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Electronic Arts Delivers OS X Games

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the nobody-likes-a-fibber dept.

OS X 97

pete314 wrote to say that "Electronic Arts had broken its WWDC promise to launch games for OS X on the same day as the Windows version." Thankfully, the company has come through, with four new titles now available for order: Battlefield 2142, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Need for Speed Carbon, and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars . Thanks to mr100percent for the update.

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Posted this a bit late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299311)

Several of EA's games are now available from Apple's store and will be shipping shortly. Things change in 5 days.

Zonk made a silent edit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299645)

Shame, Zonk, shame. If you're going to edit a story after it's gone live, fess up and note it like the other editors do.

Shock, horror (2, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299315)

Company tries to do something new and doesn't deliver on time. The sky *is* falling, yes ? I mean, it looks like it's still up there, but that's an illusion, right ?

The games will come. I doubt they intended to say one thing and do another, even if it is EA...

Simon.

Re:Shock, horror (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299467)

Shock, Horror: Company tries to do something new and doesn't deliver on time. The sky *is* falling, yes ? I mean, it looks like it's still up there, but that's an illusion, right ?

Shock, Horror: A Shock, Horror post on Slashdot!

The interesting observation here is, for Slashdot, the glass is always % empty, never % full.

EA released 4 of the 6 promised games on Mac recently. We don't get news on that, instead we get news how they "broke their promise" to deliver the last 2 games on time. Let's laugh at EA.

Re:Shock, horror (2, Insightful)

VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300299)

The interesting thing is that, with EA's rep as prolific-and-therefore-low-quality game dev/pub/distrib, I'm hearing a lot of Windows fan(boy)s trashing this move. These games suck, no serious gamer would ever want these games, Carbon is the worst NFS ever, etc., etc. But that's not the point. The point is that EA is hopping on the and-the-Mac-too bandwagon. World of Warcraft is on the Mac. Civ is on the Mac. Most of the big-name games are on the Mac, too, because despite its small marketshare, those within it tend to wield greater spending power -- not to mention that said marketshare has been growing lately. Macs might represent a meager 5% of the computer market, if that, but they represent a significantly larger portion of the available spending money.

As of today, Mac-only games are still a tiny, nearly irrelevant market. That's okay. We Mac users don't mind. We just want the same games on our (superior) OS, too. And this is happening: as one big name releases for the Mac, that makes it more likely that more big names will, and then relatively smaller ones, and then smaller ones.

Also, enough with the bootcamp drivel. I don't want to reboot to play games. If a given game is not offered for Macs (or Linux), I'll deal without it. I have a Wii for that. If you want my money, make it available for Mac. I paid for Coda, I paid for Parallels, and yes, I paid for Civ4. I'll pay for a Mac game I want, but want or not, I'm not paying for a game for which I have to reboot my computer in order to play.

It's really that simple.

Re:Shock, horror (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301727)

The other thing is there is not much competition in the mac game market, so it seems even a crummy out of date game can still sit on the shelves as a best seller for years. I think it is foolish to overlook the mac game market because mac users will obviously spend a lot of money on stuff for their favorite little pet computer.

Re:Shock, horror (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 7 years ago | (#20305611)

SMAC/X isn't crummy! (ok, it is out-of-date, but there's nothing better)

Re:Shock, horror (1)

wenzi (6465) | about 7 years ago | (#20358335)

The mac may have a small marketshare, but in terms of mind share it is much , much larger. The last developers conference I went to, I guessed that at least half were mac laptops. Second windows, and then Ubuntu Linux.

Run it under VMware or Parallels. (3, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299347)

Since they're running under Windows emulation anyway, I reckon that within 6 months it'll be faster under VMware or Parallels than under their cobbled together WINE derivative.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (2, Insightful)

tomaasz (5800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299373)

WINE is not an emulator, remember? It's a substitute library that handles the win32 calls so in theory it can be faster than Windows itself, as opposed to VMware or Parallels, which waste resources actually emulating virtual hardware.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300391)

It pretends to be windows. Ergo, it emulates windows. The "X Is Not Y" thing is a long-running joke that far too many people go to great lengths with preachy justifying in order not to get it it.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300909)

That may be a layman's use for the word, but in software, "pretends to be" does not constitute an emulator. If I take the gnome calculator and put a skin on it so it looks like a texas instruments calculator from 1982, it doesn't suddenly become a TI emulator.
    If I write software that models the internal cpu, registers and all, faithfully reproducing the behavior of that hardware with all bugs present, THEN I have an emulator. You can't write an emulator for software -- you're just rewriting it, since software doesn't exist as a physical thing of which you can build a model.

  Wine? Wine is NOT an emulator.

API duplication not emulation (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301251)

It pretends to be windows.

No it doesn't.

The game makes use of an API. The wrapper is not "pretending" - it IS that API, being called directly, and doing what Windows would have done.

Semantically you have no stable ground in this argument.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302145)

Well, yes, WINE could be called an emulator in the same way that some people would describe "I can't believe it's not butter" as being butter.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20306299)

Butter. Parkay.

Butter. Parkay!

Butter! PARKAY!

