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Steam survey finds more than 8% of gamers use Apple's Mac OS X

post #1 of 72
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More users of Valve's Steam gaming service ran a version of Apple's Mac OS X in its first month of availability than the 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista combined, according to a new hardware survey.

A total of 8.46 percent of Steam users in May 2010 were on some version of Apple's operating system, with Mac OS X 10.6.3, Mac OS X 10.6, and Mac OS X 10.5.8. The new data is a part of Steam's monthly hardware survey, which presents data about the kind of computers users of the service have.

Apple's debut compared with 6.95 percent of users on the 64-bit version of Microsoft's last-generation operating system, Windows Vista. Another 0.55 percent were seen running Windows XP 64 bit, while 0.35 percent were reported as Windows 2003 64 bit.

May represents the first time that Mac OS X users have been able to officially use the Steam service within Mac OS X, since the application was released. Apple made a splash, with all listed versions of Windows losing market share when Mac OS X was added into the equation.

The far-away winner remains the 32-bit version of Windows XP, which 32.89 percent of Steam gamers were running as their operating system. That was followed by 24.77 percent of users on Windows 7 64 bit, 14.66 percent on Windows Vista 32 bit, and 11.15 percent of users on Windows 7 32 bit.

In an exclusive interview with AppleInsider in March, John Cook, director of Steam development at Valve, said that the monthly hardware reports could prove to be a great asset for developers who are interested in bringing their titles to Mac OS X. Details such as operating system, processor and graphics card give a clear indication how well a title will run on a user's system.

"One thing for certain is that the Mac market will be a lot less of a mystery to the game industry as we add Mac hardware statistics to our ongoing hardware survey," Cook said.



Steam is digital game distribution platform which has more than 25 million users and offers access to 1,100 games on the PC. Developer Valve has said it will treat the Mac as a "first-tier" platform, meaning new major titles developed for the PC will release day-and-date with the Mac.



High-profile releases from Valve for Mac OS X so far have included Game of the Year award winners Portal and Half-Life 2. Valve has also made native OS X support for the Source engine available to licensees for use in their games. The company has also made its Steamworks suite of publishing and development tools available on the Mac platform, including product key authentication, copy protection, auto-updating, social networking, matchmaking, anti-cheat technology, and more.
post #2 of 72
Seriously?!? How can you put such a misleading title on the article... and why? 8% adoption is huge, but at the same time, the title implies that OSX is blowing the snot out of M$, when it is nearly an order of magnitude less!

why why why???
post #3 of 72
Thing is, market share for Windows will naturally drop when a new platform is introduced. Of course, when you have 0 percent it's easy to make the other platforms decline in percentage. The real question is, did those gamers stop using Windows because of Steam?
post #4 of 72
"Apple's debut compared with 6.95 percent of users on the 64-bit version of Microsoft's last operating system, Windows Vista."


Really??? That's news to me. What's Windows 7 then?

In more recent news Microsoft Insider reports that MS mobile operating system has a larger market share then Apple's last mobile operating system, Iphone OS 1.0 French version.

It's impressive that OS X has such a strong representation but the way this article is written and the headline is pure fluff.
post #5 of 72
Seriously. Reads right out of the Fox News playbook for headline writing.

I was excited to get Steam and finally thought I'd be free of the bootcamp partition taking up space on my Macbook Pro's SSD ... but nope. Though the games run, they run much slower than in Windows 7 on the exact same hardware. The drops in framerate are especially noticable in busy scenes.

Until Apple provides tuned driver support for OSX, and provides better than years-behind GPU tech in their desktops, gamers will simply not be switching en masse to OSX. Besides the fact that without DirectX, the vast majority of titles will simply never get ported and those that do, will have to run OpenGL for worse picture quality and performance.

I may use OSX on my work machine, but for gaming, I'm not leaving Windows any time soon.
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by per_se View Post

"Apple's debut compared with 6.95 percent of users on the 64-bit version of Microsoft's last operating system, Windows Vista."

Really??? That's news to me. What's Windows 7 then?

Windows 7 is the current operating system, Vista is the last one. The word 'previous' instead of 'last' would have been clearer but that's what it meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbuubu

Though the games run, they run much slower than in Windows 7 on the exact same hardware. The drops in framerate are especially noticable in busy scenes.

