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Will Apple ever release a machine for gamers ?

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
I remember buying my second mac, the iMac 450 DV edition.

When playing Unreal Tournament, I had to lower the graphic settings. And these days, lots of kids are coming over to my son to play the assorted multiplayer games, on the household´s different G3/G4 flavours.

Theses kids, 12-15, are all impressed by OS X but putting all the true-blue-coolness aside, they want to play games !

Do any of you think that Apple will ever release a machine, directly aiming at the youngsters ( I am 33, with long hair, still rockin´ to MC5 ) and their gaming needs ?

Firaxis "Alpha Centauri" was awesome !!!

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post #2 of 69
One of the influences in my upgrade from a 333Mhz Beige G3 to a Dual G5 was games. Quake would run on it at about 20FPS and it was manageable, but nothing to brag about. I needed to put those PC's in their place. I think my new rig will be still be good for the next 2 years of graphic intense games. The only dissapointment is the limited selection of games available for mac. I wish more companies would tap into the power of a G5.
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post #3 of 69
I don't expect apple to release a gaming machine anytime soon, but, with the promise the g5 has, I do imagine to see far improved gaming performance on consumer machines once that thing filters down the lineup
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post #4 of 69
The thing we need the most for mac to make some more headway into the gaming market is for microsoft to goof up direct x somewhere down the line. But thats so far off and unlikely the world will never know.
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post #5 of 69
MC5 do rock

As for the games it is just not worth the effort for a company like EA. They are happy to sell their licenses off and let someone else do the conversion. I think the other side of it is that the company buying the license mostly wants to wait and see how the game sells and what reviews it gets before buying the license. I use a PC at home mostly for games. I gave my G4 to my girlfriend (she only plays The Sims ). At work I use a Mac most of the day so I am happy with the variety I get.

Still if games came out at the same time then I would probably grab a G5 and have both platforms at home again.

Sideshow
post #6 of 69
Game software support is like any other segment of the software industry. A certain number of developers lose no sleep over ignoring ~3% of the market. Apple has to be bold and aggressive in the pursuit of market share, or else we'll continue to slide down into the abyss.
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post #7 of 69
Apple will never release a gaming machine. Period.

That said, the G5 does a pretty good job--though it won't help if people aren't porting, or are poorly porting, games to the Mac.

I'd state the obvious (e.g. CONSOLE CONSOLE CONSOLE) but that just degenerates into a flame war.
post #8 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by mrmister
Apple will never release a gaming machine. Period.

That said, the G5 does a pretty good job--though it won't help if people aren't porting, or are poorly porting, games to the Mac.

I'd state the obvious (e.g. CONSOLE CONSOLE CONSOLE) but that just degenerates into a flame war.

yeah, quite frankly, the PC gaming market is shrinking, while the console and handheld markets are growing. (see ars if you're "confused")

there's very little reason for Apple to invest substantial R&D (or anything else) in gaming initiatives. the machines they have are 'good' for gaming, and that's enough (from a business strategy standpoint). that said, i would personally love to see a killer mac gaming rig, but it won't happen.

also, it would really require ATI and/or nVidia to make a big push into the Mac market for anything to happen. what can Apple really do (beyond the incredible bandwidth etc in the G5) for gaming?
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post #9 of 69
macintosh is like the porsche of computers, and would porsche ever release an suv?
HELL NO! er...uuuhhh...ummmm...WHEAAA, did hell freeze over??

long 'bout this time last year the scuttlebut was itunes on windows,everybody said na it cant happen and well, hell froze over yet again in the fall

while i doubt an apple gaming rig is in the cards, ya just never know these days, anything is pnossible

<more to say>
i agree with some of the other posts the gameing industry is shifting to consoles, it makes sence, far less demanding requierments for (almost) equil graphics because a tv needs a feed at 640x480 at 29.? fps compared to most gaming pc's, 100+fps at 1024/768 even hd doesnt need that kind of power, they only need 60 fps tops
</more to say>
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post #10 of 69
I doubt Apple would ever release a gaming machine. However, built-to-order is there for a reason. If you need a gaming Mac, customise a G5 with a phat graphics card, lots of RAM, buy a CRT (not a $$$ Apple display) and a Microsoft mouse.

Apple use to have a fragmented product line... Macs for TV watching, Macs for education, Macs for video editing... then Steve returned and Apple introduced BTO. Again, it is there for A REASON.