The difference between theory and practice.... (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20307387)

It's a substitute library that handles the win32 calls so in theory it can be faster than Windows itself

That's still emulation. FreeBSD's Linux and SCO emulation works that way, handling the system calls directly. Meanwhile both VMware and Parallels include specialized drivers and libraries that bypass the hardware emulation when possible. The difference is not so great as you imply.

In theory, yes, WINE could be faster.

But the difference between theory and practice in practice is greater than the difference between theory and pracice in theory.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20316317)

WINE is not an emulator, remember? It's a substitute library that handles the win32 calls so in theory it can be faster than Windows itself, as opposed to VMware or Parallels, which waste resources actually emulating virtual hardware.
I wonder what will happen if Mactel shares comes to a significant point like 30% and what kind of tricks MS will pull to stop those Mac users running latest/greatest games. If we deal with a billion dollar software giant like EA, a single line in DirectX 11 EULA may be enough.

Doesn't they (MS) already disallow running "home" editions of Windows under virtual environment just with EULA? It doesn't bother you as home user but a business or software giant with army of lawyers will sure care about it.

There is one thing for sure, EA Games runs best under "real" PC running "real" Windows with latest upgrades,updates. I am afraid to check, does the "Mac editions" have the normal (!) "You run a Mac you rich boy" $10 additional price still?

I bought a G5 1600 back in 2003 just because I didn't want to run dual boot Windows or mess with WINE, back to 32bit from 64 bit, back to Wine from real OpenGL games making use of standard frameworks. I am telling you, if MS policy doesn't change significantly, people will run Windows office under OS X just packaged in a HFS+ DVD.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299485)

Except that this is a dedicated, tweaked, and optimized wrapper rather than a virtualizer with very poor and spotty 3D support.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (1)

Vacuous (652107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301015)

uhm... IIRC VMWare doesn't even support 3d acceration.

Re:Run it under VMware or Parallels. (4, Informative)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302283)

uhm... IIRC VMWare doesn't even support 3d acceration.
You recall incorrectly. VMWare Fusion and Parallels support a number of DirectX 8.1 3D accelerated games. Granted, they don't support the newest DirectX 9 or 10 games, but that support will come eventally... in the mean time we can play older DirectX and OpenGL games.

WINE is Not an Emulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20322307)

Boot Camp? (1)

GodsBlood (1143061) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299397)

A bit off topic, but is there any chance of this game, or other new ones running in bootcamp? Still on Windows here and have no idea what it can run.

Re:Boot Camp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299465)

One would assume that you can use bootcamp to run any windows software...since you're left just running windows.

Re:Boot Camp? (1)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300089)

I wonder? Can you run Visual Studio? SQL Server? Can I install MS-DOS 5 on it? (Assuming I can find it on CD) ROFL! no, seriously. I have a 24" iMac to develop web apps. Nothing like good ole BBEdit to crank code. But I'd like to use the full features of VS to do .NET. Does VS realize that there is an Apple under the HAL? I mean, it's not like I'm polling an RS-232...

Re:Boot Camp? (2, Informative)

SuperMog2002 (702837) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300285)

How about this, I use BBEdit and vim running on OS X to edit my asp.net files, then command-tab over to VMWare to use Visual Studio to compile and run them. It's often faster than using the Dell the company provided since I have a much faster processor and more memory.

Re:Boot Camp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300837)

you fail at understanding. bootcamp is just apples way of installing other OS's. there is no HAL, it's not virtualization, just plain old windows running x86 hardware, which happens to be your mac. while you're running windows via bootcamp, you have no access to any of the things that make your mac a mac.

Re:Boot Camp? (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301743)

Mac + Bootcamp + Windows == Windows PC. There's no HAL.

Re:Boot Camp? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 7 years ago | (#20308149)

Or rather, there is, but it is the standard windows HAL.

Re:Boot Camp? (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299477)

Boot Camp is Windows.

It's Apple's name for basically a partitioner, a boot loader, and a set of drivers.

I have a MacBook Pro and I use it for one thing and one thing only: Windows for Half-Life 2. It runs fantastic, but since Windows is on the bare metal, this is basically hat you'd expect.

If you don't want to go that route (which is really the only good way to do things right now for games) there is through these special game packages (they should work pretty well, but don't expect decent performance I'm betting).

Past that is Parallels (which is amazing) and it's new ability to run Direct3D stuff. That said, Half-Life 2 runs with all the details on very well on my MacBook Pro at full resolution (15" model). In Parallels it stutters unbearably at 640x480 with lower details. We are talking up to 5 (yes 5!) FPS. This is partly due to RAM (when I'm in Windows, it's got a full 2 gigs, when in OS X it has to share so it gets about a gig), partly due to optimization (they just released that not too long ago, they can tweak for better performance), partly due to the nature of Parallels (it will never be as fast as running native). For simpler things I'm sure it will run great. I bet you would have no problem with Half-Life, or Quake 3, or any other game from more than a few years ago. But for something as complex and detailed as HL2, it wasn't great.

Note that HL2 was the only thing I tested as that's all I was really interested in playing.

Hope that answers your question.

Did you try Crossover? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301269)

I am thinking about installing Bootcamp, just to play Bioshock - I too have Parallels but was pretty sure it was not up to the task yet.

