the free BSDs. This toolkit is called Cocoa (formerly OpenStep). GNUstep is a Free clone of parts of Cocoa, intended for source compatibility [gnustep.org] , not binary compatibility like Wine.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405794)

Erm... Cocoa is for the UI layer, like toolbars, buttons etc., when did you ever see a standard toolbar in a game? Almost every game uses custom UI, so if steam games are using OpenGL(which is the only accelerated graphics API on the Mac), it should be easy to port it to Linux/BSD.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405672)

Not likely, yet.
Game publishers still think no one wants linux games, despite that fact that me and my wife spent the weekend looking for good linux games for her, mumbling the whole time about how we would be happy to pay for such a thing...
Fail. I think part of the issue is it's very hard to target "linux" with any sort of reliable, always working game. Granted, games on windows aren't always reliable and always working either, but publishers have more experience with it, and limiting to "XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (or these days, just the latter 2) is a realistic move they can make and still sell games for windows. I don't know if this would be true for linux.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405704)

Probably not a lot.
Which Distro? What sound system? Lack of easy to install 3d drivers for nVidia and ATI. Actually the drivers for nVidia and ATI are pretty easy to install but probably beyond what some people will want to do.
I would love to see it but Linux and OSX are not that alike. on OSX you just target quicktime for audio and video playback. No need to worry what "legal" codecs are available.
Is Valve going to start targeting OpenGL? if so that part should be portable at least.
But the real issue is lack of customers. I just don't see that many Linux users that don't dual boot into Windows for gaming.
If you don't get new customers it doesn't pay off.
OSX offers a bigger pay off and fewer development issues.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (5, Insightful)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405936)

Actually there's a much bigger jump.

Windows and OSX are fairly well-regulated monocultures: you have a consistent idea about how installation is supposed to work, you know where to put your config files, you know what permissions you need and how to get them. You rarely need to worry about broken dependencies: they happen, but the platform vendors usually provide an updater you can distribute with your application.

On the other hand, Linux is an undifferentiated mass. An application developer literally cannot make any useful predictions about the end user's configuration, which means it's almost impossible to provide support. The state of Linux is fine - it's even very strong - when you're only talking about FOSS. When you start asking for money, you need to make sure that your software is Suitable for a Particular Purpose. Installation needs to be easy and it needs to work everywhere.

I'm offering 10:1 I get modded flamebait for not drinking the Linux Kool-Aid.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405612)

Awesome. There will be an entire new population of n00bs for me to pwn. And these aren't just any noobs--they've never even been exposed to a real FPS experience of any sort. Hell, they don't even have a secondary-fire button!

Mwuhahahaha... Dominating!

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405676)

I used to own my PC-owning friends in Q3A, even with my one button mouse, which I used at their request to make it more fair to them :D

Been awhile since I played a great FPS on my Mac - the last three were Q3A, Halo and UT2k4 in that order. Played Half-Life way back in the day on a friend's machine - looking forward to picking it up natively.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405684)

Let's see here.. My first FPS was Wolfenstein 3D, I've never owned a computer with a one button mouse and I'm a mac user since 2006, does this mean I've never played a "real" FPS and that I don't have more than one mouse button?

Also, what about all the old-school geeks who have switched to macs after the death of every other available UNIX workstation manufacturer (or the discontinuation of their workstations)?

/Mikael

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405364)

The first thing that came to your mind clearly wasn't RTFA.

Re:The first thing to come to my mind... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405402)

"Windows". Try using that word when you refer to the OS, it's not difficult.

Who says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405328)

There aren't any games for Mac?

Re:Who says... (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405950)

Well, we have photoshop...

Woohoo! (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405346)

I'm all for games being available to as many people as possible. This is awesome news for Apple fans...I hope it signals a shift towards more games being available on the OSX platform. Have fun :-)

Re:Woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405370)

I also like the idea. Just makes sense.

Re:Woohoo! (1, Troll)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405854)

But how many Macs have powerful graphic cards? Not everyone is going to get a Mac Pro costing $2500 at the very least with a very limited selection of graphics cards. Most of the rest of the line up have integrated Intel cards with piss poor graphic performance.

