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Why Apple Should Port Games

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the the-battle-continues-on-and-on-and-on-and-on dept.

Games 848

DanTheMan writes "For every great game there is for Mac OS X, there are at least two for Windows. It's sad, but it's a fact. This article proposes a solution, and it's for Apple to port games. By the way, since the XBox 2 will use the PowerPC G5, it shouldn't be that difficult to port future XBox games to the Power Mac G5 and the iMac, both of which are 64-bit now. Would you buy a Mac if you could play Counterstrike Source and Half-Life 2? What other games are missing from Mac OS X?"

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No because... (4, Insightful)

Ninwa (583633) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684941)

Would you buy a Mac if you could play Counterstrike Source and Half-Life 2? What other games are missing from Mac OS X?"
I can already play it on Windows, but for less money. Why would I switch?

Re:No because... (5, Interesting)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685001)

I can already play it on Windows, but for less money. Why would I switch?

I tend to agree and in that same line of thought, what about Linux? Supposedly Linux now outnumbers Macs on the Desktop and the cost of Linux is even lower than Windows. With the things that and friends are doing, is there some technical hurdle that opengl et al cannot compete on? It seems to me that Linux would be a better target financially as it is exhibiting growth in the market place unlike the number of Macs being used which has somewhat stagnated. Just a thought.

Re:No because... (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685042)

You wouldn't switch to play games on a Mac, you'd switch because a Mac is superior. A lot of people don't switch because they like to play games on their PCs. If this excuse was taken away, it's possible they'd move over to Mac.

Re:No because... (3, Insightful)

Mikail (817047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685119)

You wouldn't switch at all if you want to play games . That's kind of the point. Using a PC because you like to play games isn't an "excuse" not to switch, it's just a question of priorities. If you want to play games, you get a PC. That doesn't mean the person is a mindless zombie to Microsoft, it just means they want to play games.

Re:No because... (4, Insightful)

Mr. No Skills (591753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685143)

It's also not just about switching to play certain games. People who have had a Mac for a while (and for other reasons) might want to play a game too. Why buy a second machine (as a Mac user) just to play a game? Why buy a copy of Windows (if I have Linux installed) just to play a game?

Part of this has been that the people writing the games probably knew one platform well, and there were tremendous technical hurdles to get the games going on the other machines. While there are still technical hurdles, I would think that there are less of them since the same graphics chips can be bought for multiple platforms now (not that I actually know anything about this). So, it might be interesting to see more of the business case for how many sales it takes to recover the R&D of game porting.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

flash23 (155989) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684943)

First Post

No (1, Flamebait)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684944)

Macs cost to damn much.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684971)

Let's see, using equivalent quality parts to the $1499 iMac gets you a $1472 PC. $27 is *so* much more expensive.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685025)

Listen up, a friend and me went to online stores and built pretend machines to see if what we could build would match a mac in ever feature for things like cpu and ports and hd and everything, and found that when you pay for $1000 in a mac you would pay $750 for the same thing in a PC. Same through EVERY machine in the mac range.

If u build it yourself, it will be cheaper. That cannot be denied

exhibit "A" (0, Troll)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685043)

Here is a fine example of a Mac zealot not realizing that a person with low income cannot afford "equivalant quality parts"... hence the reason they go out and buy a $500 gaming PC, which can play more and newer games than a high-quality Mac anyway! So, let's see, $1499 for a Mac, $500 for a PC. That's $1000 difference!!!!

Re:exhibit "A" (2, Funny)

Chundra (189402) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685115)

But for that extra $1000 you get to become a member of the mac culture and *that*, my friend, is priceless.

Viva la mac!

Before this is modded down... (1, Insightful)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685009)

as a troll... I'd like to say that this poster is absolutely correct. No matter how much Mac zealots love to claim it's just a myth! A person can buy a computer that can play the *most recent* games (although not very well, unless you turn off graphical extras like shadows, lighting, etc..) at around $500. No matter what you say, you just can't do that with a Mac.

Re:Before this is modded down... (2, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685135)


I can buy a 1 Ghz G4 eMac for $550 on sale from Apple, and it will perform just as well as your $500 PC on the games.

Dizzy (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684945)

Prince of the Yolkfolk

the ports are about will (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684947)

not about is it easy or hard or cheap.

such reasoning always exists with gaming systems though.. "why can't they do blablabalba".