However an interesting alternative would seem to be Crossover. They explicitly support Half Life 2, so I was wondering if you had tried that option for running in OS X- it's basically a commercial version of Wine and thus a lot like what EA is doing. Especially if you replaced some DLL's with native ones...

Re:Boot Camp? (2, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301547)

"This is partly due to RAM (when I'm in Windows, it's got a full 2 gigs, when in OS X it has to share so it gets about a gig)"

It has nothing to do with RAM. 1GB is plenty for Half Life 2. It's not longer a new game by a long shot.

I have a a diamond encrusted 15th century dagger.. (0, Offtopic)

mrraven (129238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20308141)

...and use it to slice my Swiss cheese for sandwiches. Sorry couldn't resist...

Re:Boot Camp? (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300013)

I don't know about the other games, but CnC 3 in boot camp runs perfectly smooth on my Late 2006 iMac (2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, x1600) in 1440x900 with all details on medium.

Meh (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299405)

I give this news a solid 'meh".

I like games. I have a Mac. But I also have consoles. If I wanted to play Madden, I could. It doesn't bother me that EA isn't doing this. Considering what many of their games are like (quality wise), this is probably a boon.

In all seriousness though, it doesn't matter too much. There are tons of web games. There are lots of console games (currently playing MGS: Portable Ops, FFXII, Picross DS, Chrono Trigger, and Metroid Prime 3 coming very very soon). I can boot into Windows for games that I find interesting enough (I'm playing through Half-Life 2 that way right now, then I've got episodes 1 and 2, and BioShock which I'm downloading as I type). There are also games that are available on the Mac (current in that category for me: Diner Dash - Flo on the Go).

Macs aren't great game machines. I'd like them to be. The graphics chip in the Mini is really anemic. The chips in the iMacs are... eh. The MacBooks share the Mini's chip. The MacBook Pros (like I have) have some pretty decent chips (HL2 runs great at full rez), but the MBP is expensive. The graphics cards in the Mac Pro are, from my understanding, just OK unless you pony up even more cash above and beyond the base Mac Pro price. If you just want games, you will get WAY better bang for your buck buying a PC (or a PC and a console).

Let's not forget that these games are NOT native. They are using TransGaming's Cider platform. While I am very interested in this technologically (has anyone ever used this kind of translation layer for so many big games) and how it performs, etc... these are not native games. They won't run that well compared to how they should. They are probably bad ports (after all, the last few EA games I played on Windows didn't seem to run without occasional issues).

Now as other have mentioned, 3 or 4 games are now available for purchase off of Apple's store. That said, there are still others that are not. Some were delayed for quite a bit, and one that came out just a week or so ago didn't get a simultaneous release. We'll see how they do in the future but given how well the Mac is set up for games right now and the size of its market I'm not that surprised.

Re:Meh (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302181)

I'm not an expert on Cider but wouldn't it be native in the same way that OpenGL and SDL are native to many platforms? They're not providing binary translation, they're providing APIs that wouldn't otherwise be available.

Sure there may be some optimisation issues but you could say the same about a shell script being moved from OpenBSD to GNU/Linux.

Re:Meh (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20303031)

Yes, but there will still be issues. They have to simulate all the Windows stuff, the way it works, etc. They have to simulate the windows input system for example, keeping their own queue of events (I'm guessing). Some things can be directly mapped, some cant. It's like WINE (which it is based on). Running a program will almost certainly be slower. It may be impreceptable, it may be minor, or (in the case of things like games) it may be major.

Re:Meh (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 7 years ago | (#20305515)

Fair points, let's hope they manage to get decent performance out of it then.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20358639)

Cider ~= Cedega ~= Wine Cider is just Wine for OSX, better packaged and intended to wrap around an app, as opposed to being installed system level as an app ala Crossover/DarWine/etc.

Pretty inaccurate (4, Informative)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299437)

MacNN reported on Sunday [macnn.com] :

Four titles are available now for order: Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars (trailers of which are available on Apple's website) are the "first games ever" published by EA for Mac OS X, according to release. The games are now available for order via the Apple Store and at Apple's retail stores nationwide later this month: Need for Speed Carbon and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be available on Tuesday, August 21, and Battlefield 2142 and Command & Conquer 3 Tiberium Wars will be available on Tuesday, August 28.

The company also said that Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08 and Madden NFL 08 are expected in the "September/October window."
Heck, did anyone even check EA's Mac platform page [ea.com] ?

Re:Pretty inaccurate (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300151)

I did. I though it was a place holder or something. Though it directs you to the games individual sites there is no information on those sites about a Macintosh version.

No press release, not even a news item. Certainly no client to download.

Near as I can tell, if you bought these games and have been rebooting to play them on a windows partition waiting for EA to finally come through... You're screwed. you'll have to buy the game again if you want to play the thing in OS X.

EA (1)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299489)

EA Games hasn't been good for a while anyway. I've bought several of their games within the past few years and have been sorely disappointed every time.

Article is third hand. (1)

TriCCer (591321) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299501)

If you follow the links on TFA you'll find it refers back to a lengthier piece written at arstechnica.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070818-gami ng-on-the-mac-getting-better-but-not-there-yet.htm l [arstechnica.com]

Re:Article is third hand. (1)

namebutler (1102195) | about 7 years ago | (#20424371)

Thanks for the link. People really aren't buying MACs expecting the ultimate gaming experience, are they? If so those Apple store employees are doing quite the sales job.