Re:Woohoo! (1)

rworne (538610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405990)

Not quite. Some of us have intel iMacs with ATI cards with piss-poor graphic performance.

PS3 not tier one? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405348)

Why is valve ignoring ps3?

Re:PS3 not tier one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405382)

Because they're already supporting one crap console.

Re:PS3 not tier one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405388)

ps3 is dieing, mac gaming is the future, obviously.

Re:PS3 not tier one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405608)

"dieing" ... where in the sweet fuck did you ever learn how to spell?

Re:PS3 not tier one? (1)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405986)

I believe the correct answer is "Nowhere."

Re:PS3 not tier one? (3, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405716)

They're just too small to concentrate on two consoles, and it's a lot easier to target Win+360 than Win+PS3. They outsourced the Orange Box port to EA and it ended up sucking, big time. Rather than own up to the cheap port, Gabe Newell made some nasty comments about the how the PS3 sucks as a development platform.

Until Valve gets a lot bigger, I doubt we'll see any of their games on PS3.

Re:PS3 not tier one? (1, Troll)

lc_overlord (563906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405786)

Mostly because the source engine is a piece of crap, it was designed with only DX9 on the pc in mind, that generally produces really deeply nested rendering code, which gets progressively harder to port the more nested it is.
But now that they added openGL for the mac version a PS3 version can't be far away because all the hard stuff has been untangled.
It might just be a new major version of the source engine.

That or Microsoft just paid them lots of $$$ to ignore the PS3.

Presumably this involves some porting work (2, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405358)

Countdown to the start of blaming the Mac porting effort for the delay of HL2Ep3 starts in 3..2..1..

Re:well no (3, Informative)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405398)

From the article:
"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 Portal 2 lead developer Josh Weier. "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."

The article also mentions that Portal2 will be a day 1 release for the Mac alongside the PC.

Re:well no (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405450)

It might automate code generation but it doesn't automate debugging or QA testing which in my experience take significantly more effort then running the build system....

Re:well no (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405588)

The way he describes it is Continuous Integration, not hybrid code generation..

Re:well no (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405682)

You missed his point. It wasn't about code generation, it was about testing: You still need to test and debug on both platforms.

Re:well no (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405890)

Actually, I can see a system where the Source engine isolates the game developers from the hardware completely, as such platform dependent QA & Testing is only done by the source engine developers and not the game developers. Abstraction is a great thing.

Re:well no (3, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405754)

True, but in this case the relatively small subset of hardware supported by OSX makes things easier. Once they have it running at all it will only need to be tested against two or three OS revisions (10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard and possibly 10.4 Tiger) and a half dozen video cards. In many ways I suspect that the testing will be far easier than what is needed for a console. A few more hardware versions to deal with but at the same time there is so much higher margin in terms of RAM and processor power that there is a lot more room to play with.

Re:well no (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405964)

I am pretty sure it will be way simpler and easier to test on a console since they said the primary console will be the 360. No variation in that.

I do hope that they test it more than a once over saying "well, it loaded find for me" and then just release it.

I think the person that was talking about testing was talking about a situation like this:
Example (No Spoilers, I am making up an example): You are at a boss fight where there are lighting effects, a bunch of stuff to shoot (like bats in the air). Think the final boss of Gears of War but you can shoot the bats.
They would need to not only test for just compatibility, but for the game not freezing or messing up based on the actions you choose (like shooting one bat while walking over a mine that you set that is right next to the boss) which would trigger you hitting the boss, you making a kill on a bat, and you getting blasted by your own mine. Crazy stuff like that to make sure that game triggers the correct enemy (or yourself) dying.

The same software based testing that is going to happen for Windows and 360 really should happen to Mac as well. It would be very unfortunate if a bunch of errors started coming up by assuming it works just fine.

Re:well no (1)

LUH 3418 (1429407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405946)

It might automate code generation but it doesn't automate debugging or QA testing which in my experience take significantly more effort then running the build system....

