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Valve's launches whisper campaign for new Mac version of Steam

post #1 of 62
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Valve Software has all but confirmed rumors that it plans to bring its Steam gaming system to the Mac desktop in a teaser campaign that mimics generations of Apple advertisements.

Valve began seeding a variety of gamer blogs like Joystiq with ad images featuring characters from its video game titles and presented in the style of current and past Mac ad campaigns run by Apple.

Steam's teaser ads paid homage to Apple's 1984 "Introducing Macintosh. For the rest of us." print ad; the "1984" television spot where a woman runs to destroy the Big Brother screen representing IBM; the "Think Different" ad campaign that Steve Jobs ran after returning to the helm of Apple in 1997; the shadow ads on a bright backdrop Apple ran for iPods; and the company's current "Get a Mac" campaign.



Last week, users reported the discovery of resource files that appeared to be created for Mac OS X within the updated version of Steam for Windows PCs.

Valve's latest software update for Steam introduced a new user interface (below) and dropped Microsoft's Trident rendering engine from Internet Explorer in preference for the open source WebKit engine Apple uses in Safari.

John Cook, the Director of Steam Development at Valve said this move "gives us a bunch of size, stability and performance benefits. This release of Steam leaves us well prepared for another year of strong growth."

post #2 of 62
Looks like the naysayers can eat some tasty crow . Can't wait to see this released.
post #3 of 62
hehehe - very clever campaign.
post #4 of 62
Perhaps they are coming out with it now due to some OpenCL support in the engine? It is possible, and may resolve some of the performance issues with games on OS X. Would be cool at any rate.
post #5 of 62
Valve's launches...? from the headline.

Are there to be multiple launches?
post #6 of 62
I just hope yet ANOTHER processor switch doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the works.

A4 is here and Apple needs a way to lock OS X to hardware again.
post #7 of 62
I have a TON of games on Steam, but have to dual boot to play them. I wonder if any of those games will now be playable in OSX, and if so, how many, and will I have to re-purchase the Mac versions.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darybothrill View Post

Perhaps they are coming out with it now due to some OpenCL support in the engine? It is possible, and may resolve some of the performance issues with games on OS X. Would be cool at any rate.

If Mac games were anything but Cider wrapped windows ports they wouldn't have "performance issues" at all.

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post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darybothrill View Post

Perhaps they are coming out with it now due to some OpenCL support in the engine? It is possible, and may resolve some of the performance issues with games on OS X. Would be cool at any rate.

Highly unlikely. OpenCL might be useful for games, but it's not going to be very helpful for porting old games - as I understand it, OpenCL is something you need to design in from the start to make best use of. I also doubt OpenCL is that useful for games, at least not the way they're currently programmed. Games generally have exclusive use of the GPU, so having something like OpenCL to distribute tasks between CPUs and GPUs is not that useful.

The reason they're doing it now is that Apple have enough market share and probably there's a fair number of Apple fans at Valve who have been pushing for this for a long time.

I wouldn't expect a terribly Mac friendly GUI though - Valve have their own GUI framework, and I very much expect them to produce a version visually very similar to the Windows verison, with a few Mac touches.
post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by twoslick View Post

I have a TON of games on Steam, but have to dual boot to play them. I wonder if any of those games will now be playable in OSX, and if so, how many, and will I have to re-purchase the Mac versions.

My thoughts, too. Last week I finally replaced my old PC with a Mac Mini and went Windows-free at home. As I was going through the hard drive for important files, my only small regret was that I had a few unfinished Steam games.

I have no intention of using the Mini for heavy gaming; that's what the Xbox is for. But it will be nice if I can just re-download my purchased games for OSX!
post #11 of 62
Damn this could be pretty awesome for mac gaming. Obviously not gonna be liked by Steve, but if Apple sticks to Intel I think that this is inevitable. I would love to be able to play steam on a mac, even though I haven't played a PC game in a while. Will definitely be one of the first to download the client once it comes out.
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post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

Looks like the naysayers can eat some tasty crow . Can't wait to see this released.

If by naysayers you mean people who hated on Apple for not having this sort of thing, then guess what: Those are the people you should be thanking. You think Apple and Valve are doing this for everyone who was content with what they had, or do you think they are trying to bring something that was demanded by people?

Just a thought...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

Valve's launches...? from the headline.

Are there to be multiple launches?

Well the source engine is used in multiple games. If the source engine can run in osx, it means you'll have access to Half life 2, team fortress 2, left4dead, as well as a whole bunch of other games that use the engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twoslick View Post

I have a TON of games on Steam, but have to dual boot to play them. I wonder if any of those games will now be playable in OSX, and if so, how many, and will I have to re-purchase the Mac versions.

VERY good question. My best guess is that they won't make you buy a second version, but I've seen companies try and pull worse shit (like coming out with a "sequel" to a game that's little more than an expansion pack at best, and making people pay the full price of a game.)