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post #11 of 69


Been there, done that.
post #12 of 69
The problem is that Apple thinks their iMacs are great gaming machines.
post #13 of 69
Actually it needs to start from a different angle: 3D animation needs to be done on Apple's which will lead to high end video cards which leads to more experience developing this stuff for the platform which leads to games. Games are played most on the platform that created them . Starts with 3D studio Max and trickles down.
post #14 of 69
Judging form some of the replays in this thread, I'm not sure that everyone means the same thing when they say "Gaming Machine."

A good gaming machine is a computer with a real fast processor and a top of the line video card -- that's it. Some people will say it also needs a good sound card, but half of the gamers are using headphones and gain no benefit from it.

Macs used to be good for gaming, then came the whole Motorola fiasco and Macs fell behind PCs in performance. I built my first PC because, even with the best video card I could buy for it, no mac at the time was able to play Unreal tournament well.

The current G5 powermac with a radeon 9800 Pro is an ok gaming machine, but not a great one. The dual processors don't help for most games, and the G5s doesn't seem to be any better then an Athlon at the same speed when it comes to pumping out simple polygons.

Later in the year, when we get G5s around 3Ghz with whatever the best videocard is at the time, the Mac will make a great gaming machine. And in the future, if IBM can push ahead of the competition, it might even make the best.
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post #15 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Res
Judging form some of the replays in this thread, I'm not sure that everyone means the same thing when they say "Gaming Machine."

A good gaming machine is a computer with a real fast processor and a top of the line video card -- that's it. Some people will say it also needs a good sound card, but half of the gamers are using headphones and gain no benefit from it.

Macs used to be good for gaming, then came the whole Motorola fiasco and Macs fell behind PCs in performance. I built my first PC because, even with the best video card I could buy for it, no mac at the time was able to play Unreal tournament well.

The current G5 powermac with a radeon 9800 Pro is an ok gaming machine, but not a great one. The dual processors don't help for most games, and the G5s doesn't seem to be any better then an Athlon at the same speed when it comes to pumping out simple polygons.

Later in the year, when we get G5s around 3Ghz with whatever the best videocard is at the time, the Mac will make a great gaming machine. And in the future, if IBM can push ahead of the competition, it might even make the best.

That's true. But I think most of who read this were under the impression he was referring to something like an Alien Ware, gaming machine, or something. I'm glad you pointed that out. With that said, the only problem after speed bumped PowerMacs is going to be what games are actually available.

UT2k4 Mac Demo is a whole lot of fun.
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post #16 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by zenarcade
Do any of you think that Apple will ever release a machine, directly aiming at the youngsters ( I am 33, with long hair, still rockin´ to MC5 ) and their gaming needs ?

I am a macuser but I bought a P4/2.6 GC/Geforce4 mx 440 for gaming. I don't think Mac is a good gaming machine for cost and performance wise reasons, buying a PC for gaming will be a much better choice since PCs are now dirt cheap (sub 800 US dollars) and it games. Don't get me wrong, Macs are still better than PC in lots of aspects but as for gaming.......PCs are better.
post #17 of 69
There are very few games for Mac's anyway. Why bother.
post #18 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
UT2k4 Mac Demo is a whole lot of fun.

Unreal really sucks on my mac (G4 1.17GHz GF4MX). Slower than on my Pentium3 (600MHz GF4MX). Hopefully the game engine of UT2004 is a better port from DirectX than the old engine - a lot of games will use thise engine.

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post #19 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
UT2k4 Mac Demo is a whole lot of fun.

i heard its multithreaded?
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post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
That's true. But I think most of who read this were under the impression he was referring to something like an Alien Ware, gaming machine, or something. I'm glad you pointed that out. With that said, the only problem after speed bumped PowerMacs is going to be what games are actually available.

UT2k4 Mac Demo is a whole lot of fun.

aleinware,you say? just bring back the b/w g3 enclosurer slap in a g5, replace the blue with a blindingly ugly neon green and wvala...an apple gaming rig
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post #21 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by concentricity
yeah, quite frankly, the PC gaming market is shrinking, while the console and handheld markets are growing. (see ars if you're "confused")

there's very little reason for Apple to invest substantial R&D (or anything else) in gaming initiatives. the machines they have are 'good' for gaming, and that's enough (from a business strategy standpoint). that said, i would personally love to see a killer mac gaming rig, but it won't happen.

Y'know, maybe I'm "old before my time" (I'm 35), but I've never understood the mentality of spending thousands of dollars on a PC (or, keeping in line with this thread, a Mac) to play games on, when an XBox or PS2 costs a couple hundred bucks and does a fine job of it.

Or is it just me?

