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Valve accepting applications for Steam for Mac beta program

post #1 of 23
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Valve Software this week quietly began accepting applications for a forthcoming beta program aimed at testing its highly-anticipated Steam for Mac online gaming service, several AppleInsider readers have discovered.

"We are going to conduct a closed beta for testing of the Mac client and Mac versions of Valve games," the company wrote on its website. "Participants will be selected to provide broad coverage of testing criteria. Please be honest in your answers as we need to test all types of users, systems, and software configurations."

Valve added that select applicants will be contacted in the comings weeks if their applications are approved. The signup process requires that applicants pre-register for a Steam account, which is a fairly painless process that requests basic information such as an email address and password.

Once registered, applicants are asked to provide some basic information such as which model Macs they own, how many games they've recently purchased for the Mac, whether they own a console gaming system like the Xbox, Wii, or Playstation, and whether they currently use an existing Mac virtualization solution or Apple's Bootcamp software.

Applicants are also asked to save and upload a mini snapshot of their system profile to provide Valve with the most accurate assessment of their current Mac hardware makeup.

Valve made headlines earlier this month when it confirmed through a web-based teaser campaign that it was finally getting the ball rolling on plans to bring its Steam gaming system to the Mac, along with the Source engine that powers titles such as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead 2.

The game maker said that once the Mac software hits the market, future Valve games will ship simultaneously on the Mac and Windows PC. Users who own games for the PC will also be able to download and play the same games on the Mac for free, and a new "Steam Play" feature will allow gamers on both Windows and Mac OS X to play online, with or against each other, cross-platform.



Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve, commented that partners who sell games through the Steam service are "very excited" about embracing the Mac, implying that even more top-tier titles could be ported. The company has also made its tools, in the form of Steamworks for the Mac, available to its partners to make the transition easier.

The announcement on Valve's part has reportedly convinced other major developers like DICE and Gas Powered Games to consider the jump as well.
post #2 of 23
Cool, thats me all signed up.
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Cool, thats me all signed up.

I signed up too, I hope I get in. My only question is, being stingy, will they give us a free game to test?
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post #4 of 23
Submitted.
post #5 of 23
All signed up as well. Will be interesting to see how many people get in.
post #6 of 23
Awesome! I had to go scramble to find my steam password...
post #7 of 23
Valve took down the link, apparently it wasn't supposed to be released to the general public. So I wouldn't expect to get in the beta.
post #8 of 23
The link in the article worked for me, even though I had clicked it after Cougar's post. If they had really wanted to stop people from signing up, they would have disabled or moved the sign-up page itself, not merely removed their link to it.

On the other hand, odds are pretty good that they want people who are already steam customers who own some of the games being ported to Mac such as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. There might be other requirements too, like being active on their Steam Forums.

I may not get picked, but I don't think I've lost anything by applying.
post #9 of 23
I signed up on the off chance that they'd humour me even though my only Intel Mac other than an anemic Mini is actually an upgraded Compaq. I already own the Orange Box on Windows, so whenever I do get Steam up and running on this side, I'll have something ready to play.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7600/132 View Post

On the other hand, odds are pretty good that they want people who are already steam customers who own some of the games being ported to Mac such as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. There might be other requirements too, like being active on their Steam Forums.

I may not get picked, but I don't think I've lost anything by applying.

You're most likely right, but chances of me becoming a major Valve customer if I get in the beta, 100%. If I don't get in the beta, I could just save the money for other things.
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post #11 of 23
awesome. use it on bootcamp. Mac would be so desired.
post #12 of 23
I guess this won't be available to users outside of the US?
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by moustache View Post

I guess this won't be available to users outside of the US?

I'm signed up, there was no question related to geography in the questions but I'd assume that Valve want to test in as many locations around the world as well as many different types of hardware.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by moustache View Post

I guess this won't be available to users outside of the US?

What is your guess based on? I didn't see any geographical restrictions in the application process and completed the process fine (from Czech Republic, i.e. outside of US).
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The signup process requires that applicants pre-register for a Steam account, which is a fairly painless process that requests basic information such as an email address and password.

Once registered, applicants are asked to provide some basic information such as which model

Note that if you already have a steam account, you don't have to "sign up" or "pre-register" for a Steam account and can simply use your existing account's login information to get to the application. The article seems to imply that you have to register (sign-up) for a Steam account even if you already have one, which is not true.
post #16 of 23
I thought this was for a steamy beta.
post #17 of 23
I was wondering, could the OpenGL updates in 10.6.3 help gaming in OS X? Because I looked at my drivers and the 8600M GT does OGL 3.1 in Windows 7 and only 2.1 in Snow Leopard. It's not a terrifically capable GPU to begin with but it played HL2 with maxed settings at a full framerate with no noticeable slowdown. I get the feeling things will still be less impressive when played natively but so far I've only tried Bioshock on both systems, with it playing much more solidly in Windows.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momus View Post

I was wondering, could the OpenGL updates in 10.6.3 help gaming in OS X? Because I looked at my drivers and the 8600M GT does OGL 3.1 in Windows 7 and only 2.1 in Snow Leopard. It's not a terrifically capable GPU to begin with but it played HL2 with maxed settings at a full framerate with no noticeable slowdown. I get the feeling things will still be less impressive when played natively but so far I've only tried Bioshock on both systems, with it playing much more solidly in Windows.

I'm not sure if it's confirmed. But I heard OpenGL 3.1 will be in the 10.6.3 update.
If so, yes, the update will increase the efficiency for those game engines that can benefit and
implements support for the new features in OpenGL 3.0 and 3.1.

On a related sidenote, OpenGL 4.0 specifications is already released by the khronos group (the ones that develop OpenGL).

PS: HL2 do not use any OpenGL features. It uses Direct 3D as rasterizator. The mac version of HL2 will however use OpenGL.
post #19 of 23
I just signed up from Australia.

Maybe they'll see my account from 2004 and all the games I was buying, which ceased when I moved to Mac.

I occasionally log in and play on a PC but not for a few months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moustache View Post

I guess this won't be available to users outside of the US?
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

You're most likely right, but chances of me becoming a major Valve customer if I get in the beta, 100%. If I don't get in the beta, I could just save the money for other things.

I am very happy to submit my application. Thanks for this article.

Regarding not being a customer if you don't get into beta? don't be silly, beta looks like will only last less than a month and half. so my bet is some inhouse beta already occurred.

That said, i would love first stab to be a mac player in Steam. Though, it may be a good idea to give beta licenses to a few games to try out. then pull them once beta ends.

I just don't know what i would own already for the mac via steam. really no idea.
post #21 of 23
Do they pay us for this? If we get accepted...
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by meelash View Post

Do they pay us for this? If we get accepted...

Running any of the Valve games natively on the Mac side is its own reward and has been a long time coming. An exclusive preview demo of Portal 2 would be very nice though.

This beta suggests that the official roll-out won't happen until late April, which is a shame. I guess it all depends on how the beta test goes.
post #23 of 23
I signed up a few days ago as well, and used my regular Steam login. It would be nice to not have to reboot just to play. I've also been buying more titles just knowing that I will be able to play them on the Mac side (assuming they get ported). I would assume they are looking for folks that do have Steam accounts that also happen to have the games they are porting first, as it would simplify things for them. No idea what those games will be though.

Just finished Half-Life 2 again and bought BiosShock 2, but I got that one on sale, outside of Steam. If you haven't played it, I would definitely suggest it.

Can't wait!
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