The difference in the games should be negligible though, so it would be a bitch for them to charge people twice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Damn this could be pretty awesome for mac gaming. Obviously not gonna be liked by Steve, but if Apple sticks to Intel I think that this is inevitable. I would love to be able to play steam on a mac, even though I haven't played a PC game in a while. Will definitely be one of the first to download the client once it comes out.

Why wouldn't Steve Jobs like it if gamers started to seriously consider osx?

If you're going to try a game that runs on the source engine, I HIGHLY suggest Left4Dead. Something about that game is very addictive lol


I personally can't wait to listen to some of the cheap shots back and forth between mac and pc gamers in these games :P


edit:
Please disregard my mixing up steam and source. I blame cold meds :P
post #13 of 62
. . . .and only if games available through Steam perform adequately on Mac OS X. Half Life 2 Episode 3 (oh please, oh please, oh please. . . .)

That said, the teaser ads are effin' brilliant, especially (a) Heavy dancing as if with an iPod; and (b) Alyx a la "1984".
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Well the steam engine is used in multiple games. If the steam engine can run in osx, it means you'll have access to Half life 2, team fortress 2, left4dead, as well as a whole bunch of other games that use the engine.

Steam is a distribution and social networking platform. Valve's games are built on the Source engine.
post #15 of 62
Awesome ads

Nice job Valve.
post #16 of 62
Interesting, if this works out I may finally be able to ditch windows for good!
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post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

I just hope yet ANOTHER processor switch doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the works.

A4 is here and Apple needs a way to lock OS X to hardware again.

Not exactly... There is a huge leap building something like A4 to a full fledged desktop CPU. It would take years of research to catch up to where intel is now, and by then intel would be ahead again.

Really, Apple opened the doors to gaming when they dropped intel GPU's in favour of nVidia and started offering decent graphics options in iMacs. I think this is a good thing and would help justify Apples claim that macs are somewhat good for gaming.

I use steam a lot on my iMac and I think its great I won't have to reboot all the time.
post #18 of 62
2 possibilities

1. Apple beefs up the graphics in iMac's and stops with the nonsense about having a super expensive display

2. Apple releases something like a G4 cube or Mac Mini on steroids with a nice graphics adapter. not something super expensive, but better than the default integrated one they ship
post #19 of 62
"Valve's"

Nice AI.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

I just hope yet ANOTHER processor switch doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the works.

A4 is here and Apple needs a way to lock OS X to hardware again.

Dude what is wrong with you ? Seriously, I can't decide if you are trying to troll, or have an irrational fear that Apple is going to force everyone over to the iphone os tomorrow.

1) While very power efficient, the arm platform is not really suitable to be a desktop replacement.

2) Apple has given no indication that in the short to medium term that they consider the mobile os and the related device's as anything more than an accessory to your computer not as a replacement for your computer.

3) Apple does not need to lock their os down to a particular piece of hardware. If a company tries to sell an OS X computer on non Apple hardware then they are sued out of existence. And so far Apple has turned a blind eye to the efforts of the Hacintosh community. If they wanted to stop this it would take very little effort on their part to brick most of these installs.

Please stop with the sky is falling antics.
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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

Well the steam engine is used in multiple games. If the steam engine can run in osx, it means you'll have access to Half life 2, team fortress 2, left4dead, as well as a whole bunch of other games that use the engine.

Um, hold on. Valve's actual game engine is called Source, and is used to run Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2 and number of 3rd party games.

Steam is just Valve's on-line games distribution service - sort of iTunes Store for gaming.

I think that Valve is just getting ready to distribute games for OSX, but that does not necessarily mean they will develop/port games to OSX (though they might and it would be great fun).

I'd expect at first smaller titles like XBOX Arcade or PS3 Minis... remakes of famous classics etc.

But we'll see.

EDIT: I've just noticed someone has already mentioned Steam/Source equation...
post #22 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

I just hope yet ANOTHER processor switch doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the works.

A4 is here and Apple needs a way to lock OS X to hardware again.

Yes, lets spend a ton of money, annoy the developers, and switch to a processor that's less powerful than a G3.
post #23 of 62
Guys give up the notion that all your games on Steam will magically run on OSX because steam is ported. The vast majority of those titles use DirectX for graphics. It's still up to the game designers to either port their title to osx, or license the right to port the title.

It's still a great delivery mechanism for games and i'm pretty excited for it. I particularly like their occasional sales. I picked up Empire: Total war the other day for $9.99 on steam.
post #24 of 62
As others have pointed out, Steam is just a game distribution system.

Thinking stuff you bought on the PC through Steam would start suddenly working on the Mac would be like thinking iPhone apps would run on your Windows Mobile phone because Apple has a Windows version of iTunes.