Fallout fromt he early days? (4, Insightful)

markbark (174009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684949)

When Jobs didn't want games on the Mac to counter the argument that the Macintosh was "just a toy?"

Re:Fallout fromt he early days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684975)

They already ported Fallout. Twice no less! Once by the old InterPlay/MacPlay and once by the new MacPlay / wOmniGroup.

if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox (4, Insightful)

fribhey (731586) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684950)

if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox. the mac is not a gaming machine and hopefully will never be. i've never played games on my mac and don't plan to.

Re:if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685084)

I agree, except for the fact that some games are just made to be used with a mouse and keyboard. I'd hate to play Myst, Might and Magic or Civilization II on a console. Thankfully with keyboards and mouses coming becoming more common then before for consoles, this may no longer be an issue.

Re:if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685086)

"the mac is not a gaming machine and hopefully will never be"

Why do you care if games are ported over. If you don't play them, but they are available, will that somehow lessen your ability to use your mac for other apps? I don't understand this type of logic. If you don't want them, just don't play them. Don't wish for the rest of us not to have them!

Re:if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox (3, Interesting)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685106)

Don't be silly. There's a lot of games that are great on a real computer but suck on a console eg most RPGs, most strategy games, most first person shooters in fact everything except platform games and fighting games.

There are two games currently I would like to see on the Mac: Rise of Nations (which is on it's way) and Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War which is a surprisingly excellent RTS (surprisingly because I find Warhammer miniatures a real turn off).

Re:if you want a gaming machine get a ps2 or xbox (0, Flamebait)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685127)

Games that suck on consoles: FPS - Need a Keyboard and Mouse RTS - Need a Keyboard and Mouse MMORPG - Need a Keyboard and Mouse Flight Simulators - Need a Keyboard and Flight Stick Now that we've established that the PS2 & XBOX suck for the above, we can revisit the premise. Would I switch if the best of the traditional PC games were ported to MAC in a timely manner ... ummmm No, because Apple hardware is too expensive.

You have got to be kidding me (5, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684951)

since the XBox 2 will use the PowerPC G5, it shouldn't be that difficult to port future XBox games to the Power Mac G5 and the iMac

Just like it's a piece of cake porting Windows games to Linux on the x86?

Re:You have got to be kidding me (1)

ryane67 (768994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684979)

I think they meant that in the same way as it was easy to port windows games to the first xbox since it used DirectX and an NVidia card.
if microsoft does a good job with the OS on the next xbox the porting process should be just as easy.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685033)

Last time I checked there was no DirectX implementation for the Mac. That makes a big difference.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (1)

plj (673710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685050)

Yeah, but although many Macs have ATI GPUs like the XBox2, Mac OS X still lacks DirectX.

I guess it's not that trivial task to overcome that.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (1, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685080)

if microsoft does a good job with the OS on the next xbox


That's given me a new defintion of an optimist. Thanks.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (1)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685102)

At E3, Microsoft shows a new product, XNA [] , which is a Windows/XBox/Mobile Device game development platform and will be used for development on XBox 2.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (4, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684992)

Forget Windows->Linux, porting from the x86 XBox->Windows is enough of a PITA as is.

Re:You have got to be kidding me (1)

Henriok (6762) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685079)

Just like it's a piece of cake porting Windows games to Linux on the x86?Precisely! Nintendo Game Cube runs a 485 MHz G3-processor and an ATI-based GPU. If it was no big deal porting games to similar hardware, there would be droves of GC games for Mac.. but there are hardly none.

This isn't a hardware issue, it's clearly software. APIs, operating systems and developer tools.

First Port! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684952)

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D

Re:First Port! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685066)

Aww, come on. (Score:-1, Offtopic)
This port, er, post was wholly on topic!
Now you've deprived the world of my
awful pun that also lampoons certain /. stereotypes.

Windows? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684957)

What other games are missing from Mac OS X?"

I heard especially Windows Me has some great entertainment value! Dodge the BSOD monsters with the ... no wait, these were the overpowered monsters you couldn't do much about, sorry.

why should? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684958)

Counterstrike Source and Half-Life 2? What other games are missing from Mac OS X?"

as good as we have support for quake4/doom3 theres no need for nothing more

Porting isn't that easy (5, Insightful)

tulmad (25666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684960)

By the way, since the XBox 2 will use the PowerPC G5, it shouldn't be that difficult to port future XBox games to the Power Mac G5 and the iMac, both of which are 64-bit now.

