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Game developers eye the Mac after Steam's jump to Apple - Page 2

post #41 of 65
For becoming really rellevant Mac gaming has to keep price level with the Win versions. At least for COD and MOH the mac versions kept the full price well after the Win versions were bundled and sold for a fraction of the original cost.

But if I van get Valves Orange box at a decent price and Apple release the "xmac", then I am all for buing gamels for the mac againg. Back in 1992 it was actually a game, Hellcats, that was one of the reasons to get a 16 MHz LCII instead of a more powerfull 40 MHz 386
post #42 of 65
Hmm are my eyes playing tricks on me or did I just see Satan wearing a fur lined parka and mukluks?
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post #43 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrBoar View Post

For becoming really rellevant Mac gaming has to keep price level with the Win versions. At least for COD and MOH the mac versions kept the full price well after the Win versions were bundled and sold for a fraction of the original cost.

But if I van get Valves Orange box at a decent price and Apple release the "xmac", then I am all for buing gamels for the mac againg. Back in 1992 it was actually a game, Hellcats, that was one of the reasons to get a 16 MHz LCII instead of a more powerfull 40 MHz 386

This is where Apple can POSSIBLY / FINALLY entertain the idea of releasing an xMac (headless-imac) in short a machine with a user upgradable CPU and video card.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away Apple lived or died SOLELY by the sales of Macintosh Computers. Basically it was their 'one trick pony' and Steve did a remarkable job rebuilding Apple and along the way and without anyone noticing... Apple's bottom line is less and less dependent on the sale of 'premium priced' un-upgradable (great looking) computers. Each and every year (for a good number of years) shows Apple relying less and less and less on those bloated Macintosh profit margins. This is a GOOD THING because it may empower Steve entertain ideas that years ago would be shot down due to fear of killing the bottom line!

Is it time for Apple to pull an xMac out of the R&D lab? Maybe so! Is it time for Apple to license the OS? (that I'm not too sure of - too many people can still feel the burn from Apples last adventure in OS licensing)... and make please make no illusions that running OS X on 'generic hardware' is a walk in the park and Apple could simply sell OS X that doesn't require Apple hardware. Yes I'm well aware of Hackintoshes (glancing ever so quickly at an clone case in my computer room) and NO, OS X won't just install on ANY hardware it usually takes additional patches and hacks. Sometimes you CAN build a box that will boot OS X without any hacks to the OS at all but EFI work still needs to take place.

For Apple to truly run on 'generic computers' would require a team of developer as large as... Oh I dunno... how about the ones found at Microsoft or the 'nameless thousands' (more?) that have contributed code and drivers for Linux. Apple OS X is what it is (fast and reliable) due to many factors and one of them is that Apple doesn't include drivers for ten billion different hardware offerings. Apple uses the Audio chips of its own choosing and will likely continue to do so until such a time that a cheaper and markedly better alternative comes out and its then and only then that they have to worry about writing a driver for OS X to handle the new audio chip (ASIC?). In the rest of the PC world you have a great number of different AUDIO chips and microsoft pretty much has to write (or more likely have the hardware vendor write) and include in its product. Windows is HUGE and Microsoft can make DEMANDS that hardware makers write drivers (and the hardware makers are likely very happy to do it) unfortunately OS X doesn't command the same attention.

Either way... It certainly could make for some interesting times ahead... OR Apple could continue to do what they do and eventually let the Mac fall too far back in the CPU & Video departments and once again see game developers fall off due to poor sales.
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post #44 of 65
All Apple has to do is make a gaming desktop and this could actually go somewhere.
post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

This is where Apple can POSSIBLY / FINALLY entertain the idea of releasing an xMac (headless-imac) in short a machine with a user upgradable CPU and video card.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away Apple lived or died SOLELY by the sales of Macintosh Computers. Basically it was their 'one trick pony' and Steve did a remarkable job rebuilding Apple and along the way and without anyone noticing... Apple's bottom line is less and less dependent on the sale of 'premium priced' un-upgradable (great looking) computers. Each and every year (for a good number of years) shows Apple relying less and less and less on those bloated Macintosh profit margins.

Is it time for Apple to pull an xMac out of the R&D lab? Maybe so! Is it time for Apple to license the OS? (that I'm not too sure of - too many people can still feel the burn from Apples last adventure in OS licensing)...