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post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by bangstudios
Y'know, maybe I'm "old before my time" (I'm 35), but I've never understood the mentality of spending thousands of dollars on a PC (or, keeping in line with this thread, a Mac) to play games on, when an XBox or PS2 costs a couple hundred bucks and does a fine job of it.

Or is it just me?

-J

Don't worry, it is just not you, I am 35 and have the same thoughts
post #23 of 69
I don't want to have to spend extra on a console and games that cost even more than PC games.
I admit you have to have top of the line CPU and GPU for a PC game to be anyware as near as good graphically as a console but thats where the dual 1.8/2.0 G5 comes in.

You forget the extra fun you have using a PC as a games machine. A console doesn't need endless patches or anitvirus software only to find you don't have the latest driver for some component.

Dobby.
post #24 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by GreggWSmith
There are very few games for Mac's anyway. Why bother.

Very few? I feel there is enough. It seems as though most good games come out roughly the same time (Blizzard comes to mind), or a few months later. The only really big game I can think of that didn't make it over was Half Life. Other than that, I can't think of much (but I honestly can say I follow console gaming more than PC).
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by kupan787
[BThe only really big game I can think of that didn't make it over was Half Life. Other than that, I can't think of much (but I honestly can say I follow console gaming more than PC). [/B]

The original Unreal Tournament never really made it to the Mac (that Preview Release doesn't count - it sucked). UT2K4 has made it and it's really fun, but I'm getting ready to build the Uber gaming rig (Athlon 64), simply because I can and because I enjoy tweaking the heck out of it.

Building PeeCee's has taught me a lot about the Windows side of computing.
It's always interesting to figure out why a machine won't boot up when just a few hours before it was working perfectly.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Cake
The original Unreal Tournament never really made it to the Mac (that Preview Release doesn't count - it sucked).

???

I have a CD right now on my desk for the original Unreal Tournament (it says "Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition" on it). UT2k3 was also on the mac, so I am not sure which version you refer to when you say "original"...
post #27 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
aleinware,you say? just bring back the b/w g3 enclosurer slap in a g5, replace the blue with a blindingly ugly neon green and wvala...an apple gaming rig

Keep hittin the pipe there Dopey.

Alienware area 51 gaming machine:

AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor
1GB Registered DDR SDRAM PC-3200
120GB Seagate Serial ATA 8MB Cache
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
for $2,956.00 before rebates.

And that's for starters. What's that B,&W G3's graphics card supposed to accomplish with a G5 attached to it? A system meltdown?
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post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by kupan787
???

I have a CD right now on my desk for the original Unreal Tournament (it says "Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition" on it). UT2k3 was also on the mac, so I am not sure which version you refer to when you say "original"...

UT:GOTY is for OS9.
Ryan Gordon was supposed to continue working on the OS X port as mentioned here, but I guess that was dropped in favor of working on UT2K4.
The UT Preview Release was almost unplayable.

UT2K3 was/is a joke. The gameplay and physics were ruined in that version.
UT2K4 fixes some of those issues and is very fun, but UT is still the most fun IMO.
UT runs amazingly well on my PC. I was hoping for an OS X version that would run as well or better on the G5 that I plan on buying this coming summer.
post #29 of 69
One big thing you guys are all missing, I think, is the gamers I know are the most frugal when it comes to spending money on software, and hardware. They almost always would rather build their own computer and download illegal games. I got a feeling this is definitely not the market for Apple. Sometimes I wish Apple built a gaming machine, and I guess their version is the very best, most expensive G5 which is not in most gamer's budgets. This is why AlienWare is a niche company too.
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post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by Cake
UT:GOTY is for OS9.

A comment was made of few games on the mac. When this game was released, it ran on the mac. Wether or not it was ported to OS X is a different story. Prince of Persia ran on OS 9, and I would count that as a Mac game, regardless of the fact that it doens't run on OS X.

Quote:
UT2K3 was/is a joke. The gameplay and physics were ruined in that version.
UT2K4 fixes some of those issues and is very fun, but UT is still the most fun IMO.
UT runs amazingly well on my PC. I was hoping for an OS X version that would run as well or better on the G5 that I plan on buying this coming summer.

My whole point was the mac gaming market isn't as bad as people like making it out to be. Game titles come to the mac almost at the same time, or a few months later. We may not get all the games (like Deer Hunter and other bargin bin crap), but most of the good stuff does make it over.
post #31 of 69
Yeah, I should have clarified that I was talking about OS X in my first post.
Sorry about that.