Apple failed to come out with good gameing systems (2, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299545)

There mini still has the low and gma 950 only 1 gb of ram and laptop parts.

The I-mac update only added mid-range video cards and there build in screens remove choice and make games slow down when running at full screen.

The mac pro at $2000+ is over top in cost and only comes with a low end 7300 and 1gb of ram in the base system and adding ram costs a lot because of the FB-Dimms and the video card up grades are a rip off as well $249 to go from a 7300 gt to a a ATI x1900 XT with a EFI rom or you can add one to your mac pro for $399.00 so you are paying $150 for a 7300 gt with a EFI rom. You can much better video cards on the pc for the same price this may be part of why EA is pushing the games back.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (4, Informative)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299671)

The mini's a very entry-level Mac. It can be used as a media center and for basic use. It's not a hardcore gaming machine.

The iMac is the mid-range desktop solution, it comes with an OK graphics card.

The Power Mac is a powerhouse, but it's mostly for professionals.

The Macbook is somewhere between the Mini and the iMac. It's the entry level mobile platform.

The Macbook Pro is the professional powerhouse mobile offering. It has a pretty good (DX10 actually) video card.

Macs aren't aimed at gamers, since in the past most Mac users have been audio/video professionals and basic internet/im types.

Apple isn't a gaming company. They've never claimed that. But they CAN be used to play games, just like any PC.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299945)

Apple also wants you to use them as your home system but they need a mid-range tower and better gameing hardware to get more people to stop useing pc's for gameing.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

ORBAT (1050226) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301687)

Arent they teacheing spelleing in highskool anymoar?

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20318105)

Boy, you must throw some wild parties. No, that's me. You're just an asshole.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300425)

I agree with everything you said until "Apple isn't a gaming company. They've never claimed that."

I've been told personally from Apple twice that they were going to be "big into games". Both times they made a huge deal then..after a couple of months..they lost interest.

Sadly, the best thing Apple ever did for game developers was releasing Boot Camp.

Apple and Gaming (4, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301779)

Well, when talking about Apple and gaming, it's kind of important to keep in mind Apple's history. During the early years of the Mac, Apple was scared that people would perceive it as a toy. This is kind of what happened to the Amiga 500, by the way: A powerful desktop computer that was mainly used for gaming. Apple, however, wanted a "serious" computer, a business computer. Macs didn't look very serious next to DOS computers with their green screens and text input, so Apple discouraged game development on Macs so as not to give people the impression that Macs were toys.

Later, Apple tried to change that and introduced the Pippin, a Mac-compatible gaming console, to increase the Mac gaming market share. It failed. Then, there were the Sprockets on pre-OS-X systems. Basically, that was Apple's gaming API, and it didn't survive the move to OS X.

After that, Apple never really did anything for gaming. I think they've basically given up caring too much. Gaming is nice, but Apple doesn't really need it to survive, and after their ambivalent past and many failed steps to get gaming on the Mac, I think they've just stopped caring.

Re:Apple and Gaming (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302883)

Good history. That's roughly how I remember it as well except Sprockets was never really well supported.

But my original point was that Apple occasionally says that games are a "good thing" but they rarely follow up on it.

Re:Apple and Gaming (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20304391)

But my original point was that Apple occasionally says that games are a "good thing" but they rarely follow up on it.

Yeah, exactly. They say gaming is important if they have some major stuff to show at a Keynote, but I don't think they ever intended to actually do anything other than showcasing stuff that happens anyway.

Re:Apple and Gaming (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#20310977)

A lot of Mac gaming "died" when Microsoft bought Bungie (Marathon, the Myth series) to make Halo. Had they not, the world might have been a different place.

Of course, most strategy games and FPSes - ironically, including Halo - get ported to Mac anyway.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301851)

The Macbook Pro is the professional powerhouse mobile offering. It has a pretty good (DX10 actually) video card.
Err... I own one. The latest MBP is a screaming gaming machine if I've ever seen one. There are few others that compare on the market.

Heck it runs Oblivion in 1680x1050, full details, extra-high-res textures and modded to increase the view distance. :-)

Hence Apple's lack of marketshare. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302821)

Because they are not trying to grab markets where there is a lot of money spent. They still spend their time making nice looking machines that run a proprietary operating system. They claim at a recent developer conference that they want/desire/whatever gaming on Mac systems yet they don't offer anything with a good price and performance ratio.

I have a iMac24 on order... I do wish to use it for games, I don't need a $1800 "The iMac is the mid-range desktop solution, it comes with an OK graphics card" machine to just sit there for email and the like. I mean, get real, its $1800 and thats their offering hardware wise? The profit ratio must be extreme on these things.

Apple needs to get serious. They don't have a console. They don't have a viable platform for games compared to other contenders at HALF their price point. You honestly don't think Apple could grow even faster if they were to offer BTOs with better graphic options? I would love a user upgradeable MXM module for the graphics in the iMac... or at least a factory option for a better card. It is a much more elegant lan gaming machine than any "box" that most people use.