They most likely use some kind of "compatibility layer" on which they develop the games. Something to handle the rendering, audio, input, networking, etc. (all interactions with the outside) in a cross-platform manner. It's also likely that most of the bugs in the compatibility layer are already fixed, because most of them will be pretty obvious (it's not very complex code, after all). The rest of the bugs, such as bugs in the game logic, will most likely have the same result on any platform.

Supporting Macs requires a big initial effort in building this compatibility layer and properly testing it, but once that's done, you can just have your coders use it transparently. As for your beta testers, just have some of them use macs, some of them use PCs, to be on the safe side, but they most likely all would experience the same bugs, because most of the code is the same on either platform. The more games you crank out using your cross-platform API, the better tested it is, the less likely it becomes for people to find flaws in the said API.

A few years ago, a friend an I coded a rendering API that could use either Direct3D or OpenGL as its target. It took us some effort to find clever tricks to keep the performance good. We had to find ways to have the GPU transform between coordinate systems as needed. For our modest 3D engine, it wasn't an impossible effort though. We did discover some cases where both targets didn't perform exactly the same down the road, but those bugs were easily fixed.

Re:Presumably this involves some porting work (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405552)

Their episodic content is mostly design work, little programming. I think more likely the delay is due to the piss poor tools that Source has. That's always been one of its weaknesses is that its design tools are way, way behind Unreal Engine's. That might be where there's so many more UE2 and UE3 titles out there.

Of course I suppose one could argue that the programmers were spending their time on this instead of making better tools, but it would seem that if they haven't now they aren't so interested in doing so.

Not Cider! (5, Insightful)

Sechr Nibw (1278786) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405360)

3 cheers for *native* Mac development, instead of just Cider builds!

NICE! (3, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405362)

I'm sure someone will rush in to point out how a PC is still superior as a gaming rig but, as a Mac owner, I still say NICE!!

It's nice to see other game publishers figure out what Blizzard has known for a very long time.

Re:NICE! (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405692)

Isn't the only thing separating a Mac from the PC is the OS? People argue that the PC is better mostly from a hardware point of view. Keyboards, mice, easier to mod, extensibility, etc... I don't see why Windows or OSX would have any significant differences in these regards since they have the same hardware and peripherals, and the same access to the game's files for modding purposes.

Re:NICE! (2, Insightful)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405698)

It's nice to see other game publishers figure out what Blizzard has known for a very long time.

I think you're gonna see a lot more of it for a number of reasons.

First, Microsoft fucked up the PC as a gaming platform. The lack of interest, investment, the Games for Windows fuck-up, MS execs admitting that they deliberately don't release games for the PC to prop up the Xbox. Blizzard complained publicly but others can see the writing on the wall, too.

Second, piracy is a real problem on the PC. Ubisoft did experiment with no DRM at all; that they came up with the total fubar they use now, should tell you how that experiment went. Apple users otoh are more likely to have more money than time.

Third, Apple's market share's been increasing while the share of PC's who can run games has been decreasing. Compared to ten years ago MS lost the top end to Apple, the bottom end to netbooks and most of the middle's running intel integrated crap.

Re:NICE! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405980)

Most developers see the "writing on the wall" as reading "Consoles are the future, PC's aren't." Whether they're right or wrong about that, it seems to be the direction most of them are going. Blizzard is exceptional because they're one of the few major developers left that still develops pretty much exclusively for the PC.

Native clients I hope. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405366)

Interesting.

Let's hope that they do actually properly go for native instead of the lameness that has been Cider wrappers around the windows version that we have seen in the past from some. EvE was interesting, and I can see the economy of scale issue (in writing a native client for a small platform) but the performance of the Cider wrapper really hurt.

The chicken and egg problem (no games, no dev support, thus no games...) has to be broken sooner or later - Blizzard certainly seems to be doing ok with a dual platform release format.

Re:Native clients I hope. (2, Informative)

Chris Lawrence (1733598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405404)

Yes, it's native, and they are optimizing for OpenCL and other Mac-specific stuff. No cider or other such crap. Now, if only they can release something other than third-person shooters which I both dislike and suck at. :)

Re:Native clients I hope. (5, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405460)

My PC-owning buddies hated me nailing them in Q3A, on my Mac, especially if I said "ok guys, I'll use the one button mouse, just to be fair".