It's only been out for a little while though and it mostly still plays smoothly at maximum quality (i.e above the 30FPS threshold). There's a bug somewhere in the drivers causing framerate drops and updated drivers are coming with 10.6.4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbuubu

Besides the fact that without DirectX, the vast majority of titles will simply never get ported and those that do, will have to run OpenGL for worse picture quality and performance.

The Source engine uses DirectX too and the quality is on par with the Windows version. The water effects look pretty much identical on the Mac vs Windows:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/adurdin...85104/sizes/l/

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat

The real question is, did those gamers stop using Windows because of Steam?

It's probably due to Mac users no longer playing via Bootcamp. Just before the Steam launch, I was playing HL2 via Steam but switched to playing Episode 1 on the Mac side and I suspect a few people did the same.
post #7 of 72
I am really not a gamer per se. I used to go to arcades with my son when he was growing up, and I did enjoy some of those, and I particularly enjoyed a game called 1942 which I played on his game console (Nintendo?) at home. But as he grew up I ceased playing them. I went to Steam when it was first announced for the Mac. I thought, now that I am retired and have the time to play there must be some incredible new games that are light years ahead of the 80s. Right on the front page was one called Altitude, and the picture showed WWII fighter planes in good detail in 3D action. When I clicked on it, the demo looked like little toy kiddie game planes from the 70s! If this is what all the fuss is about with Steam, I'm glad I checked out years ago. You'd think with all the advances in computer technology that things like this would have disappeared.

I've seen the D&D kind of games like WOW and such, but I just don't have the patience for those all-consuming type of games where you practically have to live your life in front of a screen to enjoy them. Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?
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post #8 of 72
Everyone knows what steam content delivery is, right?
The title says 8% of the steam users are sitting behind a mac. What's misleading about it? Am I missing something?
post #9 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?

check out company of heroes its a decent strategy game with excellent graphics. downside is i think its only for windows but definitely a great game imo. one of the only reasons I have windows.
post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?

I enjoyed Day of Defeat via Steam on Windows. I think this might be right up your street. I'm hoping Steam brings it to the Mac soon - it's still showing as Windows only
post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Seriously?!? How can you put such a misleading title on the article... and why? 8% adoption is huge, but at the same time, the title implies that OSX is blowing the snot out of M$, when it is nearly an order of magnitude less!

why why why???

Absolutely.

Getting an 8% share especially in such a short period of time is an unbridled success. I doubt anyone seriously thought we would see this level of adoption in just one month.

But to then take the combined numbers for all versions of OS-X and compare it to the least used versions of Microsoft's old operating systems takes away this success and makes it look like the author is fiddling the figures.
post #12 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Everyone knows what steam content delivery is, right?
The title says 8% of the steam users are sitting behind a mac. What's misleading about it? Am I missing something?

they kindly changed the title to be less misleading -- something I highly approve of (thanks), but I can see how it would be really confusing to you.

and, yep, as an AAPL stock holder, 8% is huge to me!
post #13 of 72
Help me out here. I've read all about Steam, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what it actually is. Do buyers download an actual copy of the game from Steam, or it server-based somehow? Also, why is it easier (if it is) to port PC games to the Mac using Steam over some other method? I've read about the Steam Client but it's not clear to me what it does.

BTW, my old favorite battle strategy game is Combat Mission. Sadly this company stopped developing for the Mac before OSX appeared, or at least their promises to return to the Mac have been unfulfilled for so long I gave up on them. I wonder if Steam would make it easier for them to release Mac titles.
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post #14 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

they kindly changed the title to be less misleading -- something I highly approve of (thanks), but I can see how it would be really confusing to you.

Oh, okey. What was the original title?
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Everyone knows what steam content delivery is, right?
The title says 8% of the steam users are sitting behind a mac. What's misleading about it? Am I missing something?

buy a 17", you are stuck with a consumer machine.


I think Apple is missing out on the Prosumer audio/video
consumers. None if the macs support express slots except the 17 inch. The iMac lacks all kinds off adapters to get esata or esata raid. And now, unless you buy a 17", most machines have no way to add in some higher end fx, even if it's something as trivial as an express card raid.