Why do people think that just because two platforms run on the same processor that porting things between them is "easy". I can guarantee that the OSs used to run the two platforms are nowhere near the same, not to mention the graphics/sound/networking/etc subsystems.

Re:Porting isn't that easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684991)

c|r_isc makes the diff

but here its the 64bit nativity that will have a word to say
because game house's want easy ($$) routes to port games

Re:Porting isn't that easy (5, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684993)

Well, luckily since it is a 64-bit architecture it should be no problem to run Nintendo 64 games either. Let me just solder Mario 64 to my motherboard. See, I'll sohw you, it's easy, just take the game and put it here and the---- //NO CARRIER

Re:Porting isn't that easy (1)

apanap (804545) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685092)

True. The gamecube has a PowerPC CPU, still I haven't seen many gamecube games ported to Mac... In fact I'm pretty sure GC has way more games in common with PC than Mac.

Stupid. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684961)

Just because a platform uses the same CPU doesn't mean it'll be easy to port between them. The CPU is often the least complex part of a computer as far as interfacing with it. I mean, compare the complexity of maintaining the page tables and memory segments of an intel CPU with the complexity of dealing with something like a PCI bus controller or a GPU or a DSP. Even the software layer will be completely different on the XBox2 than what Apple uses in OSX. Moroon.

Re:Stupid. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685064)

Kettle, meet pot. Learn how to spell, moron.

This doesn't sadden me (1)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684962)

This doesn't sadden me to the amount of ported games for linux. I despise emulation, and until (if) the game industry ever picks up for linux I'll probably be half and half forever. (I have a windows and a linux box, for seperate purposes)

had to be said... (3, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684963)

apple hardware is just not fit for gaming. They ship the imac with an underpowered 3D card (GeFX 5200, only 64MB Vram, which barely plays UT2004, let alone Doom3) and insufficient RAM.

I always tell friends : buy a mac, and with the money saved by not paying the MS tax, buy yourself a 199$ PS2 for gaming

Re:had to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685032)

Let me guess: your friends' nickname for you is 'Idiot'

Re:had to be said... (3, Insightful)

buro9 (633210) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685069)

This is spot on, it's not like we gamers could rip out the graphics card and slot in the SLI nVidia cards.

Their default hardware is overpriced and underspec'd for gaming.

Sure I can see that there may be some of you for whom gaming is a distraction and you would like to use your Macs for gaming... but for gamers who take things pretty seriously we just want as much bang for the buck as is possible... Mac hardware hardly provides bang for buck.

That's not Mac bashing, it's just how it is.

With PC peripherals I can look at many suppliers in different countries, but the hardware I want at the lowest price and have my machine roar along.

With Mac's the prices are pretty much fixed by Mac, good profit margins are in there and you only get that which they release... you're not benefiting from competition in that segment, you're not getting value for money.

PC's are damn ugly though, that I'll concede ;)

Re:had to be said... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685116)

Sure, if by "gaming" you mean "playing FPS games". The hardware isn't fit for some games. Any game I want to play works just fine on my mac.

Re:had to be said... (4, Informative)

selderrr (523988) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685133)

um... warcraft3 is not an FPS, yet barfs out on my iMac when the fighting goes up. The new Sims version looks like crap if you haven't got the VRAM for sufficient textures. More and more games, even not 3D, require a powerful 3D card, just as much as an OS wants a serious graphics card.

Re:had to be said... (2, Funny)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685130)

I know, my dual proc G5 PowerMac is just *so* underpowered. Frankly I'm surprised that I can even boot my machine up before it's time to go to bed.

Re:had to be said... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685145)

Heh, that's funny.. 'mac' and 'money saved' in the same sentence - and he was being serious about it.

Wrong! (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684964)

By the way, since the XBox 2 will use the PowerPC G5, it shouldn't be that difficult to port future XBox games to the Power Mac G5 and the iMac, both of which are 64-bit now.

What does this have to do with anything? How much game code does this person think is CPU specific? Most of the problem with porting games to the Mac is that APIs used (e.g. DirectX) don't exist on the Mac. The only assembly code a modern game is likely to contain is targeting the GPU, not the GPU (and even this is more likely to be written in a higher level language now). Everything else will be written in a language that can target any CPU, as long as the required libraries exit on the target platform.