Gamers have money. They like style WITH performance. Apple is ignorant not to have offerings for them.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#20303187)

The problem is their huge gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro. You used to be able to buy a G5 tower for about $1600, now the cheapest you can get $2500. Most people don't need the huge tower, or the 16 Xeons (or whatever the hell Apple's putting in them that costs so much.) I just want the iMac hardware in a case that can be used to add HDs or video cards.

Because of this, I actually moved from Apple to Dell. Dell gave me the exact hardware I wanted for a good price, and Windows Vista isn't bad enough to make it worth moving back to Mac.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#20306337)

The mini's a very entry-level Mac. It can be used as a media center and for basic use. It's not a hardcore gaming machine.

Correct! Worthless for gaming.

The iMac is the mid-range desktop solution, it comes with an OK graphics card.

Actually, it comes with a crappy graphics card which is actually slower than the card in the previous iMac line.

The old 24" iMacs had a GeForce 7300GT standard, which is faster, in most cases, than the top graphics card in the new iMacs (ATI HD 2600 Pro). It could also be upgraded, for a fee, to the 7600GT, which demolishes the 2600 Pro in nearly every game it's tested on. Whenever the 2600 does beat the 7300/7600GT, it's usually by tiny increments.

Since I can remember, Apple has included benchmarks of their iMac vs the previous model on their apple.com/imac product page. This is notably absent from the current product page, and it's pretty obvious why.

The Power Mac is a powerhouse, but it's mostly for professionals.

Actually, they call it a 'Mac Pro' now, and all the graphics cards (Quadro 4500, GeForce 7300, Radeon X1900) are all at least 19 months old (they were all released around January of 2006).

Apple NEEDS to fix this. Regardless, this is not supposed to be a gaming rig. At $2500, you could get something way better for games for 20% less.

The Macbook is somewhere between the Mini and the iMac. It's the entry level mobile platform.

You neglected to mention its video card: Intel GMA--worthless for gaming.

The Macbook Pro is the professional powerhouse mobile offering. It has a pretty good (DX10 actually) video card.

Yeah, it's great... for a laptop. This is probably the only Apple product I'd say includes a proper video card.

My point is not to disagree with you, but to point out that the reason EA and other companies don't make games is that out of the top selling mac computers (Mac Mini, Macbook, Macbook Pro, iMac), only one has a decent graphics card.

Apple has a tiny market share, and only a small portion of those users have a computer capable of running the latest games. The latter is Apple's fault. If Apple were to start including better cards, the image of quality over PCs they try to project would be much more truthful.

The iMac is especially sad, because even though they have packages going for $1500, $1800, and $2300 they all include a mediocre video card. This really represents a terrible bargain. Not only that, but Apple downgraded the video cards in their latest model.

I'd be willing to wager that EA's broken promise was partially due to a divestment in the Mac ports due to the insanely crappy nature of the new Macbook, Mac Mini, and iMac specs.

Why release games to a market which can't even run them?

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

rat_herder (527991) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300427)

OSX is for professional computer users... Anyone serious about their computing, content production or coding etc, will use OSX. What is that alternative? Windows? you cannot be serious. So for gaming i bought a cheap, fast PC with a sweet video card. I know all you college students might not be able to do this, but i'm not a fucking college student.

I'm not going to be bent over and pay $1000 for a PS3, so i use windows on my cheap PC to play games exclusively. I rarely even surf the web on it...

For everything else, I use OSX. I'm really quite happy with this setup.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300729)

Same thing here except I bought an XBox/big LCD TV for gaming and mini for browsing. Both PCs are in the bedroom as spare parts/experment boxes, i haven't touched them for much in 3 months.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

malf-uk (456583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302041)

I'd probably ditch my PC as a gaming machine and get a Mini for non-gaming stuff too if more FPS games on the 360 supported mouse & keyboard controls find using an analogue stick for targeting to be clunky and imprecise.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 7 years ago | (#20305305)

Have you considered a PS3? Not only does it support keyboards and mice but you have a choice of bluetooth, USB or RF sets that have a receiver which plugs into USB. I've had success with the MSFT wireless keyboard/mouse combos but I have not admittedly tried to see if games support them.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

malf-uk (456583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20317819)

Unfortunately there's nothing for the PS3 that's caught my eye as much my 360. The 360 also supports mouse & keyboard but not for many games. Any game support is mostly limited to RPGs apparently.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

solios (53048) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300705)

Apple : Porsche prices for Chevette parts. It's been this way since the iMac and the blue G3s were introduced, way back in 98/99 - they use completely mediocre hardware, stick it in a nice case, and charge you a steep price for the privelege. They got away with GeForce2s and Maxtor hard drives because at the time they were plugged into the only commercial PPC processor on the market. Now Apple's lost that excuse - now you're paying for a pretty case and the ability to legally run OS X on it. There's nothing really special under the hood anymore.

Oh, and Mac video cards during the PPC era were roughly 3-5x the price of their PC counterparts, if they were available at all. Maybe that's changed with the move to Intel processors, but what hasn't changed is if you want the privilege of an upgradeable video card, you still have to buy their most expensive (read : highest marked-up) hardware.