Re:Native clients I hope. (1)

Thanatos81 (1305243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405486)

OpenCL is not Mac-specific. That is the big advantage of OpenGL, -CL and -AL. Along with the Webkit-based Steam this news is not just great for all you Mac owners but a bit of hope for the Linux fans, too.

Re:Native clients I hope. (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405490)

Yes, it's native, and they are optimizing for OpenCL and other Mac-specific stuff.

Since when was OpenCL Mac-specific?

Re:Native clients I hope. (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405548)

The nice thing is that the Steam distribution platform is now cross-platform, so it's easier for other developers to get Mac games out there. I suspect you'll be seeing all sorts of Mac games published on Steam relatively soon, not just Valve's FPSes.

Re:Native clients I hope. (1)

Chris Lawrence (1733598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405598)

Hope so, more Mac games would be good. I still like to buy software the old fashioned way though, on disk.

Linux support (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405368)

Linux support is coming when porting it to linux becomes profitable, stop asking.

Re:Linux support (1)

MZeora (1707054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405412)

I would be one of the many Unix based boxes who would and have gladly pay for Steam Games and steam based games if they had support for my OS (which is Linux)

Wonder if Linux is next (2, Interesting)

Andrioid (1755390) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405372)

Would be nice if they decided to release it for Linux as well, even though it might be a "tier-2" platform to them.

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405420)

I think they're waiting to see which of the 87 sound architectures available on Linux actually becomes stable, useable, popular, and useful simultaneously before pushing for porting to the Linux platform.

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (1)

Thanatos81 (1305243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405604)

Well, if Valve would bring out Half Life 3 alongside a new Source Engine completely based upon OpenGL, OpenAL and OpenCL for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, that would boost OpenAL and imho pretty much make it the de-facto standard across distros pretty fast. They got the tools, they got the franchise and perhaps the expertise. Everything that is lacking maybe is management ready to take a risk or two.

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405744)

Except you can count on at least two or three fairly major distros refusing to use OpenAL, after heated flamewars their documentation will have a lengthy "how to replace the buggy version of ALSA with distro-specific patches with something that works with Steam games" article, their mailing lists and forums will be swamped by users complaining about the lack of OpenAL support and the maintainers will tell the users that they're idiots for not understanding how technically superior ALSA is/how using OpenAL is anti-free software/whatever.

Oh how I wish that was 100% joking...

/Mikael

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (1)

Thanatos81 (1305243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405820)

Oh how I wish that was 100% joking...

/Mikael

Me too...

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405768)

I don't think they would take the risk for the dozen or so possible customers on Linux. The only reason they are doing Apple is because Vista drove up the customer base significantly. That, plus the hardware is pretty much fixed to a limited set.

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405952)

>>Everything that is lacking maybe is management ready to take a risk or two.

That and a community of people who are willing to PAY for something.

Re:Wonder if Linux is next (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405448)

This would be great indeed. At least its a step in the right direction and may at least put linux on the game platform radar screen.

Smart business move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405376)

With the overall popularity of the Mac OS across a growing number of portable devices, there's growth to be had here. Smart of Valve to get its foot in the door early as a publisher/distributor of bigger-budget PC style gaming on Apple devices.

Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405378)

Thats awesome ... but I just hope they haven't forgot about Linux. Seeing as OSX is a Unix offspring hopefully one day they'll release a native Linux Client. Wine is good and all, but a native client will always be faster.

Re:Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405418)

linux?

nigga please...

OpenGL (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405384)

This is great for Mac users. But its also good movement for Linux users. An OpenGL based Source engine would be fairly trivial to port.

Re:OpenGL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405720)

Just because the graphics layer is OpenGL doesn't mean it will be trivial to port. If they write it as a truly native Mac application, using Cocoa APIs to make take full advantage of the platform and give the best experience possible to their Mac users, it could be far from trivial to port.

Mac app != UNIX app.

Re:OpenGL (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405850)

What, exactly, would they use Cocoa APIs for in a game?

Note that GP is talking about Source engine (and games based on it), not about Steam application.

