Steam's 'Early Access' lets both Mac & PC gamers try titles still in development

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Gaming company Valve on Wednesday kicked off a new "Early Access" initiative, allowing gamers on PCs and Macs to purchase and begin playing select games that are still in development.

steam


The new Early Access program, reflecting the wider state of gaming, is largely PC-centric, but the inclusion of several cross-platform games compatible with Apple's OS X shows developer support for the Mac is slowly growing. Of the 12 games available, a quarter were coded for both Mac and PC.

Mac gamers looking to try out titles as they're developing can check out the strategy-simulation games Kerbal Space Program, Prison Architect, and Patterns, available for $23, $30, and $10, respectively.

The past few years have seen increasing game development for the Mac platform, which has typically been something of a second class citizen in the gaming world. More recently, though, a number of high-profile game releases have seen Mac launches simultaneous with their PC counterparts or following shortly thereafter. For example, the upcoming Bioshock Infinite will be available to Mac owners a few months after it debuts on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 26. In addition to new games, a number of legacy titles are trickling onto Apple's platform some years after first being released on consoles or for PC.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    I thought KSP was cute, back when it was a free beta. But… drunken robot pornography?

  • Reply 2 of 12
    Second class is true, but you'd think that the narrower spread of hardware and OS versions would make the Mac an attractive platform for game developers.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Second class is true, but you'd think that the narrower spread of hardware and OS versions would make the Mac an attractive platform for game developers.

    The problem is that most games are still written in DirectX. Game frameworks like Unity are making cross-platform games easier but PC is still king for ease of development.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    @richl: and Unity should die a horrible death. Please.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Second class is true, but you'd think that the narrower spread of hardware and OS versions would make the Mac an attractive platform for game developers.


    Apple is the one that does not want that. Valve already said how steam and their games run much more stable on Macs.


    Well, macs itself are better, and writing great things for them (even if not so graphic intensive because of directX BS) should come naturally.


     


    Problem is lack of open GL support. Apple chooses not to put the hammer down on that area, but they could. And should.


    They have everything to absolutely trounce PCs on every single area. Even gaming.


     


    I hope they focus more on software. They are the best, but could be better.

  • Reply 6 of 12


    Apple has always remain best and they offer the best gaming software .

  • Reply 7 of 12
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,378member
    Second tier titles as usual. What we want & need are the first tier titles. More games with the budget of Starcraft 2 please.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    virtuavirtua Posts: 209member
    Apple has always remain best and they offer the best gaming software .

    What gaming software are you referring too? I like my mac, but my best gaming experience is on my steam box, unless I'm missing something..,,,
  • Reply 9 of 12
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by saarek View Post

    More games with the budget of Starcraft 2 please.


     


    More games with the quality of [quality game name from each genre], please.

  • Reply 10 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,753moderator
    the inclusion of several cross-platform games compatible with Apple's OS X shows developer support for the Mac is slowly growing. Of the 12 games available, a quarter were coded for both Mac and PC.

    Indie games and games with more basic engines seem to be the popular ones - some developers even build the games on the Mac:


    [VIDEO]


    Things have definitely improved but it still needs to be better. As mentioned, it's kinda hard for game developers to build modern games when the only version of OpenGL supported is over 3 years old.
    More recently, though, a number of high-profile game releases have seen Mac launches simultaneous with their PC counterparts or following shortly thereafter. For example, the upcoming <em>Bioshock Infinite</em> will be available to Mac owners a few months after it debuts on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 on March 26. In addition to new games, a number of legacy titles are trickling onto Apple's platform some years after first being released on consoles or for PC.

    "Shortly thereafter" is an important distinction too. It's still not treated as a tier-one platform. With games like the upcoming port:


    [VIDEO]


    http://www.gametrailers.com/videos/fuusn2/bioshock-infinite-ten-minute-demo-gameplay

    it's a choice between waiting a few days for it or at least another 3 months for Aspyr to port it over. By the time Summer arrives, it could even be in a Summer sale for Windows. The support is also hit and miss in terms of which AAA titles get ported. Aspyr did Black Ops but where's Black Ops 2? They did Modern Warfare but where's MW2 and 3? Weak support = weak investment from gamers.

    I really don't understand why Apple won't bring a team like Aspyr or Feral or both in-house and give them a budget to port every major title for launch within at most 2 months of release and published on the Mac App Store. They might even be able to port some to iOS themselves. The cut they take from it will make it pay for itself. Microsoft has a Games for Windows brand. While they could have a Games for Mac brand, a brand like iPlay would work for iOS too, like SteamPlay. This way every port from their internal studio can have the brand. It acts as a form of advertising even if they don't care about the games because whenever a new game comes out, the brand is stamped below games that are marketed to hundreds of millions of people.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Paying for betas, yay!
  • Reply 12 of 12
    mikeb85mikeb85 Posts: 506member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


    Apple is the one that does not want that. Valve already said how steam and their games run much more stable on Macs.


    Well, macs itself are better, and writing great things for them (even if not so graphic intensive because of directX BS) should come naturally.


     


    Problem is lack of open GL support. Apple chooses not to put the hammer down on that area, but they could. And should.


    They have everything to absolutely trounce PCs on every single area. Even gaming.


     


    I hope they focus more on software. They are the best, but could be better.



    Everything runs better on anything that's not Windows...


     


    Valve's titles run much better on Linux too.  And I know Nvidia's Linux drivers support OpenGL 4.3, though Intel and AMD's drivers may be a bit behind...

Sign In or Register to comment.