I just don't use OS 9 for anything anymore.
I cringe when I see classic booting up, but maybe that's just me.
post #32 of 69
There are really three types of peecee game machines.

1) The Alienware type of machines. Prebuilt complete systems with top of the line components. Apple's G5 systems compete with these on price and performance very well.

2) The Dell/HP type of machines. Typical piece of crap x86 box with a fast CPU. Apple gets killed here. For the price of these machines, around $1000, Apple really only has G4 iMacs to try to compete.

3) The heap of x86 components type of machines. There is a vast number of gamers who don't have a lot of money to buy entire new systems every six months to a year but do have enough to pick up a new and fast motherboard for a couple hundred bucks. There has been the CPU upgrade options for various Apple machines, but they are usually poor in price/performance compared to x86 motherboard market.

Game machines of type 1) are good for Keynotes and bragging rights, but the number of people who buy these type of machines is tiny in the overall game market.

Game machines of type 2), the much debate 'Apple beige box' would be a massive boost to Apple gaming. But of course there are major issues with these type of machines destroying Apple's iMac market.

Game machines of type 3) will never happen until some fundamental change takes place in the Mac market such as companies selling Apple clones again or Apple selling just motherboards.

I am pretty impressed with the number of games being released for the Mac right now, but I don't see it as an upward trend. The structure of the Mac market puts a pretty low limit on the number of games that are possible to be released on the Mac. A few simultaneous releases a year plus a good number of ports of top selling peecee titles.
post #33 of 69
The thing that I wonder is what percent of the PC market is really gaming geared? People always say the small 3% mac market vs 97% windows market. But of that 97%, there are a lot of servers and office pcs, that wont ever see a game installed on them. And not all of the remaining PCs are for games (both my roommates have PCs, but only one ever places games). Yes I know that the sales are probably higher, but I wonder what % of the PC market purchases games vs what % of the mac market. This would probably be impossible to figure out (since how can you know the current installed base of either platform...)
post #34 of 69
It costs money to release a game ( writing, marketing, boxing etc ) and the projected sales have to cover that. When a game is written with a port in mind those costs are lower ( simultaneous release, shared box ). Unfortunately most producers dont consider concurrent developement ( and those that do probably see the best results ).
A good example of the economics of producing a game is Neverwinter Nights, which had a BeOS port for most of its development. But with a dwindling potential market, there is no way they will release it.

This is not affected by Apple having a gaming rig. Macs might not be the hottest gaming machines on the planet, but then nor are most PC's ( with crap built in intel graphics ). I think the key is support. Apple dont appear to provide a lot of support for game developers. Microsoft and Intel and AMD do. Apple could do a lot to improve the state of gaming on the Mac, but things like letting MS buy Bungie ( Apple should have ) just show that they arent that interested.

Ironically, Apple is often accused of competing with their 3rd party devs, but in the one arena where there is lots of space for everyone, they dont play. Apple could run a game dev business, much like Nintendo does. A few killer 1st party titles, which really get interest in the industry up, attracting 3rd party devs. Good sales by Apple would attract more companies. Once you get the ball roling it will get better. Apple has often been on the verge of beating the game blues, but then screw it up.
post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally posted by mmmpie
Ironically, Apple is often accused of competing with their 3rd party devs, but in the one arena where there is lots of space for everyone, they dont play. Apple could run a game dev business, much like Nintendo does. A few killer 1st party titles, which really get interest in the industry up, attracting 3rd party devs. Good sales by Apple would attract more companies. Once you get the ball roling it will get better. Apple has often been on the verge of beating the game blues, but then screw it up.

For awhile Apple was mainting a GameSprocket API (back in the OS 9 days). There was input, network, sound, and one other. I don't think that they support them anymore. What I think would be a good thing would be for Apple to resurrect this project. Then perhaps if they could coax microsoft to port over Direct3D, I think it might be easier to convince devs to do simultaneous releases, one box, one disk, etc. Then costs are minimal and they can target 100% of the market...
post #36 of 69
This very same debate is going on over at AI's sister forum, MacNN. Many have made the assertion that PC gaming is illogical since cheap consoles are great for gaming. That is indeed true - they are great for gaming - but not for the same types of games. Computers are better suited for certain types of games, and computer games will often provide superior graphics. Some are prepared to spend significant cash on gaming computers, and if they have the ability to do so, they have every right. I still maintain, however, that those who care about Mac gaming should rightfully be concerned about market share. Until we retain more of it, third parties won't respect the platform and we'll continue to get the short shrift.
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post #37 of 69
While the FPS genere is well covered in the Mac with most major titles exept HalfLife and CounterStrike some areas are totaly lost since a decade. WWII flight sims:

On the PC side Microsoft is on its third generation of sims (plus all the expansion packs) and then MS has competition from several other companies as well.

