XBOX2 - Bringing more games to the Mac?!

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Read this...



Quote:

"The top executives of both Electronic Arts and Activision said this week that they have not received formal ``software development kits'' from Microsoft yet, but they did say they have begun creating next-generation games. Internally, Microsoft has begun developing game prototypes, and it is using G5 systems to do so."



Cut From: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...ss/7849191.htm



So... as we already knew... the MS XBOX2 will be using IBM CPUs. Just as the Sony PS3 will be using IBM CPUs... Exactly what CPU's (from IBM) is far from clear... The story above indicated that as for the XBOX2 it will be using a 64nm version from the 9xx family of PPC CPUs (976 was the part number that was quoted in another story about XBOX2 specs)... As for Sony PS3? Some say IBMs CELL cpu but at this point in time who knows....



So... lets just pretend that both MS and SONY are both going to use 'future versions' of the 9xx family of CPUs... What impact would / could this have on game development for OS X?



I'm NOT a game developer but I would imagine that porting a game from a 9xx CPU running (who knows what OS) on the XBOX2 or PS3 to another 9xx CPU running OS X 10.4.x in my future PowerMac would be easier than say porting a game that was built with an Intel / AMD cpu in mind...



Right? Wrong??



The fact that "Microsoft has begun developing game prototypes, and it is using G5 systems to do so." seems to indicate that this could be a very good thing for Apple in the not to distant future...



Sure we might not see all the "Microsoft Hits" being released for the Mac since MS would want to protect the XBOX platform... but once all the other game developers start developing FIRST for the PPC 9xx family I'm sure they wouldn't mind the extra sales the Mac market would bring them... hey those developers just care about pushing their game... if they can sell it to XBOX and Mac all the better. Unless MS pulls some underhanded 'XBOX ONLY' tactic.



Dave

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    no.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Owl Boy

    no.



    So insightful...



    So what you are saying is:



    Port a game from a 9xx based game console to a 9xx based system (running OS X) would be just a hard as porting an x86 based game? No offense if I don't believe your well though out reply.



    Dave
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DaveGee

    So insightful...



    So what you are saying is:



    Port a game from a 9xx based game console to a 9xx based system (running OS X) would be just a hard as porting an x86 based game? No offense if I don't believe your well though out reply.



    Dave




    Sorry



    I guess in theory it would be helpful, and it could, in theory make it so the mac has XBox Next Emulators before the PC. But I don't think that it will be as simple as the platforms processors being the same.



    It might help 1 or 2 games, But I don't expect a flood of XBox ports.



    -Owl
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Remember the Nintendo GameCube? It uses an IBM PowerPC chip not too different from the G3s/G4s. When this was announced a few years ago, rumors and speculation ran rampant about how so many more games would easily be ported to Macs.



    Did it happen?



    No.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Brad

    Remember the Nintendo GameCube? It uses an IBM PowerPC chip not too different from the G3s/G4s. When this was announced a few years ago, rumors and speculation ran rampant about how so many more games would easily be ported to Macs.



    Did it happen?



    No.




    Blanket + Wet = Brad







    Dave
  • Reply 6 of 20
    foadfoad Posts: 703member
    There is a lot more to a console than just hte CPUs. There are usually a lot of specific parts in a console that just isn't in a computer...whether it be customized video chips or specific connectors for hard drives, among other things.



    Also, if it is the Xbox, then you can be sure there will be DirectX support for it. That is why you will see a Xbox game on a PC before you will see it on a Mac. That is one of the main things holding games coming out on the Mac. Most games developers make their games utilizing DirectX, so when the game gets ported to the Mac, that DirectX stuff needs to be translated into OpenGL. That is a bitch of a process.



    There are so many other factors, but you kinda get the idea.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Taking into account all things that have been said, I still don't understand (and nobody has explained) why would this be happening then...



    " Internally, Microsoft has begun developing game prototypes, and it is using G5 systems to do so."



    If what everything that everyone has said so far is true then why would MS be developing game prototypes using G5 systems?



    Dave
  • Reply 8 of 20
    You forget the fact that the current XBox uses a cut down windows kernel. This and the fact that directx for the xbox is slightly modified. The OS that the games are being designed for is not OSX, but a Windows OS.



    The only reason why MS would choose PPC is so they can get it custom made, and not have to buy off the shelf, that is why most consol's use custom, they can add their own instructions and the like.



    PPC is a largely common chip these days, just like when everyone was using Motorola for the old 8 and 16 bit systems, it was common.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    You forget the fact that the current XBox uses a cut down windows kernel. This and the fact that directx for the xbox is slightly modified. The OS that the games are being designed for is not OSX, but a Windows OS.



    I didn't forget that...



    I just read the article I linked to...



    And I quote: "Compatibility with the original Xbox, which is based on Intel and Nvidia chips, isn't guaranteed. Microsoft is concerned it would cost too much money in hardware or in licensing fees to enable the Xbox Next to play old Xbox games."



    Make of that what you will but it could mean the XBOX2 is going to be quite different WRT it's internals. Does that mean it won't be based on 'a cut down windows kernel' - I dunno but it could...



    Dave
  • Reply 10 of 20
    I would be willing to venture that no matter what hardware is used, it'll have Windows, it wouldn't make sense not too.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Owl Boy

    Sorry



    I guess in theory it would be helpful, and it could, in theory make it so the mac has XBox Next Emulators before the PC. But I don't think that it will be as simple as the platforms processors being the same.