Even if Valve were to port the Source Engine to OS X, that would just be the first step. Havoc would probably have to be ported as well and then the games would have to worked on. I would not hold my breath for any of that happening. Although I sure as sh@t would be happy if it does.

-kpluck

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post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

2. Apple releases something like a G4 cube or Mac Mini on steroids with a nice graphics adapter. not something super expensive, but better than the default integrated one they ship

As unlikely as that is to happen anytime soon, I've been thinking something like that would satisfy a lot of people. When you think about it, the only four main things most people upgrade over the lifetime of their computer are the RAM, the hard drive, the video card, and maaaaybe the CPU you could really get away with the first three for almost everyone (and, indeed, the vast majority of PC users are non-tech-savvy people who would sooner just get a whole new machine when their HD gets too full). If Apple learned from their mistakes with the G4 Cube and made something that measured up to SJ's cubical standards, but allowed you to quickly and easily upgrade just those three things...well, they'd have Ye Olde Mythical xMac. And if they somehow managed to write a suite of decent drivers for a good enough range of video cards, including current-generation cards (ha, as if), the xMac could serve as the go-to Gaming Mac if you wanted to configure it as such.
post #26 of 62
I love Valve. These teaser adverts are brilliant. Valve are always willing to go that extra mile with quality art and writing. That makes them a great fit for Apple.
post #27 of 62
What is all the excitement for?

Surely anyone who wanted to play those games would have already purchased them for a different platform. My son has most of these for Xbox and they have all been played to death. We would not for minute consider buying them again to play on a Mac.

I can see the point for future new content but back catalogue stuff is irrelevant.

Any new titles we would get for the Xbox as well since games tend to look nice on a big plasma.
post #28 of 62
I just cried tears of joy. Forget Xbox Live and PSN, it just doesn't get any better than Valve and Steam. This is truly a historic moment for gamers that love macs!!
post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

What is all the excitement for?

Surely anyone who wanted to play those games would have already purchased them for a different platform. My son has most of these for Xbox and they have all been played to death. We would not for minute consider buying them again to play on a Mac.

I can see the point for future new content but back catalogue stuff is irrelevant.

Any new titles we would get for the Xbox as well since games tend to look nice on a big plasma.

For various reasons, the Steam versions of Valve's games receive far more updates. For example, Team Fortress 2 has received an amazing amount of free content on the PC whilst the Xbox 360 version has seen nothing. The amount and quality of the free content has kept the PC community going strong whilst the Xbox 360 community has completely died. That's very important for an Internet-based multiplayer game.

The other part of the excitement is that Valve games tend to be a variation on the FPS genre. The genre is much more suited to mouse and keyboard than a control pad. I wonder what Valve will be able to do with the Magic Mouse?

Unless you already own a half-decent Windows PC, this is big news.
post #30 of 62
I only see one problem with this: Apple don't really build computers for gaming. These days a gaming machine is essentially a normal computer with a high end graphics card, and Apple have traditionally used mid to low end video cards.

Maybe they will find some success with causal games, I hope so. I would like to see them get some success from this, since I love Valve and Apple.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

I just hope yet ANOTHER processor switch doesn't throw a monkey wrench in the works.

A4 is here and Apple needs a way to lock OS X to hardware again.

Why? Psystar got itself clobbered and outside handfull of tech heads no one tries to shove OS X on a non Apple PC.
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunnabunich View Post

As unlikely as that is to happen anytime soon, I've been thinking something like that would satisfy a lot of people. When you think about it, the only four main things most people upgrade over the lifetime of their computer are the RAM, the hard drive, the video card, and maaaaybe the CPU you could really get away with the first three for almost everyone (and, indeed, the vast majority of PC users are non-tech-savvy people who would sooner just get a whole new machine when their HD gets too full). If Apple learned from their mistakes with the G4 Cube and made something that measured up to SJ's cubical standards, but allowed you to quickly and easily upgrade just those three things...well, they'd have Ye Olde Mythical xMac. And if they somehow managed to write a suite of decent drivers for a good enough range of video cards, including current-generation cards (ha, as if), the xMac could serve as the go-to Gaming Mac if you wanted to configure it as such.


apple doesn't need to write drivers. Nvidia and ATI write their own Windows drivers. SJ wants control and either has the OS X team write the drivers or have Nvidia and ATI submit them for review.

i've been playing games on Windows for years and have never installed MS supplied graphics drivers. in fact the rule is to avoid them. i've always installed them from nvidia or ATI depending on which card i had at the time
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

For various reasons, the Steam versions of Valve's games receive far more updates. For example, Team Fortress 2 has received an amazing amount of free content on the PC whilst the Xbox 360 version has seen nothing. The amount and quality of the free content has kept the PC community going strong whilst the Xbox 360 community has completely died. That's very important for an Internet-based multiplayer game.

