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EA backtracking on claims of simultaneous Mac game releases

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
Despite promises that it would release Mac versions of some high-profile games day-and-date with their Windows counterparts, Electronic Arts has conceded that at least some of these titles have been delayed.

The Mac OS X versions of two brand-new games, Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods 08, have been pushed back from their announced August releases to September or October, an EA representative told AppleInsider. The company, however, launched Madden NFL 08 for virtually every other platform on Tuesday.

When pressed for an explanation, the EA spokesperson said there were no definitive reasons available for the delay but alluded to a possible lack of experience with Mac development. This was possibly prompted in part by the company's years-long absence from the platform.

In speaking to AppleInsider, the spokesperson nonetheless claimed that four ports of previously released titles -- Battlefield 2142, Command and Conquer 3, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Need for Speed Carbon -- were already available in stores. As of press time, however, EA was unable to provide the name of a single store at which customers could purchase any of the titles.

A brief survey by AppleInsider of Apple's stores, as well as Amazon and several other leading online retailers, revealed that none had the games in stock while only a few outlets were offering pre-orders. Some online retailers known to carry Mac software, including Amazon, made no mention of the Mac version whatsoever while listing available copies for Windows and several video game consoles.

While EA has yet to address the contradictory reports, the absence of either new or old games on store shelves shows the game maker to have broken the promises made to Mac users at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where EA's chief creative officer Bing Gordon said onstage that all six games would be available during the summer and that future multi-platform releases would be more closely in step with Windows versions.

The difficulties may stem from the publisher's use of TransGaming's Cider technology, which interprets Windows commands in real-time and is said to provide similar speed on Macs compared to native code. Before a Mac port can be released, the method requires that the Windows version already have been finished to ensure a consistent code base between the two versions; this simplifies the conversion process, but adds to the overall development time.

EA's theoretically quicker but potentially delay-prone approach to producing Mac-native games contrasts sharply with smaller but more focused development houses such as Epic Games and id Software, which have promised to write completely native code for upcoming games such as Rage that can be tested independently from other versions and is not held to any specific release schedule.
post #2 of 48
THQ is under contractual obligation to produce it's games for Pixar (now part of Disney) movies in both Mac OS and Windows versions. I'm unsure, but it may even be for simultaneous release. I wonder what special technology, if any, they use. Also, I wonder if this agreement now covers games made for *any* Disney movie.

Unfortunately, some store staff, e.g., several GameStops that I've visited, are unaware that the Windows version of the Ratatouille game also had the Mac OS version on the disk.
post #3 of 48
I wonder if Bing finally got sober and someone told him what he said at WWDC.
post #4 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I wonder if Bing finally got sober and someone told him what he said at WWDC.

No joke, that guy looked completely hammered during the keynote.

Anyhow - I personally wasn't looking forward to any of those games myself, but am disappointed as this will certainly disappoint a lot of other Mac gamers. All the more reason to give my $40-50 to ID - that guys seems like he's really for Mac gaming - not some cheasy-ass cider crap.
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

....EA's theoretically quicker but potentially delay-prone approach to producing Mac-native games contrasts sharply with smaller but more focused development houses such as Epic Games and id Software...

Let's not forget the venerable Feral Interactive. I hear Colin McRae 2005 should be coming out any moment! I can't wait! And it's only 2 years after the PC version!

Maybe Feral is helping EA with their Mac versions.
post #6 of 48
Eh, compared to other release gaps between Windows and Mac versions, September or October really isn't that bad.
post #7 of 48
I've seen at least some of the EA games (Harry Potter and C&C3) in the London Apple Store...
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

All the more reason to give my $40-50 to ID - that guys seems like he's really for Mac gaming - not some cheasy-ass cider crap.

The guys at ID have always known how to do cross-platform development right. Doom is like a benchmark for porting to any platform (I believe it's already on the iPhone). It helps a lot when your company is run by people who have a real passion for technology and the developers don't have to file a lawsuit to get paid fairly.
 
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post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancaster View Post

Eh, compared to other release gaps between Windows and Mac versions, September or October really isn't that bad.


Yep, better than nothing too.
post #10 of 48
Okay, big whoop. Nothing new here. Mac Games are late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

All the more reason to give my $40-50 to ID - that guys seems like he's really for Mac gaming - not some cheasy-ass cider crap.

Okay, maybe you don't know this, but Cider has granted several hobbyists to run PC-only games such as GTA and Oblivion... LINK.