Great, maybe Linux will follow eventually (1)

squisher (212661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405390)

This is cool to hear. I don't use Macs, but hopefully any cross-platform implementation could eventually be extended to allow Linux support. That would be real news!

Re:Great, maybe Linux will follow eventually (2, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405844)

I doubt it. OSX is (relatively) easy to support because it has a very small subset of software to target (two/three revisions depending on if you support back to 10.4 or just 10.5/6) and a small selection of hardware. There is a massive difference between doing Q/A for a half dozen video cards on a stable platform versus trying to support the massive set of moving targets that get lumped together under Linux along with all the possible hardware that might get plugged in. Valve already has to do that with Windows. Do you think there is enough cash involved to make Linux worth the same effort?

As one example, which of the current half-baked Linux audio architectures do you recommend they use?

OpenGL (3, Insightful)

Efreet (246368) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405400)

If the source engine is going to be running with OpenGL too now I suspect that these games will suddenly be much easier to get working in Wine.

Re:OpenGL (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405596)

They were already pretty easy imo, TF2 runs pretty sweet, at least in DX8 mode (haven't tested it in Wine since Wine turned on DX9 support). Of course is OpenGL support coming to the Windows engine too is the question...

Re:OpenGL (3, Interesting)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405746)

I've never had any trouble getting any Source games to run under linux, usually faster than then did under native windows.

Mac Gaming: 1 (3, Insightful)

dougmwne (958276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405430)

A big win for gaming on macs. Valve has a cannon of some of the best FPSs the PC has to offer. I've been exclusively buying and playing my titles through Steam for about 2 years now (the sales are spectacular). Hopefully with native Steam support, more developers will take time and expense to make their new offerings dual-platform.

Mac version + OpenGL==Better Linux compatibility? (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405458)

I know, I know, in the foreseeable future Linux will not be an officially supported platform for Valve, but does this move have implications for (potential) Linux compatibility of Source games? OpenGL is readily available under any desktop oriented distro I have come across so far, and porting from OS X to Linux (or emulating needed parts of the former under the latter) should be easier and give much better results than dealing with Wine. Or am I missing something?

I'm a PC (2, Insightful)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405466)

I don't own a Mac, but today seems like a good day if you do.

One of the things I don't like about Mac (and there are a few) is that many games are not released for Mac or if they are, they are released way after they are released for everything else.

This seems to be a nice step in the right direction, and I got to say so far as a fit goes, Valve and Steam seem to me a great fit for Macs. Makes me think of the App store on their iPhones.

As much as I like to bash Macs, this is a very astute move for Apple and for Valve. More competition the better I say, Windows has had much the world bent over a bench for long time now and pretty much a monopoly over the gaming market outside of consoles (and a big chunk of that also with the Xboxen). Next step, price Macs more competitively?

Re:I'm a PC (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405658)

One of the things I don't like about Mac (and there are a few) is that many games are not released for Mac or if they are, they are released way after they are released for everything else.

That's an argument against the games industry, not against the Mac.

Re:I'm a PC (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405816)

No, next step, better GPU options for Macs.

I am a huge Apple fan, but we are lacking in decent GPU options on the consumer hardware. I am looking at a new iMac, and if I want a 4850 (still not a new card in the general trend of GPUs) I need to go for the 27" iMac, and spec it up at an extra £100. The best you can do on the 21" is the 4750.

I can see a heat issue, but some future design consideration for better GPU options - perhaps removable card-based would be a good idea.

Re:I'm a PC (1)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405942)

No, next step, better GPU options for Macs.

Yes, and a second mouse button! :)

source on mac? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405470)

Can I assume that they will be porting games like Left 4 Dead, Halflife and Team Fortress to mac was well?

Will linux get any love as well? With an OpenGL implementation, most of the heavy lifting should hopefully be taken care of. If it does, I will go out of my way to buy each and every one of their games.