Don't get me wrong - I've been using Apple kit since before it was trendy. But the kool-aid wore off a long, long time ago.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302701)

Interesting thing to note I own a Laptop with 1GB of ram and an Intel GMA 950 with a Pentium M 1.7Ghz chip. I play Myst Online: Uru Live which is ported over to OSX with the Transgaming Cider thing. My Laptop can run Myst Online: Uru Live at the capped frame rate with all the setting half way, the Mac Mini's can't, even at minimum settings they have a low frame rate (1 or 2 FPS) and have huge rendering issues. As far as we can work out its the intel driver for OSX limiting Mini owners from playing as Mac's with similar specifications but Nvidia or Ati cards can play MO:UL and using bootcamp on the Mini MO:UL actually runs extremely well.

Re:Apple failed to come out with good gameing syst (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 7 years ago | (#20330699)

The Mac market has always been "People with more money than time".

Obviously, not you. Otherwise you wouldn't have time to post about it on Slashdot.

no longer 1G limit on mini (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | about 7 years ago | (#20361043)

I'm not sure since when. It has been fairly recent.

Maybe Apple has been slow for whatever their reasons might be, but the mini did get an upgrade.

(Not that I care that much since Apple stopped selling PPC Macs.)

Bad business decision... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299637)

How large is the homosexual gamer market worth, anyway?

Re:Bad business decision... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299673)

All five Mac using gamers were *really* pissed.

Re:Bad business decision... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300009)

Bigger than the gay negro gaming market. (www.gnaa.org)

Set theory (0, Troll)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299641)

Set A of EA gamers
Set B of Mac Gamers

intersection of set A and Set B = 3 frat boys who grew up to be graphic artists.

I'm sure all three of them will be very disappointed.

more games you can only run on a mac pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20299675)

i can see why publishers dont do a whole lot of worrying about selling games on the mac, its because they come stock with video cards that are typically found in mid range laptops. with the exception of the mac pros, you still have to buy your own card which I'm quite certain most mac consumers dont even bother with upgrading this particular feature of their mac.

ok so that was being really negative and honestly if its a step closer to more osx its also a step closer to more linux gaming. Hell i'd love if my beloved mac mini can run any of this :(

Re:more games you can only run on a mac pro (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302733)

i can see why publishers dont do a whole lot of worrying about selling games on the mac, its because they come stock with video cards that are typically found in mid range laptops.
Likewise, i can see why publishers dont do a whole lot of worrying about selling games on the wii, its because they come stock with video cards that are typically found in previous generation consoles.

Mac games :D (1, Informative)

Vipersfate (1143119) | more than 7 years ago | (#20299843)

I'm running bootcamp on my mac, and I can just play the windows version of the games, but it is nice to see that games are being ported to Mac!

Re:Mac games :D (1)

tuxic (769908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302549)

Unfortunately it's not ported at all. EA just want to sound like they are.
It still runs Windows code, as opposed to Universal Binary-based games which run on any fairly recent Mac whether PPC or Intel, 100 % natively. Electronic Arts claim that they chose this solution to be able to deliver Mac games out the door as fast as they deliver Mac games. What does that mean? Well, sounds like to me they rely on DirectX too much instead of using OpenGL which is a lot more portable. DirectX is Windows-only, so.

I personally don't care about computer gaming, rather a console gamer myself. But I do care about the fact that (one of) the biggest companies in the gaming world don't think enough Mac users will appreciate having one of the latest games available. I know a lot of home Mac users do, I see it all the time on online forums among the switchers. They are used to playing games occasionally.

I'm wondering what the difference is between EA and Blizzard when it comes to the Mac games priority. Is it because Blizzard do a lot of MMORPGs that might be easier to code (is it?) while EA make racing games and other mostly single-player games except Battlefield from Digital Illusions? If it matters at all, I don't know.

which brings the grand total to... (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300415)

for a grand total of 5 games for OS X! woohoo! That's ALMOST enough reason to switch to a mac.

Just my two cents. (2, Interesting)

Shinra (1057198) | more than 7 years ago | (#20300795)

I'd probably switch over to a Mac if more games were available for it, as the main reason I continue to use Windows is for the PC gaming. Yes I know there's bootcamp and VMware and all that, but If I could NATIVELY play games that I KNOW will run on a Mac with no more stress then there is in installing and normal gameplay, then I'd be a happy camper. So this move, while I despise EA, is a good thing and I will applaud them for a rare act of unsuckage. Oh well. Just my two cents.

Re:Just my two cents. (1)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301305)

While the AC above is purely flamebait, he has kind of a point, despite his stupidity. That is, if you're really into games, a console for gaming and the hardware platform and OS of your choice for computing. A big reason why I don't care very much that Linux is in a similar (or worse?) gaming situation than the Mac is that I get my dose of gaming from the consoles we have in the game room at work. If that wasn't enough, I'd buy a console for home use. I just don't worry about computer gaming. I use Mac at work and Linux at home. Linux has enough children's games to satisfy my kids, and that's the extent to which I need to care about computer gaming.

Jesus Fucking Christ (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20300893)

"All 3 Mac gamers were pissed..." or something like that.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

HA MOTHERFUCKING HA.

How many fucking times will that lame ass fucking joke be rehashed on /.?
Oh, that's right, every single fucking time a story like this is posted.

Anyone with half a fucking brain cell doesn't go out and buy a Mac because they want to play a bunch of fucking gay ass "PC games".