Fun stuff, no?

-Clive
My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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My Mod: G4 Cube + Atom 330 CPU + Wiimote = Ultimate HTPC!
(Might I recommend the Libertarian Party as a good compromise between the equally terrible "DnR"?)
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post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancaster View Post

Eh, compared to other release gaps between Windows and Mac versions, September or October really isn't that bad.

I disagree because this means different discs. If the PC version price drops because of large sales, I doubt the Mac version will. This means people will have to pay 2-4x the price of the PC version. No thanks, I'll just get the PC version, which the Mac version is anyway if they use Cider.

If I was EA, I would have maintained the stance of no games ports until Apple start shipping higher quality GPUs with their machines, which is a reasonable stance.
post #12 of 48
It doesnt matter because id teck 5/ rage look amazing. I mostly want then for the mod creation tools but the game should be fun too.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

The guys at ID have always known how to do cross-platform development right. Doom is like a benchmark for porting to any platform (I believe it's already on the iPhone). It helps a lot when your company is run by people who have a real passion for technology and the developers don't have to file a lawsuit to get paid fairly.

ID uses open gl for video other use DX
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Okay, maybe you don't know this, but Cider has granted several hobbyists to run PC-only games such as GTA and Oblivion... LINK.

Hmmm, I didn't see this coming. It seems there are already versions of GTA VC & SA, NFS: Most Wanted, Worms 3D, Another World, GTR2, Colin Mcrae 2005, Battlefield 2142, NFSU2, Far Cry and more online. This is what the Mac games community has been dying to see for years, a simple environment that runs the PC games that are already out. Needless to say, the GMAs are not well supported, though some people report success with them on some games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater

Thats interesting it would be hard to believe that either game can run on a Mac. Both of those are gpu intensive, even more so Oblivion, I sometimes have issues running that on my gaming pc wiht an 8800 card.

I've played Oblivion on an iMac under Bootcamp. It still plays and goes at a decent framerate even in outdoor settings but the quality isn't up very high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly

It doesnt matter because id teck 5/ rage look amazing.

I just found an interesting article about that:

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3161743

"Especially the Mac version. That didn't exist a month before the Worldwide Developer's Conference. [Robert Duffy] wanted to bring it up on a Mac and we started working on it. Then the Apple people were excited to hear about what we were doing. I told [Apple] that they need to fix a lot of driver issues first so on guy came in and literally camped out in my office for a week just to make sure that demo worked. Apple, though, isn't as big a market for gamers. It's not like someone's going to use Id Tech 5 to create a Mac game, but if you just click a check box and get a game out of it there's going to be more likelihood of them shipping it." Then, there's the next generation evolution of the texture engine. You get this wide variety of detail that you can paint into a canyon -- even going down to the individual pebbles. And none of this impacts the game's size, stability, resource utilization, shipping content or performance. "We've never had that before," says Carmack. "It's always been this trade-off of a tight balancing act: we want more textures but we have a finite budget so we have to take something big away elsewhere."

Curiosity gets the better of me, as I wonder how different this is from, say, the texturing in Enemy Territory. The key, according to Carmack, is a paged virtual texture system. "The conventional way you do texture-swapping is say, 'OK, you've got 100 256 x 256 textures and we can keep maybe 20 of them in memory. So we'll try and figure out which ones we want to use and overwrite some of that.' Most games use that sort of system. But what if you want to use some enormous 2,000 by 2,000 resolution texture? If you need to knock down other texture details -- you need to compromise. Here, everything get chunked up into identical-sized pages. And the engine pieces it all together simultaneously.

You can have these 64MB textures, but it's bringing them into the game in these tiny blocks at a time. And it make sure that at moments when you don't need some texture details, it schedules everything that is most necessary for image quality. So, for example, you might not have all the details in the world, but the second you stop moving, the engine loads in more textures and detail. Now you really make something look like a matte painting -- and it requires a whole lot let work to create."


The technology is very interesting and I've always wondered why they didn't use this in more applications. If anyone has ever used a hex editor, you'll have seen that they will easily open files in the order of GBs instantly. This is because it only displays the current page. I think everything should do this - imagine if Pages or Word did this, there would be hardly any memory usage and they could open absolutely massive documents immediately.