Re:Wrong! (2, Interesting)

magic (19621) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685020)

Precisely. The major issue in porting graphics applications from Xbox/Win32 to the Mac is DirectX. System calls are almost identical on the two platforms and there is little CPU-specific code. However, applications written to DirectX cannot be trivially ported to OpenGL even though the APIs have the same functionality. They use different paradigms, (slightly) incompatible shading languages, and wind everything from input to networking into the DirectX layer. This isn't to say that DirectX is a bad API-- in fact, it is superior to OpenGL in many situations. It is just a different way of accessing the same hardware. Porting games requires rewriting the graphics layer, which is often the most optimized and specialized piece of a game. -m G3D [] - The Open Source cross platform 3D engine

Re:Wrong! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685056)

I thought OpenGL was supposed to be the answer to this problem?
Wasn't the original Half life written using it?
Is the nice shiney new HL2 written using it?

I think the problem isn't with the graphics library, though it is likely to be a factor, from what I have seen its more often the entire gaming engine itself.

The smaller developers will come up with an idea, and make it work on favorite hardware without concern for portability. When the game does well, and ports are requested, they cannot just move it over as they expected initially.

Its getting easier for the big players to port games because their frameworks are multihomed (just like Linux) and already geared for transfer (ps2-xbox-pc) essentially all one codebase.

Re:Wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685104)

I thought OpenGL was supposed to be the answer to this problem?

Yes, but someone forgot about Microsoft. MS doesn't like standards. MS doesn't like solutions to platform incompatibilities, they love those incompatibilities.

So they made another: DirectX.

Would I buy a Mac... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684968)

If I could play games on it? No! As I already own one. But, it would be nice to have some games ported for us, but I won't lose any sleep over it.

Two to every one? (2, Insightful)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684969)

More like ten to every one. And for Linux, probably around 100 to every one.

Yes, sad but true.

Re:Two to every one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685087)

i dunno, id rather play xevil over doom3 any day.

Re:Two to every one? (1)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685150)

You misread the story. He said "great" game. In that regard I think it's considerably better than 2 to 1, pretty much every great PC game gets ported (in some cases, eg all of Blizzard's games we get the native the same time as they come out on the PC). Pretty much every other great PC game gets ported some time (usually upto a year later).

yesterday's battle (0, Troll)

hrm (26016) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684973)

I think you can forget about games for PCs or Macs, as that whole market will soon be irrelevant. Gaming is all about consoles and mobile platforms nowadays.

Re:yesterday's battle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685110)

+1 Troll indeed.

What about the modding community, id software made a nice chunk of cash tailoring games towards those guys. Mapping communities would disagree, as well.

In my opinion, there are too many damned consoles to try and get into them. Seriously, only a loser would spend all that cash on 6-8 different systems. Witha computer, one can play games and do other things like... like... post on teh Slahsotd!

I already have a Mac... (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684976)

but I still use a Windows box to play games instead of waiting 6 months to forever for games I like. Unfortunately, it takes time to port games from Windows to OS X; just ask the guys at MacSoft.

I'd personally love to see the MechWarrior series of games ported to the Mac.

3 button mouse (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684980)

When Apple will start shipping 3 button mouse as
default mouse, then I'll start consider their existence.

How much would a Mac Gaming Rig cost? (1)

NetPoser (266960) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684986)

2 to 3 times as much as a Windows Rig?

No, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10684990)

Would you buy a Mac if you could play Counterstrike Source and Half-Life 2?
... I don't play games. I bought a Mac because I like Macs and it lets me get my work done efficiently and hassle-free.

I have a Mac (1, Insightful)

realkiwi (23584) | more than 9 years ago | (#10684996)

I have had Macs since 1987. I didn't buy them to play games. I have been using Linux since 1997 too for work.

I did have a Windows 95 machine for games, it broke so we bought a PS2?

Do you see a pattern here?

My Mac mostly serves as a development server running Tomcat and PostgreSQL - it makes too much noise to be on all the time. I do some Adobe Illustrator work on it from time to time, and learn about OS X not much else.

Re: I have a Mac (1)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685136)

I have a Mac as well. I usually use it for email and browsing slashdot. Sometimes, I even watch DVDs on it.