Avid was smart about this. They went out and purchased maudio as
maudio runs all their software on native computing


thus video/audio prosumer market is huge and it's as if Apple doesn't care. They just care about a small base of say cable networks that buy mac pros when they could really be cornering the prosumer market instead of catering to iLife users. Especially now that webisodes are becoming huge and people watch tv when they want betot dvr or torrents.

It really wouldn't take much to add exprrss
slots to all the machines and esata, 800 speed FireWire.

Again, this market is like 100
times if not larger, than the pro market.
post #16 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Thing is, market share for Windows will naturally drop when a new platform is introduced. Of course, when you have 0 percent it's easy to make the other platforms decline in percentage. The real question is, did those gamers stop using Windows because of Steam?

The answer is obvious. No.
post #17 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Everyone knows what steam content delivery is, right?
The title says 8% of the steam users are sitting behind a mac. What's misleading about it? Am I missing something?

8% of machines are running a Mac OS. That's not the same as 8% of users as many folks, including myself, have both Mac and Windows machines and have now connected to Steam with both.
post #18 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Help me out here. I've read all about Steam, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what it actually is. Do buyers download an actual copy of the game from Steam, or it server-based somehow? Also, why is it easier (if it is) to port PC games to the Mac using Steam over some other method? I've read about the Steam Client but it's not clear to me what it does.

BTW, my old favorite battle strategy game is Combat Mission. Sadly this company stopped developing for the Mac before OSX appeared, or at least their promises to return to the Mac have been unfulfilled for so long I gave up on them. I wonder if Steam would make it easier for them to release Mac titles.

Games are purchased via Steam, which then installs a copy on the user's machine. You can uninstall and then reinstall via Steam at any time. Steam also provides a lot of community aspects including the ability to easily track where your friends might be playing and to join them on multiplayer servers.

Steam does not port the games. The developer does that, Steam simply provides a method for users to browse, purchase and play the games. Conversely, they provide another way for developers to market their games.
post #19 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

8% of machines are running a Mac OS. That's not the same as 8% of users as many folks, including myself, have both Mac and Windows machines and have now connected to Steam with both.

Ok, so you're saying the share of steam users behind a mac should be higher then 8% since loads of them are contributing to the windows statistics?
post #20 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Absolutely.

Getting an 8% share especially in such a short period of time is an unbridled success. I doubt anyone seriously thought we would see this level of adoption in just one month.

But to then take the combined numbers for all versions of OS-X and compare it to the least used versions of Microsoft's old operating systems takes away this success and makes it look like the author is fiddling the figures.

And in 6 months when the newness is gone will Mac usage drop?
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

Games are purchased via Steam, which then installs a copy on the user's machine. You can uninstall and then reinstall via Steam at any time. Steam also provides a lot of community aspects including the ability to easily track where your friends might be playing and to join them on multiplayer servers.

Steam does not port the games. The developer does that, Steam simply provides a method for users to browse, purchase and play the games. Conversely, they provide another way for developers to market their games.

How is it different for Steam to install a game as opposed to downloading and doing it yourself? Why do you need Steam to uninstall it? Sorry, but this concept is not clear to me.
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post #22 of 72
I tried Altitude on the free weekend, deleted it after 10 minutes, I hope developers get the message that that basic sh*t is not what we want, it was like a Flash game.

I enjoyed playing half life 2 again I can't be bothered with episode 1 again and I bought episode 2 which I am playing through now, I never got round to it before.

Where is Counter Strike Source, Day of Defeat and other online titles?

Day of Defeat is great for quick games if you don't have much time.

Those are the one's I am waiting for.

I also bought Killing Floor based on the Unreal engine which is quite challenging, this shows that Red Orchestra should also become available.

I don't really care if The Ship becomes available, I've still got some invites to give away from years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I am really not a gamer per se. I used to go to arcades with my son when he was growing up, and I did enjoy some of those, and I particularly enjoyed a game called 1942 which I played on his game console (Nintendo?) at home. But as he grew up I ceased playing them. I went to Steam when it was first announced for the Mac. I thought, now that I am retired and have the time to play there must be some incredible new games that are light years ahead of the 80s. Right on the front page was one called Altitude, and the picture showed WWII fighter planes in good detail in 3D action. When I clicked on it, the demo looked like little toy kiddie game planes from the 70s! If this is what all the fuss is about with Steam, I'm glad I checked out years ago. You'd think with all the advances in computer technology that things like this would have disappeared.