I highlighted the driver section because it's clear that Apple are having issues with their development. I think this is a very serious problem. What good is having a nice clean leopard system if your drivers are poor?
post #15 of 48
I had some interest in Need For Speed: Carbon, but other games are coming along. Maybe I won't buy NFS.

It will be a little bit absurd if Quake Wars reaches Mac before BF 2142. I certainly wouldn't rush to buy BF with QW coming soon to beat BF at its own game (expected in October or so--not long after the PC release).

EA must be having some serious problems if July can turn into October!
post #16 of 48
Come on, EA deserves a little bit of a break here. They have been out of the mac gaming market for YEARS. So many years that the API's, Native Coding Language, and graphics libraries have completely changed. It's all a moot point though, because all they are doing is using Transgaming's Cider. Cider is still a bit buggy. Buggy enough that EA may have to wait for another update to produce these games. I know they are working WITH Transgaming to make this happen. Once these games start coming out, I'd expect them to be somewhat closer in release times in the future. It's not like Bing walked up on stage and said yah we're releasing games, and then they aren't going to release any. It would have been one thing if they were ready at the time. IMO they expected the transition to go smoother than it did... it could be Transgaming's fault more than EA's.

If I have to wait till OCT, I'm fine with that. I'd rather it be done right the first time than have to apply a bunch of updates.

 

 

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post #17 of 48
People.

There is a real reason for this and it may have nothing to do with technical matters.

Peter Moore (the Xbox spearhead) is now president of EA.

EA has been Microsoft happy for a little while anyway. It may also be why PS3 games from EA have no development put into them.

It is very possibly the reason why the Mac games are delayed.

the WWDC keynote was made before Moore left Xbox for EA. So that explains the sudden gain and loss of Mac enthusiasm for EA.

As for Moore, he is still a die hard MS guy, so I would not be surprised to see things happen like Mac games come out, but be so inferior to the PC versions that EA will try to say :Well, only windows can handle such games", etc.. When it is clear that Macs are at least on par with PC's for this purpose from a hardware standpoint. As far as OS goes, Mac Os has superior graphics tools that can be put into games as well. I can't wait to see the fruits of the OpenGL push.

I hate politics.
post #18 of 48
Blizzard seems to me to be the only company that does it right. And for the past few years there has always been a synchronous release with Mac and PC versions and patches.

Cider may be a holy grail, but is as yet unproven.
post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

ID uses open gl for video other use DX

Yup. I believe Carmack was/is part of the OpenGL ARB as well. Goes to show you what someone with a sharp mind and a passion for well architected software and cross-platform, open technologies can do. It's too bad there aren't more people like him in the industry.
 
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post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Let's not forget the venerable Feral Interactive. I hear Colin McRae 2005 should be coming out any moment! I can't wait! And it's only 2 years after the PC version!

Maybe Feral is helping EA with their Mac versions.

I purchase for a software retailer and the distributor of Colin McRae for Mac has listed it for pre-order then de-listed it and cancelled my orders multiple times since 2005. I don't care about the game but I'm sure sick of screwing around with its status at work. They should go into WID mode and stop feeding the channel bogus street dates.
post #21 of 48
Some of us just want to know where the Sims and their Archologies are?
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipwing View Post

....Unfortunately, some store staff, e.g., several GameStops that I've visited, are unaware that the Windows version of the Ratatouille game also had the Mac OS version on the disk.

Yeah it's really bad, there is a big fat "Games For Windows" graphic all along the top of the box. I suggested that my Store Manager to print out a Mac and Universal logo and stick it on the top. Seriously, I think they did it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I wonder if Bing finally got sober and someone told him what he said at WWDC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

No joke, that guy looked completely hammered during the keynote.

Totally. Did I not say he looked like he came from an all-nighter with lots of booze, pizza, and hookers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Anyhow - I personally wasn't looking forward to any of those games myself, but am disappointed as this will certainly disappoint a lot of other Mac gamers. All the more reason to give my $40-50 to ID - that guys seems like he's really for Mac gaming - not some cheasy-ass cider crap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

The guys at ID have always known how to do cross-platform development right. Doom is like a benchmark for porting to any platform (I believe it's already on the iPhone). It helps a lot when your company is run by people who have a real passion for technology and the developers don't have to file a lawsuit to get paid fairly.