(yes, this is about as useful and informative as your post was)

This would make a great poll (1)

Gudlyf (544445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685000)

Really one of the only reasons I have a Windows system sitting at home is to play games that I don't want to play on a console. There are some great utilities that are definitely much easier to use on Windows vs. Linux, but if I can play any of the games available for Windows on OSX (and at the same or better quality/framerate), I'd highly consider OSX. I use OSX at work for application testing sometimes, and I was immediately impressed with it (last time I had used a Mac it had OS9).

Incidently, what are the graphics and sound card options for a Mac? Are they the same? That may be another point why OSX isn't viable for high-framerate games, but then again I don't use OSX much right now so I'm not familiar with the hardware options for PowerMacs.

Would I buy one? (5, Funny)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685002)

Would you buy a Mac if you could play Counterstrike Source and Half-Life 2?

No, I already bought a mac for its existing great games. I've nearly completed Photoshop CS. The end guy is hard.

Re:Would I buy one? (1)

filenabber (628550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685131)

You're obviously not a true gamer - the "end guy" is called a "boss". :)

What other games are missing? (0, Offtopic)

mslinux (570958) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685005)

Tribes2. Loki ported it to Linux. It was the best game I ever played. Sad to see it gone.

Re:What other games are missing? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685114)

Sad to see it gone.

I can still fire up my spectrum and get a gaming blast from the past whenever I like. Just because a Game publisher goes out of business doesn't mean the games instantly vanish.

With the exception of comparitively very few (and relatively recent) network based games, every game released on computer since the start should be still playable - either via emulation, or actual hardware.

Easy to port? (2, Funny)

minus9 (106327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685006)

"By the way, since the XBox 2 will use the PowerPC G5, it shouldn't be that difficult to port future XBox games to the Power Mac G5 and the iMac, both of which are 64-bit now."

My Cisco PIX firewall runs an Intel Pentium, I think porting PC games to it would be still be fairly tricky. Anyone want to lend a hand showing me how to overclock a serial port?

In the case of HL2, a port would be too much work (5, Interesting)

ShinSugoi (783392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685010)

Considering how closely the Source engine is tied to DirectX, it's unlikely that it would be easy to port it to another OS.

While the HL2 leak had support for OpenGL rendering, the current version of CS: Source does not even allow you to choose that. You're probably looking at a near-total rewrite if you want to run HL2 on another OS that doesn't support MS' APIs.

Piece of cake (1)

JediLuke (57867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685011)

except, most windows games these days are writen with DirectX not OpenGL. Blizzard uses OpenGL and they do some great stuff with parallel development. Which is why we see mac and win binaries of WoW, WC3, SC and Diablo 2 (heck they even made OS X native installers for Diablo2! what nice people).

More acceptance of OpenGL would most definately help. It would be nice to see a lot more games for the Mac, but i've got the ones i need :D

Don't be ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685017)

You're saying the PC has a 2-1 edge in games?

No offense, but that is off by an order of magnitude. The PC has a 20-1 edge in games. That's not an exageration.

Go to CompUSA or any PC game store and count PC games then Mac games. Its not even close.

Re:Don't be ridiculous (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685117)

While I don't disagree that the magnitude is higher, counting games at a store is not a proper form of comparison since the amount of games is dependant on shelve space, and shelve space is dependant on store goals, promotions, business plans, etc. Even if you look at the PCs huge shelve space (which has greatly decreased in stores like Best Buy) you will see huge sections of it taken up by the same game. It's better to just look at an online catalog.

Hardware first (1)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685021)

Rather than software, I think the real problem is hardware. I can afford a Mac that's recent enough to do everything I want except game, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Sure, the G5s are nice machines, but when it comes down to it they're really overkill (and more than I can afford) for what I want.

Ideal Mac gaming machine:

-Processor and video card upgradable
-Single processor (yeah, some games take advantage of the dual processors... most don't, and it's too expensive to include on a cheap gaming machine)
-Fastest processor available; not like the 1.8 single processor G5
-headless, of course

It could do without a lot of the frills on normal PowerMacs, as it would keep the price down. Currently the only option is to game on a cheap, fast PC or buy an extremely expensive PowerMac. I'm not saying the PowerMacs are overpriced, but they're the only real option for Mac gaming, and are much more expensive than comparative "gaming" PCs.