Either way... It certainly could make for some interesting times ahead... OR Apple could continue to do what they do and eventually let the Mac fall too far back in the CPU & Video departments and once again see game developers fall off due to poor sales.

Its great that Valve is doing this, but the price of hardware will still be an issue for enthusiast-type gamers. It's just much more cost-effective to do your gaming on a windows pc. You can't even buy a base model iMac and upgrade the video. The best video in the imacs now is the Radeon 4850, which is a decent card for gaming, but you have to buy the 2000.00 model just to get that video upgrade. You can spend half that, have better raw specs for gaming, and still run steam.

People who have macs and want to try some of valve's games, or only do casual arcade style games will get the most out of this, which is still a good thing. Steam has a lot of casual games and its a great distribution channel for that.
post #46 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Do the Mac desktop machines have decent graphics cards?

Yes and no.

But do you REALLY want to lug a 27" imac or Mac Pro and cinema display to a lan when you could take a 15/17" laptop?
post #47 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomfoolery View Post

Are video games really a significant computer market segment?

PC Game software totaled $13.1 Billion in 2009

So, yes!

Source: http://www.overclockersclub.com/news/26185/
post #48 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Mac 1985, Windows 1995, Mac 2015!!


Of course the last time game developers got excited about the Mac as a gaming platform was with the dual processor PowerMac G5's.

There was ads in all the Mac magazines for 3D games coming to the Mac, I got myself a nice rig and it was able to run two 3D games at once in windows on my 30" (with some frame rate loss as it only could use one video card.)

Then of course IBM couldn't make cool G5's anymore and well we got hobbled Intel processors.

My current MBP has a single 800Mhz bus for two cores, my PMG5 dual processor had 1GHz per processor!! Bandwidth to burn INDEED!! RAID 0 a pair of Raptors and there was virtually no lag to disk, apps would launch with one bounce.

The reason there are so many more Leopard users than Snow Leopard users is because Apple sold A LOT of G5 machines. People are loath to give up those babies, especially since they resale for little now because Apple won't support them anymore in the new OS releases.


Heavy duty games need a lot of performance on the device, that isn't the road Apple and device makers are going down anymore. They are opting for lower performance to create light, cool, thin and portable devices, shifting any heavy processor needs to the "cloud" or desktop machines like the Mac Pro via the internet.

The iPad is proof, it's only got a 1Ghz, most likely integrated graphics. It won't even run Flash or if it can, creates too much heat.

I very highly suspect the new iMac's coming will support a very thin design like the iPad, even a dual touchscreen UI/cursor UI and use the less powerful A4 processors like what the iPad has.

Apple has spent a lot of money for the A4, needs a OS X hardware lock again and most likely will put the A4 into more Mac's and create slimmer, cooler devices in the process. Not good candidates for serious 3D games. Nvidia might be in trouble.

So for serious gaming on Intel processors, that leaves the Mac Pro and perhaps the MBP only and it's looking like Apple will be pushing the A4 in more and more of their products.

In fact that little Intel leak of i5 or i7's in MacBook Pro's might have been a clever move designed to get a response from Apple, perhaps they didn't put in a call for those processors and Intel was getting worried.

Serious gaming has firmly gone to consoles, the PS3 is the ultra machine, the detail is incredible, the processor is very hot and powerful as it needs to be.

I want what you're smoking
MBP (15, 2.33, 3GB,10.6/win/lin on 250GB)
MP (3,1 oct 2.8, 10GB. 10.6 on 4x1TB RAID10, Win/Lin on 1x2TB, 2407WFP on 1x5770 + 2xSamsung 910t on 1xGT120)
also a lot of other systems :-p
I met a...
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MBP (15, 2.33, 3GB,10.6/win/lin on 250GB)
MP (3,1 oct 2.8, 10GB. 10.6 on 4x1TB RAID10, Win/Lin on 1x2TB, 2407WFP on 1x5770 + 2xSamsung 910t on 1xGT120)
also a lot of other systems :-p
I met a...
Reply
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Mac 1985, Windows 1995, Mac 2015!!


Of course the last time game developers got excited about the Mac as a gaming platform was with the dual processor PowerMac G5's.

There was ads in all the Mac magazines for 3D games coming to the Mac, I got myself a nice rig and it was able to run two 3D games at once in windows on my 30" (with some frame rate loss as it only could use one video card.)

Then of course IBM couldn't make cool G5's anymore and well we got hobbled Intel processors.