Personally, I don't like the Doom or Quake engines. Give me Source, FEAR, or NFS:MostWanted engines anytime. Cider kicks ass. NeedForSpeed:MostWanted, Carbon, C&C3 on the Mac is good. Don't forget NeedForSpeed:ProStreet coming out for the Mac, I can bet EA will want to get that out for the Mac before Christmas, it is slated for October for PC.

I respect iD and JohnC. but EA can bring a lot of gaming to a much wider Mac audience than iD alone. Don't forget that the new iMacs have switched over to ATI's 2000 series cards. 65nm compared to 80nm nVidia 8 series, I belive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Yep, better than nothing too.

NEED FOR SPEED PROSTREET !!! w000t
post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesG View Post

Blizzard seems to me to be the only company that does it right. And for the past few years there has always been a synchronous release with Mac and PC versions and patches.

Cider may be a holy grail, but is as yet unproven.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Come on, EA deserves a little bit of a break here. They have been out of the mac gaming market for YEARS. So many years that the API's, Native Coding Language, and graphics libraries have completely changed. It's all a moot point though, because all they are doing is using Transgaming's Cider. Cider is still a bit buggy. Buggy enough that EA may have to wait for another update to produce these games. I know they are working WITH Transgaming to make this happen. Once these games start coming out, I'd expect them to be somewhat closer in release times in the future. It's not like Bing walked up on stage and said yah we're releasing games, and then they aren't going to release any. It would have been one thing if they were ready at the time. IMO they expected the transition to go smoother than it did... it could be Transgaming's fault more than EA's.

If I have to wait till OCT, I'm fine with that. I'd rather it be done right the first time than have to apply a bunch of updates.

Cider is very promising IMHO. It is *not* and should never be the HolyGrail of MacGaming, but it offers a lot of options for getting popular, quality games onto the Mac. Don't forget that C&C3 and NeedForSpeed, Tiger&Madden are some of *the* biggest games out there for RTS, Racing and Sports genres respectively.
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Give me Source, FEAR, or NFS:MostWanted engines anytime. Cider kicks ass. NeedForSpeed:MostWanted, Carbon, C&C3 on the Mac is good.

I think NFS:Most Wanted is working, I was playing the unofficial NFS:Underground 2 this morning under OS X. I haven't seen it on a machine with a good GPU but it works with the GMA if you put the settings down. I have to say, it launches faster than most Mac games.

I own the PC version of this game and there are some differences. It plays a bit slower and some of the graphics options don't work. I don't know if this is due to the unofficial nature of it or just Cider. It's definitely playable though, there's just no reflections and details are down a bit, which I was able to turn on with even a GMA under Windows.

It's great to be able to avoid restarting though and the apps are in a bundle so no crappy installation procedure like Windows. You just copy the app to wherever you want and double-click. That is one big win over Windows gaming.

I'm not sure how the Source games will work but I'm sure it'll be just a matter of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Don't forget NeedForSpeed:ProStreet coming out for the Mac, I can bet EA will want to get that out for the Mac before Christmas, it is slated for October for PC.

I wish they'd stop putting cops in the NFS games though. The underground series is the only one I like because there's not a single cop in sight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I respect iD and JohnC. but EA can bring a lot of gaming to a much wider Mac audience than iD alone. Don't forget that the new iMacs have switched over to ATI's 2000 series cards. 65nm compared to 80nm nVidia 8 series, I believe.

Yeah we definitely need EA on board and not just for their games but as an example to other developers who will see that if EA is supporting Mac gaming then maybe they need to be too. There's a lot of potential customers when you think of how many Macs there are out there. Console sales in the first quarter this year were just over 2 million. Although Apple don't make dedicated games machines, it could be a decent customer base.
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

Let's not forget the venerable Feral Interactive. I hear Colin McRae 2005 should be coming out any moment! I can't wait! And it's only 2 years after the PC version!

Maybe Feral is helping EA with their Mac versions.

Yeah, it's time for them to scrap it and trade up to DiRT!

-Owl
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post

People.

There is a real reason for this and it may have nothing to do with technical matters.

Peter Moore (the Xbox spearhead) is now president of EA.

EA has been Microsoft happy for a little while anyway. It may also be why PS3 games from EA have no development put into them.

It is very possibly the reason why the Mac games are delayed.

the WWDC keynote was made before Moore left Xbox for EA. So that explains the sudden gain and loss of Mac enthusiasm for EA.