In my opinion, a gaming Mac like this at an affordable price would do much more for the Mac gaming market. Most Mac users are stuck with either a terrible video card (everything but the Powerbooks and latest Powermacs) or a G4 with a very limited system bus (everything but the iMacs and Powermacs).

Re:Hardware first (1)

Quobobo (709437) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685075)

Argh, proofread first... that "latest Powermacs" bit is a typo, the "latest" should be in the part about processors, not videocards.

Re:Hardware first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685149)

Headless? You want headless for a gaming machine?

I don't know where you came from, but around here, headless means that it has no graphics card, no mouse and keyboard, and that everything is done over the network and/or a serial port.

Headless is fine for servers, but for a gaming machine?

Bah! (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685022)

Considering most of the games I have played seriously in the past or intend to play in the near future are from Blizzard, I'm not too concerned.

Its not the games keeping me away. (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685028)

Its the price. The machines are lovely, but for the price I can get just as powerful PC for cheaper.

The monitors now is another story.. *drool*

Buy a PS2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685036)

I have a novel ideal, buy a gaming console for gaming. Oh, no wait, maybe it is better to build your own PC with a $400 video card to play a game that will run on a PS2.

It's all about the MOUSE! (0, Offtopic)

ylikone (589264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685088)

Keymouse/Mouse combo is the ONLY way to properly play any first-person shooters. Ever play one of those trying to use a gamepad?? HA HA HA, good luck!

The "A", "W", "D" and mouse-look-and-fire model rules!

Exactly (1)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685038)

I'm so goddamn tempted to get an iMac, and I probably will. I like the selction of games available now (and I guess I could use VirtualPC to run some of the others (the older ones at least) if apple started to port games (which would cost alot of money) I would definantly be pushed over the edge, buy an apple hat and swear by everything apple ever makes from then and on forever (even if it does bad like the cube)

Of course, it would be a risky thing to do. Would gamers actually switch? Everyone loves OS X, and everyone wants it for x86, but there are stigmas with being a mac user (and most aren't true, like the all-macs-are-way-too-expensive one) So who knows. This question sounds alot like the "Apple should port OS X to x86!!!OMFGBBQ!!!111" comments that are a dime a dozen. Wishful thinking, but foolish thinking (although the porting-the-games idea isn't nearly as bad)

So the xbox 2 runs ppc, and supposedly runs on the darwin kernel. Sure, this would make porting games a snap. Also, the games would be easily portable to BSD and Linux, because of course OSX is based on BSD. Now the question is, would MS let this happen? Obviously the fact that Windows lords over game availabilty stops people from switching to other platforms, and its obvious microsoft wants to keep this monopoly (Hence DirectX, which makes porting games nigh impossible because it controls networking, graphics, audio etc etc) How would Microsoft stop third parties from porting the games they own? Easy. Evil Licenses. Wouldn't be a first for the big MS.

Huh? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685138)

The Xbox2 runs on darwin?!? Where did you hear that? The odds of that occuring are close to zero, I think.

to be honest (1)

horrens (785051) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685044)

I don't miss any games on the mac, I for one actually work on it
but more games on the mac might make some people consider switching

actually it would be nice if the gaming industry would start making cross platvorm games easily compileable on any platform, everyone would win

CPU vs OS. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685045)

The submitter doesn't know what he's talking about.

When porting a game from one system to another, compiling to a different CPU is the easiest part. Just change a CPU setting in the compiler (or use a different compiler, if the one you have doesn't support the new target CPU).

The hard parts are stuff like talking to the graphics card (through DirectX or OpenGL), and the operating system.

Porting from Windows to X-box is easy. Change the CPU setting in the compiler, and rebuild. The X-box uses DirectX like Windows, with only minor differences, and some kind of Windows Embedded.

Going from X-box to OS-X then leaves only ALL THE HARD STUFF. Like rewriting everything that has to do with the OS and graphics (and sound and...) That's like... everything. Except pure calculation loops, that don't display anything.

Going from Linux to OS-X is way easier, but not going to get you any games. From OS-X to Linux can be easy, but as soon as the program starts using the nice Aqua/Cocoa/Carbon stuff, it gets hard too.

Hardware Upgrades (1)

SilentEchoes (737817) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685058)

Not going to happen. I am a Mac user now, but even if I was not I still would not buy a Mac for Gaming, Even if the games where all released at the same time and did'nt have to be ported.