My current MBP has a single 800Mhz bus for two cores, my PMG5 dual processor had 1GHz per processor!! Bandwidth to burn INDEED!! RAID 0 a pair of Raptors and there was virtually no lag to disk, apps would launch with one bounce.

The reason there are so many more Leopard users than Snow Leopard users is because Apple sold A LOT of G5 machines. People are loath to give up those babies, especially since they resale for little now because Apple won't support them anymore in the new OS releases.


Heavy duty games need a lot of performance on the device, that isn't the road Apple and device makers are going down anymore. They are opting for lower performance to create light, cool, thin and portable devices, shifting any heavy processor needs to the "cloud" or desktop machines like the Mac Pro via the internet.

The iPad is proof, it's only got a 1Ghz, most likely integrated graphics. It won't even run Flash or if it can, creates too much heat.

I very highly suspect the new iMac's coming will support a very thin design like the iPad, even a dual touchscreen UI/cursor UI and use the less powerful A4 processors like what the iPad has.

Apple has spent a lot of money for the A4, needs a OS X hardware lock again and most likely will put the A4 into more Mac's and create slimmer, cooler devices in the process. Not good candidates for serious 3D games. Nvidia might be in trouble.

So for serious gaming on Intel processors, that leaves the Mac Pro and perhaps the MBP only and it's looking like Apple will be pushing the A4 in more and more of their products.

In fact that little Intel leak of i5 or i7's in MacBook Pro's might have been a clever move designed to get a response from Apple, perhaps they didn't put in a call for those processors and Intel was getting worried.

Serious gaming has firmly gone to consoles, the PS3 is the ultra machine, the detail is incredible, the processor is very hot and powerful as it needs to be.

The A4 is about as powerful as the G3 in my 6.5 year old iBook. Not gonna happen. If they did, you'd see Mac sales drop by about 90%.
post #50 of 65
I would just like to know if this means I could set up a mac mini as a theater PC and then also use it to play games on Steam thus negating the need for an xBox. I really don't want to have to get an xbox to supplement the PS3 and wii i already have.
But I suspect the on board graphics of the mini would not be up to the task of gaming......
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by seek3r View Post

I want what you're smoking

yeah me too...
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by iGenius View Post

Wow. It looks like maybe the Mac OS is reaching some sort of critical mass.

Can a good selection of other software categories be far behind? About time!

I would actually expect that other 3rd party software will do better than games if future.

When you consider number of PCs in wild and low gaming market share PC has, what can you really accept from Mac with their (comparably) low PC market share..?

Even if porting from Windows to OSX and from DirectX to OpenGL is reasonably easy, I'd be surprised if Mac gaming really does much further than a couple of titles released to "sense" the market. Even if Mac users response turns to be big enough to keep developers interest in Mac platform, it still has to survive couple of things:

- piracy (which will follow, only question is to what degree)
- compatibility and performance issues
- real life experience - on line cheating etc.

All those things are plaguing PC gaming as well, but considering much bigger user base, developers are willing - sort of - to invest into anti piracy technologies, frequent game fixes and updates, techniques to minimize on line cheating... all things that take extra money and resources from developers and are not directly related to the size of user base (for example I'd expect Punkbuster development expenses are the same no matter if user base is 10 or 90% of the market).

And at the end - what is in there for the gamers? I am long time computer gamer, going back to ZX81, Spectrum and Commodore 64... and recently I'm finding myself playing much more on PS3 than on my PC, and my PC is more than capable. For me, it is primarily the cheating thing - I really hate giving NZ$100 for a game to find myself being killed behind the wall by a pistol from a person on the other side of the map. True enough I'd prefer kbd and mouse, better textures and higher resolutions, but at the end of the day playing game where you know good players are just that - good players, not cheaters - beats all the tech advantages of the PC platform, for me at least.
post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post

Mac 1985, Windows 1995, Mac 2015!!
Serious gaming has firmly gone to consoles, the PS3 is the ultra machine, the detail is incredible, the processor is very hot and powerful as it needs to be.

Actually detail is not incredible, most PS3 games are running on 720p and with nVidia 7800 graphics and 256MB of video memory there is only that much you can get even with all the possible optimization and fine tuning... I have recently compared Assassin Creed on my PC and on my PS3, having both plugged to 42" full HD TV. Visual difference was obvious, PC running game in full HD with better textures and smoother gameplay (Intel quad core with nVidia 8800 GT), but that being said PS3 version was still more than good enough.
post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel- View Post

Wow, I thought the opposite. I have Orange Box and L4D for the 360 as well as the PC, and I thought the 360 versions were horrible.