As for Moore, he is still a die hard MS guy, so I would not be surprised to see things happen like Mac games come out, but be so inferior to the PC versions that EA will try to say :Well, only windows can handle such games", etc.. When it is clear that Macs are at least on par with PC's for this purpose from a hardware standpoint. As far as OS goes, Mac Os has superior graphics tools that can be put into games as well. I can't wait to see the fruits of the OpenGL push.

I hate politics.

no no no!

He is just head of the Sports division!

Quote:
On July 17, 2007, Electronic Arts announced that Peter Moore would be leaving Microsoft to head the sports division at Electronic Arts. Moore reportedly wants to move back to the San Francisco Bay area to live with his family, which is possible with EA. His position as Vice President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft will be filled by Don Mattrick.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Moore_(Microsoft)

-Owl
post #27 of 48
As usual, id and Blizzard do it right, others give poor excuses of why they can't even get their second-rate product out as promised.

Good coders tend to automatically write code that's multi-platform or easily made so.
Some development houses have been known to take that last step and run their code on multiple platforms for no other reason than helping development and testing, even when they never plan to release it but on one platform.
Bad coders have trouble writing code that runs well even on one platform.
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


Totally. Did I not say he looked like he came from an all-nighter with lots of booze, pizza, and hookers.

I thought you were with Bing the night before WWDC. I thought this was inside information.
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

Good coders tend to automatically write code that's multi-platform or easily made so.

I remember a short time after OS X came out and Apple finally put half-decent video cards with OpenGL acceleration into their machines, Carmack spent a weekend porting the latest Quake engine (what eventually became Quake 3 I believe) to Mac just because he was curious to see how well Macs performed and to see if OS X lived up to the hype at the time. Now that's someone who has a real passion for technology.

And I don't fully blame the coders. EA has turned into a franchise... so while the sheer number of games they churn out is impressive, when you're on the 20th or so revision of essentially the same game (thinking of NHL Hockey), you know that it's less about passion and creativity and more about filling quotas. Not that Quake 3 was all that groundbreaking, but there are many development houses doing far more creative things with games these days (thinking about Crytek in Germany with Far Cry or Harmonix with Guitar Hero). And yes, I remember back in the Commodore 64 days when EA was the innovator (Archon or M.U.L.E. anyone?).
 
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post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

...And I don't fully blame the coders. EA has turned into a franchise... so while the sheer number of games they churn out is impressive, when you're on the 20th or so revision of essentially the same game (thinking of NHL Hockey), you know that it's less about passion and creativity and more about filling quotas. Not that Quake 3 was all that groundbreaking, but there are many development houses doing far more creative things with games these days (thinking about Crytek in Germany with Far Cry or Harmonix with Guitar Hero). And yes, I remember back in the Commodore 64 days when EA was the innovator (Archon or M.U.L.E. anyone?).

Heh. Archon. ... Yeah, EA has many separate game development houses under contract that work on different franchises (brands, if you will)... that's why I love NeedForSpeed:MostWanted but *hate* NFS:Carbon. The NFS:ProStreet game house seems interesting, at first look. FIFA was good in the late 90's as a computer soccer game but I haven't played FIFA for several years.

Blizzard South is awesome [you guys in Northern Cali will probably know more on what the hell is going on with Blizzard North these past several years???], the Warcraft empire marches on, and StarCraft2 + multiplayer + expansion packs should be solid on Mac+PC through the end of this decade.

While the big game companies like EA and THQ churn out some bollocks, individual game houses that actually make the games can turn out some real gems, often an acquired taste with certain things like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. In any case I won't be touching the Ratatouille THQ game with a ten-foot-pole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

I thought you were with Bing the night before WWDC. I thought this was inside information.

Heh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There's a lot of potential customers when you think of how many Macs there are out there. Console sales in the first quarter this year were just over 2 million. Although Apple don't make dedicated games machines, it could be a decent customer base.

If Apple can clear 4 million iMacs in 2007 worldwide, and one-eight of those customers are "casual or enthusiast gamers, that's 500,000 people.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


If Apple can clear 4 million iMacs in 2007 worldwide, and one-eight of those customers are "casual or enthusiast gamers, that's 500,000 people.

I'll bet more of those 500,000 users are casual gamers and not enthusiast gamers.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I disagree because this means different discs. If the PC version price drops because of large sales, I doubt the Mac version will. This means people will have to pay 2-4x the price of the PC version. No thanks, I'll just get the PC version, which the Mac version is anyway if they use Cider.