I've seen the D&D kind of games like WOW and such, but I just don't have the patience for those all-consuming type of games where you practically have to live your life in front of a screen to enjoy them. Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?
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post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post

And in 6 months when the newness is gone will Mac usage drop?

I don't see it dropping - Steam has to run for those purchased games to work. Steam isn't something that you play with for a while and not use anymore; its a content platform. Think of it as like iTunes but for games.

It's likely to grow as long as gaming companies continue to port their work - at the moment with Half Life 2 and Civ IV as the only "serious" games (although Sam and Max makes a great B list) I'm suprised it's that high; there's still a fair bit of Bootcamping going on here.
post #24 of 72
Is this a surprise? Many Mac OSX users dual boot just to get the PC games. With Steam there's less reason to boot into XP, Vista, or Windows 7. If you bought Steam for Windows then Steam for the Mac is free.

Give an update when the share goes up beyond 10%. That'll be a real story.
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

How is it different for Steam to install a game as opposed to downloading and doing it yourself? Why do you need Steam to uninstall it? Sorry, but this concept is not clear to me.

Steam can be described as an AppStore for PC (and now Mac) games.

You can still buy games on DVD and install them, but if you want to download a title like Half Life 2 then Steam is the only place it is available. It is not available for download elsewhere.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

8% of machines are running a Mac OS. That's not the same as 8% of users as many folks, including myself, have both Mac and Windows machines and have now connected to Steam with both.

This is actually one of the really awesome things about Steam.

I have steam installed on OSX, inside parallels and in bootcamp windows.

That way ypu can play OSX stuff natively, classics run very well in parallels and for latest Windows stuff there is bootcamp.

If and when OSX versions of those currently Windows-only games appear, you get those for OSX without having to pay again.

Steam has really improved things a lot for people doing the native/VM/Bootcamp rotation.
post #27 of 72
Windows XP 64-bit was not very well accepted, so even combining it with a humble empty paper bag gets you an empty paper bag. One of the biggest issues my acquaintances had with it is the lack of XP 64-bit drivers. I think even in the Vista years there were a lot of issues of lacking a good x64 driver, 7 seems to be when enough makers got serious about drivers to the point there are more W7-x64 users than -x32 in a 2:1 ratio. With Vista, those charts show the opposite, one x64 user for every 2 x32 users.

As for my Macs, they might only be operating in 32 bit mode. I think my W7 laptop is 64 bit.
post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Steam can be described as an AppStore for PC (and now Mac) games.

You can still buy games on DVD and install them, but if you want to download a title like Half Life 2 then Steam is the only place it is available. It is not available for download elsewhere.

Sounds unimpressive. I thought it was something more than just a store.
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post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I am really not a gamer per se. I used to go to arcades with my son when he was growing up, and I did enjoy some of those, and I particularly enjoyed a game called 1942 which I played on his game console (Nintendo?) at home. But as he grew up I ceased playing them. I went to Steam when it was first announced for the Mac. I thought, now that I am retired and have the time to play there must be some incredible new games that are light years ahead of the 80s. Right on the front page was one called Altitude, and the picture showed WWII fighter planes in good detail in 3D action. When I clicked on it, the demo looked like little toy kiddie game planes from the 70s! If this is what all the fuss is about with Steam, I'm glad I checked out years ago. You'd think with all the advances in computer technology that things like this would have disappeared.

I've seen the D&D kind of games like WOW and such, but I just don't have the patience for those all-consuming type of games where you practically have to live your life in front of a screen to enjoy them. Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?

That was a great game. I had it. There was also a mode where you culd go online and play snipers nest where you were trying to find your killer before he found you and the graphics were great then. It's weird but they never realy got any better on the PC or console. I would have thought by 2010 we would have games that look like real people.
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avidfcp View Post

I would have thought by 2010 we would have games that look like real people.

They are getting pretty close:

http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/actio.../video/6261018

I though the characters in Modern Warfare were fairly realistic in terms of appearance and movement.
post #31 of 72
Well as with all statistics - you really have to ask what it means.

Is this based on total number of logins? Sure when Steam was announced a huge number of Mac users tried it out so the numbers would spike. But how many stuck it out? What I'd prefer to see is something like total percent of time using Steam. Plus I think the real telling stat will be what are these numbers 6 months from now when the novelty wears off.