    It might help 1 or 2 games, But I don't expect a flood of XBox ports.



    -Owl




    Not even...GameCube emulators are already out on the PC. Yet the would probably be fastest on Macs. But it didn't change a thing.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    wjmoorewjmoore Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Owl Boy

    no.



    I agree.





    The hardware and the core OS is totally different. Porting a game from the Xbox 2 would be no different or easier than porting from any other platform.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    You are correct in the porting aspect, which is why Microsoft uses the DirectX API for the XBox to allow developers to port games to and from the PC a bit more easy then rewriting large amounts of code.
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Quote:

    Three IBM-designed 64-bit microprocessors. The combined power of these chips means the Xbox Next will have more computing power than most personal computers. Earlier versions of these PowerPC chips are used in Apple Computer's high-end G5 PowerMac machines now.



    Earlier versions... that doesn't mean Apple computers will be easier to emulate XBOX2 games than any other system. The G5 means nothing, it's only a little comparison in the article. There's also the DirectX factor that foad mentioned earlier in this topic, the realization that it needs to be translated into OpenGL.



    On another similar note, the article said that the system will be easier for developers to start making games for it. The reason for this is because XBOX is essentially Windows Jr., IMO.



    I would expect PC ports before Mac, if Mac gets any at all. I still don't see why it would be easier.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    I hate to sound like a broken record, but the obstacles are not technical - or, more clearly, any technical hurdles are not all that difficult to surmount. Westlake has a DirectX-to-OpenGL bridge basically finished for in-house use, and years of experience rewiring network and sound and input device code. and they're not alone.



    I read a few years ago that Macs were also the development platform of choice for at least one of the current generation of consoles, because of the common PowerPC CPU, but the result was... that Macs were used as the development platform of choice for that console.



    When the number of Mac users who buy games reaches a certain sustainable threshold, we'll see more games released for the Mac. When it reaches a higher threshold, we'll see more of them simultaneously released for the Mac. With PC gaming in freefall, though, I wouldn't hold my breath.



    The short answer is: If you want Mac games, buy Mac games. If you don't buy Mac games, don't complain that they aren't available.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Gaming on the PC will never go into freefall. Hardcore gamers especially would never switch to the Mac, becuase of 3 factors.



    1. Can't assemble own system.

    2. Overclocking

    3. Benchmarking



    Most gamers built their own systems and tweak them out with water cooling and the like. You can't build your own Mac, and its very limited to expansion with only 1 optical drive and the form factor. I'm not really sure on this, but I don't hear too much about overclocking a PPC chip.... Also benchmarking, the who has a bigger ... is a big part of a computer nerds life becuase thats the only thing they can be proud of.



    Mac is just not a gaming platform.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    I see Mac as more of a development platform, that's probably the reason why it's so stable compared to PC's. I agree though, hardcore gamers will go out and buy a PC.



    As of right now, PC gaming does seem to be in a freefall. Developers are creating games with rediculous system requirements that regular users do not have... and why bother spending the time and money upgrading a computer when you can just go out and buy a more stable gaming system with the same exact games?? Ã* la XBOX and XBOX2.





    Quote:

    Also benchmarking, the who has a bigger ... is a big part of a computer nerds life becuase thats the only thing they can be proud of.





    It's true though. I also find it funny that they make fun of Mac users because of the lack of overclocking, games, and the like.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Part of the reason is the stupid delay of all the major games.

    And most vendors are shipping their computers with low amounts of ram. Apple, HP, Dell, ect... all like 128 or 256 when they all know you need atleast 512.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    That is pretty lame. However Apple charges literally many times the price they should for RAM so I'd rather they not up RAM unless they stop the highway robbery.
    Quote:

    As of right now, PC gaming does seem to be in a freefall. Developers are creating games with rediculous system requirements that regular users do not have... and why bother spending the time and money upgrading a computer when you can just go out and buy a more stable gaming system with the same exact games?? Ã* la XBOX and XBOX2.



    I agree! Games these days have ridiculous requirements. How come I can't run Sim City a fairly simple game on a computer I buy in the same year. OR how UT2k3 still is weak on my PBG4 867 w/ 640 RAM. Gar.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    Gaming on the PC will never go into freefall. Hardcore gamers especially would never switch to the Mac, becuase of 3 factors.



    1. Can't assemble own system.

    2. Overclocking

    3. Benchmarking




    I was referring to the PC as "personal computer" - sorry if that wasn't clear.



    Most of the gaming now is either web stuff or consoles, and that trend is increasing.



    Consoles are much cheaper to develop for, and the market's much larger. The same choice of hardware that PC gamers love so much is an absolute nightmare for developers, who suddenly have to deal with hundreds of different combinations of hardware and software and graphics acceleration, and who frequently do so by coding for the lowest common denominator and failing to support all the technologies that the gamers are so careful about adopting.



    The hardcore PC crowd is a minority anyway, and a shrinking minority. The game companies would much rather target closed systems for a variety of reasons (not all technical, either - console piracy is much lower). A lot of "casual" gamers, or people playing games that do not require up-to-the-minute hardware or even a specific platform, are making themselves heard.



    Last I read, the PC (again, personal computer) gaming market shrunk something like 12% last year. That's a serious loss, and the general consensus is that it will continue. Meanwhile, console game sales are up, and that's also a trend.
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