People that wanna buy a Mac AND play games, buy a Mac and buy a goddamn console. Take your pick from the current three or stick with something older. I like my softmodded original XBox. No red ring of death and that fucker does everything under the sun.

People that just HAVE to play games on PC (or really just drool at the fact that their PC games have higher resolutions than consoles and then stroke their tiny little weiners), buy a PC with Windows whatever and have fun putting up with all of the Windows bullshit. Especially you dipshits who think Vista is sooo great.

People that just want to play some games, go out and buy a console. Problem solved. No matter if you use a Mac or a PC with Windoze or Linux or fucking DOS 2.1 or even a goddamn VIC-20.

Really, it's that goddamn simple. PCs are fucking stupid in this day and age. It's either spending too much time "maintaining" Windows whatever or spending too much time getting stuff to work, finding and compiling drivers, apps, kernels, etc. in Linux. "Oh! Macs cost so much more!" Well, duh, you get what you pay for. I don't drink the Apple Kool-Aid or anyone's Kool-Aid but I know when something works and is worth paying a little extra for.

I can do most things in OS X on a shitty little Mac Mini that I could do in Linux on a PC (not to mention running both Winblows 2003 and Slackware Linux in virtual machines) and more things than I could ever do running only Winshit XP or 2003 on a real PC, without all the maintenance bullshit required for Windows.

Besides, fuck EA. Their games suck and so do they. Fucking wankers.

Jesus fucking christ, enough with the stupid stories about lack of Mac games, Macs suck for gaming (duh), etc.

Re:Jesus Fucking Christ (2, Funny)

Vacuous (652107) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301037)

and this, fellow slashdotters, is the definition of a fanboy.

Demos? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301119)

Any chance we Mac users can try a demo of any of these games before we decide to buy something that runs through an emulation layer like Cider?

My iMac runs Call Of Duty 2 and WoW for Mac OS X fine, but I have no idea how that translates to Battlefield 2142.

Cider? (3, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301759)

Call me when EA bothers to design games for Mac from the start like Blizzard and others do. DirectX emulation sounds like it might be unreliable and seems like it just adds cost to development in terms of licensing and hacking around a black box like Cider.

I think Cider is only interesting to game publishers because it's almost no risk and "free" money. TransGaming promises a lot and asks for little in return. The technology is less than perfect, but hey, if you can sell Mac users games without any unfront investment it probably seems like a good deal, even if the games are inferior to the Windows native version.

Re:Cider? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302749)

Call me when EA bothers to design games for Mac from the start like Blizzard and others do. DirectX emulation sounds like it might be unreliable and seems like it just adds cost to development in terms of licensing and hacking around a black box like Cider.
Any port from Wii, PSP, or PS3 will more than likely be designed around OpenGL. The Wii and PSP use proprietary APIs designed to parallel GL, and the PS3 just uses OpenGL ES. DirectX is for Xbox 360. So why don't we have more PSP->MacBook ports?

Linux games...? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 7 years ago | (#20301847)

Okay, so it's only EA and so not necessarily the best games, but now that a big dev house is starting to consider Mac OS X as a gaming platform, will they consider Linux as well? Given that they've got a similar *nix base then it shouldn't be too far a leap.

And yes, I know there's Wine and Cedega (which ran worse on my machine than Wine with Dawn of War) but something officially supported would be good. Even if it's just on a few main distros.

Re:Linux games...? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302033)

Well, if transgaming were to release cider for linux and osx simultaneously and based on the same code, it would be very easy to make games available for both linux and osx at the same time with minimal changes.

Also the more companies that use cider, the more of a development push there will be, and the more wine-friendly the source games will be. Still, would be better to see games written for opengl instead of directx.

If these games are running on Windows emulation.. (2)

lpontiac (173839) | more than 7 years ago | (#20302507)

.. then OpenGL titles are running on Irix emulation.

Apple has a Way to Go (4, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20303613)

The gaming situation now for Apple reminds me a bit of the Linux one a few years ago before Loki went under. It's a UNIX system that you actually CAN get a few games for, and that's nice. If you're getting a system only for games though, you'd be much better off buying the Alienware desktop. You're still paying a premium for hardware and you'll get a lot more bang for your buck. And I'm saying this from an Apple system and having bought 3 Apple machines in the past 5 years. They're good for work, less good for gaming.

PC gaming in general is usually more of a fight than I'm willing to put up, though. It's come a long way from having to make special boot disks to squeeze every bit of RAM out of DOS, but it seems like on a fairly regular basis a game will come out that doesn't like your hardware or driver levels and upgrading those breaks everything else on the system. That's more work than I'm willing to put in to a game, especially if it's one I've paid $50 - $60 for.

GNAA annouces death of high-ranking wikipedo admin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20343937)

GNAA annouces death of high-ranking wikipedo admin's wife, hair
Caulfield (GNAP) - Vancouver, British Columbia

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cross-platform MP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20304165)

so are these (well, C&C and BF anyway) multiplayer compatible with the windows versions?

But where are the sports games for the Macs? (0, Troll)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#20305797)

NBA games must be late because they have to add in a ref that bets on the game and makes bad calls. The NFL games must be late because they have to add in Michael Vick dog fighting side-games between the Football games.