If I was EA, I would have maintained the stance of no games ports until Apple start shipping higher quality GPUs with their machines, which is a reasonable stance.

Nope. It's a good strategy: The Mac is making a steadly-growing climb in popularity; by opening themselvese up to it, they will both a) encourage mac users to buy their product, and b) encourage people to switch to the mac by making it clear that it is a solid platform for gaming as well as everything else, and therefore have them buy EA games when they switch. Also, since they use the Cider system, it's relatively easy (and cheap) to provide a mac release alongside a PC release.

As a side benefit, this may encourage Apple to package better GPUs in it's systems. Then again, this is Apple we're talking about so who knows where they're going next. Here is my take on it: Since I haven't found mention of EA selling the games anywhere but Apple Stores and the Apple Online Store, that tells me that Apple wants control over the distribution. That in itself hints that Apple may (following some previous marketing schemes) suddenly upgrade it's GPUs bigtime and sells the latest games with it's Macs, under the concept of, "suddenly, we like games, too".

I just placed an order for the mac version of 2142. I have no inclination to get XP or Vista. On a side note, most people are surprised when they mention that they won't get a mac as a family computer because no games are made for it, and I respond that EA is releasing several of it's main titles for the mac platform.

I'm happy that EA has jumped on the mac bandwagon; for too long Aspyr and Blizzard were the only large-scale companies releasing titles for the Mac. Aside from Macsoft's conversion of Halo, I haven't seen much from them. When EA made an appearance at WWDC, I was making a silent prayer
thanking the man upstairs.


-JF
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

encourage people to switch to the mac by making it clear that it is a solid platform for gaming

But it's not though. Apple don't offer anywhere near the GPU choice required to be taken seriously as a gaming platform even casually. In the desktops, you get two chipsets that will only handle new games on medium settings. Relatively speaking that's pretty poor.

In the laptop end, only the MBP is worthwhile but most of the sales Apple make are with the MB and the people who buy the MB are the most likely to want to buy games because they will be poorer students who can't afford a MBP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

As a side benefit, this may encourage Apple to package better GPUs in it's systems.

But Apple should have made the move first. There's no point in bringing out good games if the hardware isn't good enough because all that will happen is that people have a bad gaming experience and stop buying the games. Then EA will stop putting in the effort and that'll be it once and for all. They tried before, they tried again, Apple can't keep getting chances like this and screwing them up.

The low end should all be on Santa Rosa at the minimum so that the better integrated graphics are there, the mid-range should be using 7300/7600GTs at least as that used to be the upgrade option and the Mac Pro should be selling 8800GTX if only as a BTO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

that tells me that Apple wants control over the distribution. That in itself hints that Apple may (following some previous marketing schemes) suddenly upgrade it's GPUs bigtime and sells the latest games with it's Macs, under the concept of, "suddenly, we like games, too".

But you can't upgrade the computers they sell. It's not like people can just walk in with their new iMacs, Macbooks or Minis and have Apple shove in a new GPU for them. They have to sell their machine and that won't happen. They'll just wait until their next due upgrade that is maybe a year down the line by which time the games sales will have long since dwindled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

On a side note, most people are surprised when they mention that they won't get a mac as a family computer because no games are made for it, and I respond that EA is releasing several of it's main titles for the mac platform.

Several EA games still don't come close to the several hundred decent games on the PC though so it wouldn't change people's views. My relatives who have young families buy a PC because they can play e.g older Star Wars games etc; a huge back-catalogue of games that will probably never make it to the Mac but are still available in shops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post

I'm happy that EA has jumped on the mac bandwagon; for too long Aspyr and Blizzard were the only large-scale companies releasing titles for the Mac. Aside from Macsoft's conversion of Halo, I haven't seen much from them. When EA made an appearance at WWDC, I was making a silent prayer
thanking the man upstairs.

Yeah, I love the developments but I see the EA move as testing the water. A commitment would have been solid ports like id tech, Gears of War, Unreal 3. It seems like they just found a way to put in the least amount of effort. In fact, they put in no effort whatsoever because they hand the PC binary over to Transgaming (they don't even give them the source code) and Transgaming wraps their technology around it to make it work.

My worry is who picks up the tab? Do they make Mac games more expensive to cover transgaming's effort?
post #34 of 48
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Originally Posted by John French View Post

Here is my take on it: Since I haven't found mention of EA selling the games anywhere but Apple Stores and the Apple Online Store, that tells me that Apple wants control over the distribution. That in itself hints that Apple may (following some previous marketing schemes) suddenly upgrade it's GPUs bigtime and sells the latest games with it's Macs, under the concept of, "suddenly, we like games, too".