The other part of the excitement is that Valve games tend to be a variation on the FPS genre. The genre is much more suited to mouse and keyboard than a control pad. I wonder what Valve will be able to do with the Magic Mouse?

Unless you already own a half-decent Windows PC, this is big news.



Don't forget the biggest part. This is a centralized delivery and statistics platform for mac game developers. Basically, it's an AppStore (of sorts) for mac games.

The mac has quite a bit of games for it already, but not a lot of people know about it because they just aren't talked about in the general "gaming" circles. Example, I never knew until about a week ago that DragonAge Origins was available for the mac.

As for FPS with a Magic Mouse or gaming being better with mouse and keyboard. Honestly, I prefer analog stick over W-A-S-D keys (mouse is still better than an analog stick). However, the Mighty Mouse / Magic Mouse is NOT a gaming mouse, simply because of the way the buttons, or lack there of, is set up. A simple Logitech will always be better for gaming than any mouse Apple offers. Just to disclose: I have both a gaming PC, an iMac, as well as all 3 current-gen gaming consoles (wii, ps3, xbox 360), and while all control methods have their positives and negatives, I enjoy FPS on both computer and console equally as much.
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

If Mac games were anything but Cider wrapped windows ports they wouldn't have "performance issues" at all.

OPEN GL is what competes with Direct 3D not Open CL.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...L_and_Direct3D
post #35 of 62
I guess my only concern about switching to an Apple for my gaming, which I would LOVE to do, is the ability to keep up with hardware requirements when newer games and technologies come out. If you buy an actual Apple computer it's very difficult to do your own upgrades to new video cards and processors.

The MacPro can help with the video card issue somewhat, as long as you replace it with a card with drivers for Mac OS X. However, changing out processors on iMac and Mini models may be a totally different story for the average user. Nothing like getting a nice new Mac and a year later you want to play Bad Company 4 and your video card won't support it.

I dunno. Are my concerns valid?
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Steam is a distribution and social networking platform. Valve's games are built on the Source engine.

oh duh, i feel like such a retard LOL
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ernstcs View Post

I guess my only concern about switching to an Apple for my gaming, which I would LOVE to do, is the ability to keep up with hardware requirements when newer games and technologies come out. If you buy an actual Apple computer it's very difficult to do your own upgrades to new video cards and processors.

The MacPro can help with the video card issue somewhat, as long as you replace it with a card with drivers for Mac OS X. However, changing out processors on iMac and Mini models may be a totally different story for the average user. Nothing like getting a nice new Mac and a year later you want to play Bad Company 4 and your video card won't support it.

I dunno. Are my concerns valid?

On current mac mini's the cpu is a pin type thats soldered in and has integrated gpu.
On iMacs, at least since the intel switch, has been impossible to upgrade the gpu.
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post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ernstcs View Post

I guess my only concern about switching to an Apple for my gaming, which I would LOVE to do, is the ability to keep up with hardware requirements when newer games and technologies come out. If you buy an actual Apple computer it's very difficult to do your own upgrades to new video cards and processors.

The MacPro can help with the video card issue somewhat, as long as you replace it with a card with drivers for Mac OS X. However, changing out processors on iMac and Mini models may be a totally different story for the average user. Nothing like getting a nice new Mac and a year later you want to play Bad Company 4 and your video card won't support it.

I dunno. Are my concerns valid?

unless you build your own and buy a nice power supply it's hard to do it with a dell/hp as well. and unless you upgrade to a new CPU every 6 months which is a waste of money anyway, new sockets come out every 18-24 months and you have to buy a new motherboard, RAM, etc
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

As others have pointed out, Steam is just a game distribution system.

Thinking stuff you bought on the PC through Steam would start suddenly working on the Mac would be like thinking iPhone apps would run on your Windows Mobile phone because Apple has a Windows version of iTunes.

Even if Valve were to port the Source Engine to OS X, that would just be the first step. Havoc would probably have to be ported as well and then the games would have to worked on. I would not hold my breath for any of that happening. Although I sure as sh@t would be happy if it does.

-kpluck

Havok is already ported. Blizzard payed the havok team to do it years ago.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ernstcs View Post

I guess my only concern about switching to an Apple for my gaming, which I would LOVE to do, is the ability to keep up with hardware requirements when newer games and technologies come out. If you buy an actual Apple computer it's very difficult to do your own upgrades to new video cards and processors.

The MacPro can help with the video card issue somewhat, as long as you replace it with a card with drivers for Mac OS X. However, changing out processors on iMac and Mini models may be a totally different story for the average user. Nothing like getting a nice new Mac and a year later you want to play Bad Company 4 and your video card won't support it.

I dunno. Are my concerns valid?

I think in the imacs, the processor and maybe the graphics are soldered to the logic board. Pretty sure they aren't user serviceable.
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