For the simple reason that every knew game requires a new generation of computers now adays, The upgrade spectrum for the Mac just isn't there to support this kind of thing. Once my PC starts running slow, I can just buy new parts for it.

Yes I can do the same thing for my Mac, If I want to pay a premium, but if I am just using my computer for games it would be far cheaper and wiser of me to get a PC.

Even still Apple may be catching up in the performance game but video card options are lame for the Mac right now. Macs just are not the right machine for hardcore gamers. Period. I could list tons of other reasons but I think I have made my point.

Open vs. Closed (5, Insightful)

pertinax18 (569045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685060)

I think porting games to OS X will do little to convince gamers to move to that platform. I think one of the biggest reasons that gamers prefer the PC platform (other than the vastly superior game library) is the open nature of the hardware platform. Upgrades and additions are easily made, if a gamer wants to go out and buy the newest ATI or NVIDIA card they can just do it, no need to buy a completely new iMac or expensive upgrade through the Apple store.

More importantly, if a gamer wants to get a new motherboard or processor it is just as easy, this simply is not possible with the Apple platform. And there is choice in the PC market, Intel v. AMD, NVidia v. ATI, and the gamer makes the choice not Apple.

Despite the superiority of OS X, and I would say that most Windows users would not deny this, Apple simple is not a good platform for gaming. If gamers want a closed system that they have to buy a new one to upgrade (i.e. iMac) they will be way better of with an XBOX or PS2 or other console system, it certainly will be an order of magnitude cheaper. The open hardware of the PC platform just appeals to gamers and their custom-loving, fastest-craving attitude.

Yup (1)

zuba_inverse (238253) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685063)

The one reason I've never been able to go for a Mac is the total lack for support of the games I want to play. It's nice that they have a few token games supported, but when there's no support for certain MMORPG games (or you are playing on a separate undersupported server) it's not enough. World of Warcraft should be a good step, but it's probably not enough on its own.

Gamers not that important (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685068)

There's a lot of people who will play whatever games they can get.

OK, there's a lot of hardcore gamers who may choose their system based on the games, but a lot of people I know (age 30+) buy a computer for home, internet and business and then maybe will put the odd game on.

If a game isn't available, or they need extra hardware to run it, it won't be a big deal to them.

Still too expensive.... (1, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685072)

I know we'll get into this religious war about TCO and all that crap, but the fact remains that you can buy a new nicely equiped PC for a lot less than the cheapest Mac costs... and then you're getting the cheapest Mac.

The Mac MAY last longer, work better, and be easier to use, but if we all had the cash to follow that logic we'd all be driving Lexus and Infinities.

There's also momentum... I might be able to play the games I want to on Mac, but I definately can a PC... moreover, I have dozens of PC only games that I still have and will want to play long into the future. I could go out and buy a Mac, but why should I have two computers where one will suffice?

If I was starting out NEW, like if my house burned down and I lost everything in it, I might be inclined to buy a Mac. But otherwise, even I do think they are superior in many ways, it's simply not worth it.

Just for MACs? (1)

pyro jackelope (771283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685074)

I love Apple hardware, and agree that games should be ported for it...but what about Linux? I know it's open source, etc, etc. but honestly...

Feh. (2, Interesting)

Millennium (2451) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685078)

There's no need for Apple to get into this. There are several dedicated porting shops already, including Aspyr and MacSoft (mentioned in the article) and Westlake Interactive.

Apple may do well to provide assistance to these shops, but frankly its own resources are stretched too thin already. Why do people have this blind and absurd obsession with everything being made by Apple, anyway?

Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685089)

Will Mac games cost more than PC games? Everything else Mac related does. Why would I switch to a more expensive platform just to play games?

As of now YES (1)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685090)

Simply put, I just bought a 4230$ PC to play game, I got it a month ago. Very powerfull but not as much as I thought, some games I can't even play at the highest settings, considering the specs it's rather disapointing (X800XT, P4 3.4GHz, 1GBDDRII, 800MHz bus...). I optimized it the most I can but still. I played Doom3, Warcraft3, Ghost Recon, a load of demos. One game that just got released, Men of Valor (demo), has problem playing at 1024x768 (I get 24-30 FPS)!!!