On the Mac side we have nothing of value for ofline gaming since Hellcats in 1990 or so the time when the Quadra 700 and its 25 MHz 68040 was the hottest stuff and Jurasic Park was the movie of the year

With the patetic G4 era drawing to a close, there is hope for the mac again, especially if Apple keep the graphic cards in the G5 iMacs in good shape
post #38 of 69
I'm not sure what the premise of this thread is. Seems like the orginal post seems to assert that PC users have access to fast cheap gaming rigs. Well they do sorta, but not because they are specifically "gaming rigs", just because building your own with budget parts is cheaper. And like everything else, cheap doesn't always mean good.

If you were a gamer you really shouldn't have even thought about buying that iMac 450 with its paltry 8mb Rage card (i think thats what those have). Serious PC gamers will spend oodles on the fastest processor and latest greatest video card, so don't confuse a REAL gaming rig with a budget computer, they are two completely different things. If you want a real gaming machine you'll be buying top of the line, fastest processor and fastest vid card you can afford. Be it on the PC side or Mac side. PC's just happen to be cheaper in general.

The main problem on the Mac side is that our video card choices are limited and generally expensive if we want something good. Buying though Apple is costly, but so is 3rd party when our only choice is whatever ATI wants to give us. I don't see that as Apple's fault necessarily so much as the Mac market not being deemed big enough to support new players. 3dfx tried, but were devoured by nVidia before it really got going.Why we don't see any 3rd party boards for nVidia I don't know. Some people simply buy compatible PC cards and flash the firmware (with mixed success).

The misnomer about there not being any games on the Mac is completely unfounded. There are a ton of good games on the Mac, and for OS X specifically. Sure theres some games that don't get ported, but we get most of the good popular ones. I think the Mac gaming community just keeps growing as well. Macgamefiles.com shows 31,000+ downloads for the new UTK4 demo since its release last friday. Not bad. Hopefully people in the gaming and video card industry are taking notice.
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post #39 of 69
There are a whole lot of variables in play here.

First, market size will overcome any technical obstacle. There are so many excuses offered for the lack of Mac ports - or their lateness - because the market is small. There are two components to this: If you hardly play games at all (like me) then you're part of the problem. If you only play cracked games then you're also part of the problem. Game publishers track piracy closely, and whether or not they're right to assume that every pirated copy represents a lost sale, they do. At any rate, it's indisputable that, from the point of view of the game developers and publishers, only people who pay for the games count as the market.

Second, the "gaming machine" actually pulls any computer maker at least two ways. Hard-core gamers prefer lots of configuration choices and rapid refresh cycles; game developers prefer consoles and console-like hardware, because it represents a known, fixed target that they can optimize for (this is why PCs often need far more horsepower than consoles do to play the same game at the same settings). Casual gamers - the overwhelming majority - use what they have.

Assuming that the problem lies in hardware (which is not something I necessarily accept, except for a few prominent bandwidth limitations in the G4 architecture), which way should Apple go? Their own design preferences tend toward console-like machines, and certainly if they want to minimize the trouble required to create a Mac port of a game they should stay this course. They won't win the hard-core crowd this way, though. Is the PowerMac enough? I don't know. I don't know any hard-core gamers. I, too, am 35.
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post #40 of 69
I'm 33 and could have been termed a "hardcore" gamer over the past couple years. Ran a Quake 3 clan that played a variety of mods competitivey in various ladders and tournaments. One of our guys was even on the winning CTF team (he plays a different mod for us) at Quakecon last year.

Consoles aren't even on the radar when it comes to competitive online FPS games like Quake 3, UT2K3, Counterstrike, BF1941 etc. When you start talking about config tweaks, 3rd party game mods, input options and sheer graphics power of a PC, the console gets left in the dust.

Also consider real-time strategy games. Some of these can be pretty complex and the crappy "effective resolution" (its not measured in pixels really but thinkg sub 64 x480) of a TV simply isn't detailed enough to view properly. HD should look better, but I'd be willing to bet most console games are not optimized for higher resolutions.

Consoles do have their place, some games work well for them, but not all. As far as Apple possibly entering the market, remember that consoles don't make money. The games do. Although in some ways the Apple experience would make sense in the console world, unless Apple is ready to be a content producer for a Mac console, it ain't gonna happen.
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