I tried steam on both my MBP and my iMac. It's okay but I'll not be using it much. I tried it twice on each system but found it pretty slow. Still that means that I alone counted for 4 logins to the system and I played a total of about 10 minutes.
post #32 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Aren't there any good 3D historic war games that strike a balance between Byzantine complexity and realistic play?

Check out the Total War series. They are the best in strategy games that aren't the old school base building stuff like Starcraft. Their games use a mix of turn-based strategic map, 4x style, and a real-time tactical map to play out battles. I'd recommend Rome (which I think is available for Mac) and Napoleon, but AVOID EMPIRE LIKE THE PLAGUE. Oh, and Napoleon is quite heavy.

Other than that, I'd say Civilization. It's 100% 4x play, and the best one that exists.

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post #33 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbswe View Post

Everyone knows what steam content delivery is, right?
The title says 8% of the steam users are sitting behind a mac. What's misleading about it? Am I missing something?


The thing I don't understand is why this is news. About 8% of desktops are Macs. About 8% of Steam users use Macs.

Is that a surprise?
post #34 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Sounds unimpressive. I thought it was something more than just a store.

It IS. It's a multiplayer server hub.

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post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

The thing I don't understand is why this is news. About 8% of desktops are Macs. About 8% of Steam users use Macs.

Is that a surprise?

To windows people, yes, since they always get this nice preconception of us as dumb people who think Windows is too hard for us, so we are willing to pay triple the price (I know it isn't 3x) to have an "easy", weak OS.

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post #36 of 72
I know plenty of people who would switch to Mac if Apple released a tower with video card slots that doesn't use overkill expensive server pieces like the Mac Pro, that is.

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post #37 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

It IS. It's a multiplayer server hub.

So is GameSpy. Sorry but I am still struggling to understand the significance of Steam, or why anyone cares about it at all.
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post #38 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by StLBluesFan View Post

The answer is obvious. No.

How is it obvious?

I think the question meant were these 8% new to Steam altogether, or does it include people who dropped using Windows for OS X, that were already using Steam?

Since it is obvious to you, perhaps you can shed some light on the 8% statistic by breaking it down as to what percentage was new to Steam, and who stopped using Windows Steam for Mac Steam? Also, who stopped using Windows on their Macs out of that group?
post #39 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbuubu View Post

Until Apple provides tuned driver support for OSX, and provides better than years-behind GPU tech in their desktops, gamers will simply not be switching en masse to OSX. Besides the fact that without DirectX, the vast majority of titles will simply never get ported and those that do, will have to run OpenGL for worse picture quality and performance.

I disagree whole heartedly. The controlled and proven hardware of the Macs makes for a far greater gaming experience than some new fan dangled graphics card that has features no one supports yet and costs thousands of dollars and doesn't work without major tweaking.

PCs as a gaming platform are a joke. People just want to buy a game and play it and on the Mac they can because the developers know exactly what hardware they have to write for. On PCs they don't.

It's why consoles rule the gaming industry because the games just work. On PCs the games MAY work depending on the hardware you have. I'm truly amazed the PC gaming industry hasn't just up and died yet especially when Macs and consoles have a higher purchase rate than the PC industry which has a heavy piracy rate. Hell, half the guys are work who play PC games don't own those games and yet those same guys buy PS3 or XBox titles. Mac users are known to spend money on software. Smaller and more profitable platforms should really be seen as a target market not the seemingly lucrative PC market which is really nothing more than a Saharan mirage in terms of profitability.
post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbuubu View Post

Besides the fact that without DirectX, the vast majority of titles will simply never get ported and those that do, will have to run OpenGL for worse picture quality and performance.

DirectX sucks. It's a complete joke. The problem with many Mac titles is that there isn't actually a port to the Mac it's a wrapped DirectX game that has to translate on the fly to OpenGL hence the performance hit. Play a game specifically written for OpenGL and you notice a massive difference in favour of OpenGL.

Something tells me Apple is holding off OS X 10.7 purely to gauge gaming on 10.6 where full potential of 64bit can be seen then they will start using OpenGL 4. It makes sense and I think working with Valve is going to make that even more of a reality.
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