Steam More Important Than Source (2, Interesting)

EXTomar (78739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405496)

Although getting Source on Mac is fine, Steam is the much bigger deal. Although I don't expect PC game developers to shift their production away from PC as their "first target platform", it does make it easier if one is also interested in distributing games on Mac. It doesn't matter the size of game developer, the Mac platform is a tough nut to crack due to scales of market shifted so far to the PC where an online one can help equalize. For instance, [i]World of Goo[/i] is an excellent game that works great on Mac but it must be hell to sell to just Mac owners. Your best bet in this situation for many publishers is to "combine distribute" the PC and Mac version on one disk which isn't totally efficient and desirable.

With Steam this gets a lot simpler. You now have a marketplace that goes directly to Mac owners and they get a bunch of the bonus support of Steamworks like version updates and achievement systems. Source on Mac for some games but I really see Steam as the big deal here. Steam opens up a lot to game developers.

And as a side though: Did Apple dropped a ball here where they could have used their gigantic online store to sell MacOS games? iTunes works great for updating games on iPhone and iPod...would it be so difficult to do the same for desktop games?

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405506)

Still looking for that linux support. Linux users tend to be the most tech savy and thus can be helpful in the process, create mods, and have a high percentage of those interested.

And the Last Domino falls... (4, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405524)

The biggest objections to Apple's computers over the last few years have been a) The cost and b) no games available.

The cost issue has become pretty meaningless to anyone who is willing to compare oranges to oranges: the cost of a Mac laptop or desktop with X features is pretty comparable to a Windows laptop or desktop with the same feature set, its just that usually the PC side has lower features by default and you can buy the components to raise the level of functionality, whereas Apple doesn't operate in the low end of the computer spectrum and even their base systems have great features and very high quality.

With this change by Valve it will hopefully signify changes in the attitude of the rest of the games industry and Mac support will grow to the point that its treated as well as Microsoft's products with regards to gaming. I am perfectly content with my iMac 20" desktop for the gaming I am doing, and I would love to play more games under OS/X rather than dualbooting to XP.

Lastly, if the Mac gains in acceptance, perhaps Linux will follow down the road. Having implemented all of this stuff for OS/X it can't be as far a stretch to include Linux as it was to make the original jump from Windows to OS/X (being a kind of unix after all)?

Re:And the Last Domino falls... (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405800)

"The cost issue has become pretty meaningless to anyone who is willing to compare oranges to oranges: the cost of a Mac laptop or desktop with X features is pretty comparable to a Windows laptop or desktop with the same feature set, "
Only sort of.
There are fewer options for the Mac so there are configurations available for PC that just don't exists in the Mac worlds.
For instance a Core2Duo with a high end graphics card and no monitor.
If you already have a perfectly good monitor why get an all in one or a new monitor.
Yes if try and match the Apple configurations with a PC the price will be about the same.
But you can not get the equivalent to a an Mac Mini with a high end video card and a 3 1/2" Hard drive and no wifi or Bluetooth.

Re:And the Last Domino falls... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405992)

This is exactly my problem. I probably wouldn't get a Mac even if they sold what I wanted (I like to build my computers), but now it's not even worth considering. The Mac Mini is too low end for what I'd consider a desktop box (9400M graphics?); it's not too much more than a laptop in a desktop form factor. The iMacs make me waste a couple hundred dollars on a monitor when I already have one in exchange for not being able to upgrade it like I would want. The Mac Pros, which otherwise fit what I want, are too damn expensive.

Where's the $1000 Mac Pro version with just a typical Core 2 and more typical consumer parts? As long as Apple doesn't sell one, I won't be getting an Apple.

(Things are better in the laptop world, except I've really fallen in love with my tablet PC. Time will tell whether I still consider that important after classes are done, but at least for now Apple doesn't really sell what I want in that area either.)

wow... (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405558)

and owners of Valve games will have access to both platform versions.

In an age where publishers are doing everything in their power to tie your hands when it comes to their software, this simply amazes me.

We've got publishers who user DRM that renders a game useless after a half-dozen installs... And valve is going to let you run your games on two entirely different platforms?! Not two different computers... But wholly different platforms. Amazing.

Re:wow... (1)

Artius (635286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405674)

Uhhh... Steam is one of the biggest DRM lock-in distribution systems ever invented. That doesn't make it good or bad, but are you sure you know what you're talking about here?