The video card fan is already defective, I had to reformat and loose a bit of stuff just to move my OS to another drive, and the bottom case fan makes some weird noise. The FIRST week I caught 3 virii.

I should have gone with a Mac, sincerly, I thought I would have an orgy of games on the PC side and yes, I played them early and there are more but its more of the same so...
I'm quite disapointed, Windows isn't on par with osX at all (like some say), it is a very frustrating OS, I feel I have control over nothing.

But I know I will get use to it, as soon as the defective parts are changed and I spend 1hour per day on maintenance (adware cleaning, virus scan...) it might get fun...

Apple won't port games. (2, Interesting)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685123)

Apple doesn't need to port games. Aside from MacSoft and Aspyr, which the article mentioned, there are several other software houses that could do it. A personal favorite is OmniGroup, who did an excellent job with Giants: Citizen Kabuto. (Talk about taking advantage of the hardware...)

In addition, not every "great game" released for Windows should come out for the Mac. Many games actually aren't that great. They just suck. Mass porting games won't help. The Windows world is big enough that somebody will buy whatever crappy game you throw out there, but the Mac world isn't.

That said, if a game is good, and the developer knows it will be good, they have two options: port it themselves or have someone else port it. That this doesn't happen more often, to me, means that the PC developer just doesn't care and isn't interested. Porting houses, depending on how they get paid, would be all too happy for more work. If they get paid by commission from the original developer, take it on. If they get paid through game sales, it's in their own best interest to only port the games they think will sell.

In order for a game to be most successful on the Mac, however, it should come out the same time the PC version does. This more than anything else is what will make the great games on the Mac work, for both the game and the Mac.

"Would you buy a Mac..." (1, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685137)

Considering I could build at least two extremely high-end PC systems for the cost of one moderatly high-end Mac, the answer would have to be "no."

Half-Life will NEVER be a Mac game (1)

artemis67 (93453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685139)

The first HL was mere days away from shiping when Valve yanked the plug on it. Why? Because they knew that they were going to issue frequent updates to the game, and that the Mac port would almost always be a version or two behind. Thus, the Mac online experience would suffer greatly. Because Valve put a heavy emphasis on the online game, they decided at the last minute not to create a situation where the Windows players adored the game but the Mac players were always complaining.

Does it make sense that the Dreamcast version of HL made it to shelves but not the Mac version? Not to me, either. Let's face it, Mac users are used to being second-class citizens when it comes to gaming, and they would have loved HL, even if it meant they could only play against other Mac users. But, I'm sure that Valve was considering the cost of all those free updates that they were going to be issuing, and ultimately decided that the Mac was too much work for too little reward.

HL for Mac was virtually done but they ate the cost of it (and pissed off Sierra in the process), rather than just ship it out. I would say that the atmosphere at Valve is very anti-Mac at this point.

Has anything changed at Valve? Last I checked, Gabe Newell was still running the show, so I guess the answer is still "No". Valve will never publish a HL game for the Mac.

Responsibility (1)

Fringex (711655) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685142)

It isn't the responsibility of Apple to port games to their systems. It is the responsibility of the gaming creating companies to make games for Mac's. However, is it profitable?

You are asking the game companies in question to do extra work to pick up a few extra thousand gamers. Is the profit margin that great in the Mac side of the gaming demographic?

One of the best things you can do to get gaming companies to make more Mac games is to register every game available to an Apple machine. By registering every single game you will drive companies to make more games for Mac users. My brother, an avid Apple follower, has used this practice for years with every product available for his machines that he has bought.

It is a matter of money in the end and if the demographic among Mac users isn't great enough to equal a large enough profit margin, then why bother?

There are NO reasons to buy Macs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10685148)

The only reason Macs get so much coversage on Slashdot is that when OSDN bought it up, Taco started thinking he was "on the inside" and began trying to justify Open Source as a way to sell expensive hardware.
Of course this is a ridiculous premise. Open Source drives down the price of hardware and that's a good thing for most people in this world who are not "on the inside". In fact, Open Source is a revolutionary movement of historical proportions. Slashdot is a bizarre forum in that the majority of the participants and editors are actually opposed to the direction that the movement is going and yet it is the only thing that gives them a platform on which to speak.

Because their market share is shrinking... (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10685152)

And nobody else will port the games for them. I guess market share DOES mean something.
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