I was wondering the same. I tried L4D 2 demo and it was running absolutely brilliant on my PC, which is not surprise - Source engine is not overly demanding (for nowadays standards) when it comes to hardware...
post #55 of 65
Hello. I am a trojan / malware / virus. Since Apple opened up their platform to games, people have started pirating cracked versions making it very easy for me to infect the Macintosh platform.

Hello. I am McAfee and I am Norton. We have released new versions of our anti-malware products for the Macintosh that only utilize 32% of CPU time. That is an improvement over the last version.

----------------------
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post #56 of 65
WASD + mouse = real controls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Do you think they'll slow down the game speed by about 70% for the Mac verison of Left4Dead? Maybe it will then be playable? (Maybe).

The game is a twitchy mess. It was tolerable on the Xbox with a real controller. PC, forget it. What a joke.
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post #57 of 65
Steam addressed those issues years ago.

In the beginning there was a lot of opposition to Valves draconian DRM protection policies, as Internet speeds picked up it became less of an issue.

You create an account which is linked to your games, it checks to verify and install updates every time you go to play a game.

You could play in offline mode if you aren't connected to the Internet which defeats the purpose of the online component of their games which is usually the main reason to play them.

Regarding cheating Valve anti-cheat system (VAC) protects users from cheats, you get caught cheating on a VAC secured server, your account is banned with no comeback, that extends across the entire steam platform you can still play on non VAC secured servers but thats it.

Valve with steam is very similar to Apple's App store a controlled, secure environment which ultimately leads to a better user experience,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

I would actually expect that other 3rd party software will do better than games if future.

When you consider number of PCs in wild and low gaming market share PC has, what can you really accept from Mac with their (comparably) low PC market share..?

Even if porting from Windows to OSX and from DirectX to OpenGL is reasonably easy, I'd be surprised if Mac gaming really does much further than a couple of titles released to "sense" the market. Even if Mac users response turns to be big enough to keep developers interest in Mac platform, it still has to survive couple of things:

- piracy (which will follow, only question is to what degree)
- compatibility and performance issues
- real life experience - on line cheating etc.

All those things are plaguing PC gaming as well, but considering much bigger user base, developers are willing - sort of - to invest into anti piracy technologies, frequent game fixes and updates, techniques to minimize on line cheating... all things that take extra money and resources from developers and are not directly related to the size of user base (for example I'd expect Punkbuster development expenses are the same no matter if user base is 10 or 90% of the market).

And at the end - what is in there for the gamers? I am long time computer gamer, going back to ZX81, Spectrum and Commodore 64... and recently I'm finding myself playing much more on PS3 than on my PC, and my PC is more than capable. For me, it is primarily the cheating thing - I really hate giving NZ$100 for a game to find myself being killed behind the wall by a pistol from a person on the other side of the map. True enough I'd prefer kbd and mouse, better textures and higher resolutions, but at the end of the day playing game where you know good players are just that - good players, not cheaters - beats all the tech advantages of the PC platform, for me at least.

You don't know much about the steam platform, do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101 View Post

Hello. I am a trojan / malware / virus. Since Apple opened up their platform to games, people have started pirating cracked versions making it very easy for me to infect the Macintosh platform.

Hello. I am McAfee and I am Norton. We have released new versions of our anti-malware products for the Macintosh that only utilize 32% of CPU time. That is an improvement over the last version.

----------------------
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post #58 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus View Post

All Apple has to do is make a gaming desktop and this could actually go somewhere.

Apple will never ever release a cheap desktop that is upgradable,
it contradicts the strategy they've used throughout their lifespan.

iMac is the closest thing to a product for gamers Apple is releasing.
Recently they finally started putting decent graphic cards in them.
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Apple will never ever release a cheap desktop that is upgradable,

Again. I know you guys want to believe that everything is how it is now and block everything else out (especially the hard times over the bondi iMac), but not that long ago the PowerMac was $1299 and Apple's best selling computer.

Quote:
it contradicts the strategy they've used throughout their lifespan.