Apple being the only distributor is false. There are other companies you can pre-order through....

http://macgamestore.com/detail.php?ProductID=808

I do agree though, apple needs to get the ball rolling on the gpu scene. I suspect they will when PC motherboards start crossing over to EFI. They can't stay BIOS forever... unless m$ forces them to. I believe Vista 64bit sp1 will be EFI compatible. The gpu's in the imac are a complete joke. 2600pro? Come on apple!!! The 8600mobile beats it, and it's in a more compact lesser powered machine! Apple really needs to start concentrating on better graphics. I don't know what the deal is with intel on the integrated graphics in macbooks and mac minis, but the integrated graphics should at least have a better bto option.

 

 

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post #35 of 48
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Yeah, I love the developments but I see the EA move as testing the water. A commitment would have been solid ports like id tech, Gears of War, Unreal 3. It seems like they just found a way to put in the least amount of effort. In fact, they put in no effort whatsoever because they hand the PC binary over to Transgaming (they don't even give them the source code) and Transgaming wraps their technology around it to make it work.

My worry is who picks up the tab? Do they make Mac games more expensive to cover transgaming's effort?

From what I understand about Transgaming / EA deal, is Transgamming just provides SUPPORT for Cider TO EA. This is how it was done with Heroes of Might & Magic V and Myst and X3. They sell a developer package to the companies that want to port pc to mac. Although I don't know exactly how the EA deal is worked through Transgaming, but all of the others have been developed in house being supported by Transgaming.

 

 

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post #36 of 48
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Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

There's no point in bringing out good games if the hardware isn't good enough because all that will happen is that people have a bad gaming experience and stop buying the games. Then EA will stop putting in the effort and that'll be it once and for all. They tried before, they tried again, Apple can't keep getting chances like this and screwing them up.

Forget EA. No investment, no risk, EA won't get pissed. They and their Harry Potter+NFS target market aren't very particular about quality anyway.

I think there's a real risk of Epic and id walking away, though. MBP and Mac Pro are the only two machines left with decent graphics. If that's all the potential player base, why develop for the Mac?
post #37 of 48
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Originally Posted by Gon View Post

Forget EA. No investment, no risk, EA won't get pissed. They and their Harry Potter+NFS target market aren't very particular about quality anyway.

I think there's a real risk of Epic and id walking away, though. MBP and Mac Pro are the only two machines left with decent graphics. If that's all the potential player base, why develop for the Mac?

... iMacs have decent graphics cards too... Last Rev had 7600gt in some of them. That's definitely better than the Mac Pro's default 7300gt. The x1600 and 2600pro will work in most cases, just won't be able to max it out. Apple really couldn't have gone much more powerful with ATI in their iMac. The next step up was a 2900 and that isn't going to happen on the iMac's small enclosure and low wattage power supply. They could have gone with 8600gt (maybe), but then all their machines would be shipping with NVidia... probably something ATI doesn't want .

 

 

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post #38 of 48
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Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

... iMacs have decent graphics cards too... Last Rev had 7600gt in some of them.

It's a good low midrange card on a basic gamer PC with a low resolution screen. I'm not counting it primarily because it is no longer shipping, but also because it only shipped for a while on a very expensive machine with a WUXGA screen it's definitely not suited for.
Quote:
The x1600 and 2600pro will work in most cases, just won't be able to max it out.

It's a huge understatement that they won't be able to "max it out". In fact, (googles for benchmarks) let's see what the 2600 Pro can do at low resolutions...

I'm going to be talking in terms of average fps here, not minimum or maximum.

Remember, ~30 fps is usually considered decent for single player. Multiplayer, being more intense, is thought to require higher fps. Many think it should be up to ~60, while many are fine with something in between.

The GPU fails to hit 30 average fps at many games at the low resolution of 1280x1024.
It even fails to hit 30 fps in many games at the iBook resolution of 1024x768. (Oblivion, Rainbow Six: Vegas, STALKER, Supreme Commander.) Some are downright unplayable.
In other reviews, you can see the card barely managing to run at 30 fps at 1024x768 in FEAR. That is a two year old game.
And if current and past games are like that, the likes of Bioshock, Crysis, UT3, Gears of War and Rage are going to suck. Bad.