Re:wow... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405802)

That may be true but at least, so far, it is in the hands of decent people rather than people who could honestly say it required a whole set of work and charge you again. Valve have been pretty reasonable imo. They do need to protect their games and so far, from my experience, it's been the best option.

The annoying this is most of my Steam games probably will never work natively on a Mac but this is a huge step towards me moving away from Windows for everything rather than using it as my gaming box.

Re:wow... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405898)

It makes it pretty bad when it's 2020 and you decide to go back and play some of your old Valve games for nostalgia only to realize that the servers no longer work and you may as well throw all those discs in the trash.

Re:wow... (0)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405748)

Steam is DRM. When Steam goes down, you can't play your games... not even when you're offline. Just last week there was an outage that made all Steam games unplayable for an entire evening. And many games you buy on Steam will install additional DRM alongside Steam.

Valve is making some awesome PC games, at good prices, and with a good delivery platform. But don't forget that this all comes at the cost of some nasty DRM which is nearly as bad as the recent Ubisoft fiasco.

Yes folks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405580)

Now, you too can have the privilege of being told "The Steam servers are too busy to process your request." when trying to play a game you paid for!

I guess the one up-side to this is that it may decrease Microsoft's market share a bit.

Steam has an offline mode (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405700)

Unlike Ubisoft's system, Steam has an offline mode. Steam requires access to the DRM server when you install the game, not every time you play.

Re:Steam has an offline mode (3, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405934)

Unlike Ubisoft's system, Steam has an offline mode. Steam requires access to the DRM server when you install the game, not every time you play.

If you get in a situation where there's unexpected lack of connectivity (i.e. you weren't online when you clicked on "Work Offline"), there is in fact a good chance that offline mode won't work. Also, even when it does, it only works for a certain period of time (depending on how lucky you are, anywhere from days to months), after which it will stop working and demand an Internet connection.

Just because you personally have never run into it, doesn't mean that the problem isn't there. Just google for "Steam offline mode not working" and see for yourself. I've had the unfortune to experience this myself.

The bad news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405636)

Hopefully the availability of Mac OS games doesn't kill some of the epic sales that happen on Steam. I've taken paying $1-10 for some nice 2-3-year-old games for granted over the years. Examples: Mass Effect? $5. GTA IV? $7.50. Portal? A few dollars. Batman: Arkham Asylum? A few dollars as part of a company's package sale. X-com games? $1-2 a piece, etc.

If Mac OS users are used to paying a higher premium for software then any cross-platform game available may have its rock-bottom discounts killed.

No games on Mac? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405654)

I don't understand the "no games" argument. Sure, there are far fewer games, but NO games? Hogwash. Bioshock, Dragon Age, Prince of Persia, CoD4, Lego Batman/Indiana Jones, Civ4, Neverwinter Nights 2, Quake Wars...The list isn't as impressive as PC, but there are plenty of top-tier games to keep a gamer interested.

Not as great a news as one might think. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31405788)

I doubt most developers are going to do both Windows and OS X. They'll pick one or the other. This will lead to platform fragmentation, and drive people away from computers as a gaming platform, (after all, console exclusivity isn't as common as it once was) and DRM issues being propagated by companies like Ubisoft will only accelerate the process. This is going to cause long-term issues, or it is going to fail.

Apple / About this Mac / More Info (1, Insightful)

Deadric (13491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405822)

Before anyone gets overly excited, please remind yourself of what video card your shiny $1k computer is running.

Mac.... (1, Interesting)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405828)

It's not stated, but I assume by "Mac" he means "Intel Mac" and not "Intel and PPC Macs". Anyone know any different? (I have a PPC mac and never intend to buy another.)

Minimum system requirements? (1)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 4 years ago | (#31405904)

Waiting to see what the min sys requirements are -- I'd expect Intel only, no PPC.

The big question is on minimum requirements on the video side -- will early MacBooks and Minis be left in the cold? The wrappers used for Spore really screwed a lot of people by not supporting the early Intel video chipsets like the GMA950 on the old MacBook I'm using.

Might be time to upgrade to a newer MacBook Pro!
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