AKA why have desktop whose life can be expanded when you can sell them an all in one which is worthless after 18 months. Its a monopoly not like your users have a choice. What are they going to do, switch to windows losing most your files and spending thousands replacing software? Not all that great for the environment, but great for Apple's profits.
post #60 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Apple will never ever release a cheap desktop that is upgradable,
it contradicts the strategy they've used throughout their lifespan.

iMac is the closest thing to a product for gamers Apple is releasing.
Recently they finally started putting decent graphic cards in them.

I dunno, as a solid gamer, I would invest in a Mac Pro. I'd just hope that I'd be able to upgrade the video card in a few years. I invested in a Power Mac Dual G5 in 2004. I'm still using it six years later, and it is still as snappy as the day I got it (running Leopard).
post #61 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

You don't know much about the steam platform, do you?

Nope, never claimed I knew anything about it either. Even if Steam is secure, the entire premise of games (the most pirated commodity out there) coming to the Mac is a not good with regard to security in the long run due to PEBKAC.
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post #62 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Apple will never ever release a cheap desktop that is upgradable,
it contradicts the strategy they've used throughout their lifespan.

iMac is the closest thing to a product for gamers Apple is releasing.
Recently they finally started putting decent graphic cards in them.

Apple is more than twelve years old, FYI. Even after Jobs returned to the company, for a while they did make affordable upgradeable towers.

The 4850 is the best card available for an iMac right now. That's a very decent card but $1999.99 is not a decent price. At that price, I could have a 5870-equipped machine with enough left over for accessories and a monitor (before you ask: yes, a 27" monitor). Most gamers know this and Apple isn't going to get any of them with the machines they currently offer.

Troll a video game board some time with a Mac thread and you'll see the hurdle Apple has to overcome to win over anyone that Steam for OS X would benefit.
post #63 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus View Post

Apple is more than twelve years old, FYI. Even after Jobs returned to the company, for a while they did make affordable upgradeable towers.

The 4850 is the best card available for an iMac right now. That's a very decent card but $1999.99 is not a decent price. At that price, I could have a 5870-equipped machine with enough left over for accessories and a monitor (before you ask: yes, a 27" monitor). Most gamers know this and Apple isn't going to get any of them with the machines they currently offer.

Troll a video game board some time with a Mac thread and you'll see the hurdle Apple has to overcome to win over anyone that Steam for OS X would benefit.

And it's not an AIO form factor, with an H-IPS panel and more.
post #64 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

And it's not an AIO form factor, with an H-IPS panel and more.

A. That it's not an AIO is an advantage.

B. What good will the monitor be when the computer it's grafted to becomes too slow to play anything?

C. By "and more" I assume you're humourously referring to the SD card reader? Did your point-and-shoot camera somehow not come with a USB cable?
post #65 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

Actually detail is not incredible, most PS3 games are running on 720p and with nVidia 7800 graphics and 256MB of video memory there is only that much you can get even with all the possible optimization and fine tuning... I have recently compared Assassin Creed on my PC and on my PS3, having both plugged to 42" full HD TV. Visual difference was obvious, PC running game in full HD with better textures and smoother gameplay (Intel quad core with nVidia 8800 GT), but that being said PS3 version was still more than good enough.

I found that too. The consoles really don't look that much better than mid-range PCs. The advantage is in the cost. You essentially get mid-range PC quality graphics for a very low price and exclusive games and you don't have to install all manner of upgrades and DRM software or wait 20 minutes for the game to install.

The PC is a solid alternative to a console when you actually get a game up and running and the games are cheaper because they aren't subsidizing a console but the platform is held back by the piracy, low-end graphics in affordable machines (especially on the Mac) and fewer good games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by talksense101

Even if Steam is secure, the entire premise of games (the most pirated commodity out there) coming to the Mac is a not good with regard to security in the long run due to PEBKAC.

I don't think game piracy has any impact on OS security unless perhaps you mean that pirated versions of games will encourage more people to bundle trojans. Steam itself only verifies the game installation as you boot the game up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus

Most gamers know this and Apple isn't going to get any of them with the machines they currently offer.

I agree, it will mainly be for Mac users who could use a game delivery platform that is popular with publishers, not to attract PC gamers over. Aspyr have their own digital store already but will probably support Steam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60

WASD + mouse = real controls.

I used to think so but a single analog controller can control your entire movement with just your thumb as well as allow walking and running without holding shift and crouch if it's a clickable stick. Essentially to do the same as a stick requiring 1 thumb, you need 6 fingers on the keyboard.
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