Game performance on OS X has been consistently at least one fifth worse or so compared to Windows. (If anyone has kept a close eye on the comparative scores, please throw in your 2c.) So if we consider native OS X gaming, almost none of the games will run properly even on the low resolutions. I understand the emulation EA uses doesn't eat lots of power - still, it will be even worse than true native games.

I quote from the Anandtech article:
"Usually it's easier to review hardware that is clearly better or worse than it's competitor under the tests we ran, but this case is difficult. We want to paint an accurate picture here, but it has become nearly impossible to speak negatively enough about the AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series without sounding comically absurd."

Now, that's how the writer feels about these graphics chips on swappable cards. How would he feel about the same chips, not capable of running some current games at 1024x768, permanently fixed inside a 1920x1200 iMac?
Quote:
Apple really couldn't have gone much more powerful with ATI in their iMac. The next step up was a 2900 and that isn't going to happen on the iMac's small enclosure and low wattage power supply. They could have gone with 8600gt (maybe), but then all their machines would be shipping with NVidia... probably something ATI doesn't want .

If they absolutely need to give ATi business, they should ship Mobility Radeons on high end Macbooks. When ATi builds sucky cards like the 2xxx series, it's just a bad idea to buy them period. Let'em build better ones if they want a sale.
post #39 of 48
Well, while I have a great deal of respect for anandtech, they can be overly harsh. I'm not defending ati here either. ATI got themselves in this hole... I'm an NVidia fan boy through and through. I do however like to look at multiple sources on cards. One that I use a lot and have found to be fairly acurate is Tom's Hardware VGA Charts:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphi...=716&chart=275

In that graph I did the NVidia 7600gt vs ATI 2600xt (they dont' list the pro).

Anyways, I partly blame ATI and partly blame Apple. The 2600 and 2900 were built up so much... I'm not surprised apple signed into a contract for it. Maybe these poor results are a result of AMD taking over?

It's definitely time for apple to push harder graphics... but what can they really do with these "portable" designs. I still stand by that apple needs to release a mid tower with upgradable graphics! It would take hardly any R&D and would satisfy soooooooo many problems for people. /sigh... sometimes I hate how steve is so stubborn.

 

 

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post #40 of 48
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Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Well, while I have a great deal of respect for anandtech, they can be overly harsh. I'm not defending ati here either. ATI got themselves in this hole... I'm an NVidia fan boy through and through. I do however like to look at multiple sources on cards. One that I use a lot and have found to be fairly acurate is Tom's Hardware VGA Charts:

http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphi...=716&chart=275

In that graph I did the NVidia 7600gt vs ATI 2600xt (they dont' list the pro).

Anyways, I partly blame ATI and partly blame Apple. The 2600 and 2900 were built up so much... I'm not surprised apple signed into a contract for it. Maybe these poor results are a result of AMD taking over?

It's definitely time for apple to push harder graphics... but what can they really do with these "portable" designs. I still stand by that apple needs to release a mid tower with upgradable graphics! It would take hardly any R&D and would satisfy soooooooo many problems for people. /sigh... sometimes I hate how steve is so stubborn.

no argument here; the Nvidia cards are more advanced. As for portable designs, they need more fans. The new MBP's run too hot as-is; They probably have some people itching to put a great GPU in there, but it would run so hot as to make the case burn any one who touched it. Oh wait....they could put in a better GPU, then underclock it to reduce heat...

The demographic that would buy a mid-tower is pretty small when you consider how prettyful the iMac is.
I agree that apple needs to get off it's butt and start dealing with better graphics cards. For the most part, they seem to mkae lots of lound gestures at how great games are gonna be on macs, but do they back it up with improved hardware? of course not. That might mean being the cutting edge on every front

Now, I'm seeing this:

EA talks about how wonderfully macs run the latest games. Odd, isn't it, that the original MBP's barely meet the minimum requirements for 2142? Granted, the MBP is a must If you plan to do gaming of any sort, but still....come on. either get a modest GPU in the MB, give the MBP a more powerful (and more recent) GPU, and/or have the iMac at least match the MBP in graphics capability. It's a desktop, for pete's sake. What's the point of a metal enclosure with a beautiful 24" screen if you can't play worthwhile games on it?

Maybe they're doing something odd...like putting the people who work on the GPU side of the hardware R & D to work on the iPhone
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