By the way, Macs spelled backwards is Scam. That is the truth of Macs and video games.

GMA950 (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20307179)

Did anyone notice that the 4 games don't work with integrated graphics? That eliminates 2 of the 3 "consumer" systems that Apple sells!

Re:GMA950 (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 7 years ago | (#20311769)

Some high end video cards cost almost as much as a Mac mini.

Re:GMA950 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20406725)

Except you can pick up a video card that will run these games well, and throw it in a pc for $100.

Mac gaming, joke of the millenia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20307651)

It's hardly new. The only remotely new thing about the EA OSX versions is that they're, apparently, doing them inhouse rather than farming them out to another publisher, e.g. Aspyr or GraphSim who did the VAST majority of mac OSX and prior releases usually at least a year late, and at a significantly higher price point than the comparable Windows version at it's release. (By the time that the mac version was out, then Windows version was likely to be in the bargain bin, not to mention the paucity(and poorly selected ones at that) of titles actually ported.)

Id was one of the few companies that ever actually did do simultaneous releases. Hell, they usually even had linux clients to boot.

Bottom line is mac gaming blows, and four mediocre titles from EA aren't going to change that. It's been promised before, and half hearted attempts made before with the worst offenders being the games that were either entirely online or had major online components in which mac players couldn't play with Windows players, leaving them with their already ridiculously small community. (See Half Life cancellation and others.)

Sorry, been there, done that, never again. If you want computer games on macs, do yourself a favor and either get Parallels or be happy with wine for x86 macs and get a helluvalot more games, better selection, and better pricing. Otherwise if you're a causal gamer, get yourself a console and be happy with console tripe, or consolejacked PC games.

Glaring weakness in the platform (2, Interesting)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20308027)

I am mac user. I love Apple computers. I think currently Mac OSX is the best operating system out there. However, gaming on the Mac platform is one of its most glaring (frightening) weaknesses. The weakness stems from Apple's stringent control of the Macintosh platform. The control limits the Macintosh platform to a paradigm dictated by Apple. With the exception of the Mac Pro, all current systems Apple sell are intended not to change over their lifetime (except for memory). This situation is advantageous for Apple but terrible for gaming. Gamers like/need to upgrade their systems. In addition, Apple doesn't design any system with gaming as a priority. Gamers who want Mac OS X but are not satify with Apples offerings are left with one option. (buy a PC). For those reasons, I can't see any reason that game developer will take the Mac platform seriously. This deprives the platform of viable avenue of growth and limits its potential. Gaming isn't the only avenue that Apple cedes away to Windows. How long can the Mac platform live on just the creative market?

As a Mac gamer... (2, Interesting)

Myrkridian42 (840659) | more than 7 years ago | (#20321621)

I gave up on simultaneous release dates the day Microsoft bought Bungie. Bungie was the last game developer to care about Mac OS. The best we have now is Blizzard.

Blizzard, the same group of insensitive clods who claimed Mac Starcraft would be released the same time it would for PC. Then they said it would be shortly after. Then by summer. Then by Christmas. In the end a FULL YEAR passed before it finally got released. AND, to add insult to injury, they made all copies PC/Mac hybrid discs, and had the audacity to charge $50 for a copy if it was in a "Mac" section of a store, but only $30 for the identical product if it were in the PC section.

Is the sky falling? Nope. It's just a par for the damn course.

Re:As a Mac gamer... (2, Insightful)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#20329111)

... The best we have now is Blizzard. Blizzard, the same group of insensitive clods who claimed Mac Starcraft would be released the same time it would for PC. Then they said it would be shortly after. Then by summer. Then by Christmas. In the end a FULL YEAR passed before it finally got released. AND, ...

You are about 9 years out of date. Diablo II for Mac came out about two weeks after the Windows version, quite a shock at MacWorld 2000. The D2 expansion, Warcraft III and its expansion, and World of Warcraft and its expansion have shipped simultaneously. IIRC the simultaneous ships coincided with Blizzard moving from outside contractors to internal Mac development.

... to add insult to injury, they made all copies PC/Mac hybrid discs, and had the audacity to charge $50 for a copy if it was in a "Mac" section of a store, but only $30 for the identical product if it were in the PC section.

Again, your are many years out of date. I believe from the D2 expansion forward, the simultaneous ships, there has been only one retail SKU - a Windows/Mac hybrid box. For the older titles only the Mac boxes/SKUs were hybrid, Windows boxes/SKUs may be Windows only (their master disc predating the Mac version). Finally, the disparate pricing was often done by the retailer, if you tried to buy from the publisher's website the prices were the same. I've noticed local stores discounting a popular title as a loss leader on numerous occasions. Works great for me since I can usually wait a month or three.

Re:As a Mac gamer... (1)

Myrkridian42 (840659) | about 7 years ago | (#20372297)

disparate pricing was often done by the retailer, if you tried to buy from the publisher's website the prices were the same.
No they weren't. Even if you bought direct from Blizzard the "Mac" version and "Windows" version were different prices. Despite the fact that once the Mac version was released, all copies were hybrids. The price was not temporary while they cleared out inventory of Windows-only discs. That would have been understandable. (& far less offensive)

Yes, my gripe may be old. But forgetting an insult like that would take a while, I'd think.

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