Query failed: connection to localhost:9312 failed (errno=111, msg=Connection refused). future game systems and ports to Mac? - General Discussion Discussions on AppleInsider Forums Toggle navigation All Forums Recent Posts Sign In future game systems and ports to Mac? liquidr Posted: November 12, 2004 9:58AM in General Discussion edited January 2014 So, with the prospect of all 3 major game consoles makers switching to PPC processors for their next-gen consoles, how easy would it be to port their games to Mac? Comments Reply 1 of 7 guartho Posts: 1,208member November 12, 2004 10:37AM Quote:Originally posted by LiquidR So, with the prospect of all 3 major game consoles makers switching to PPC processors for their next-gen consoles, how easy would it be to port their games to Mac? Promising as that sounds, I'm going to rain on the parade. The Game Cube has always been using a G3 processor. If PPC was all it took to make it easy to port, I'd imagine we'd have a ton of Game Cube titles ported already. The other possibility is that it's just a bunch of Nintendo lawyers keeping it from happening. If that's the case than we might have better luck with Microsoft. Since Microsoft sold the X-boxes at a loss and might even still be doing so, we know that they're most interested in generating software revenue. If porting titles to Mac turns out to be relatively easy, that's just that much more software revenue for them. Anyone know for sure why we haven't seen Game Cube titles? Is it technical, legal, economic, etc? Reply 2 of 7 boukman Posts: 93member November 12, 2004 11:26AM Another related question: How long before Mac OS X is ported to these game platforms? Since the base of Mac OS X is open source (Darwin), it seems to me like someone could write the required drivers, software layers, etc., to have one of those consoles boot Mac OS X. Linux is ported to some of those consoles already. Could you envision Xbox2 becoming the cheap "headless" Mac that everyone is claimoring for? That would be something: Microsoft subsidizing the hardware, Apple producing the OS! Reply 3 of 7 chych Posts: 860member November 12, 2004 12:16PM Without Apple's specific hardware, there's no way any PPC hardware will natively boot OS X. Emulation, sure, but that's unusable. Darwin by itself, sure, someone can port that to a PPC console.I do suspect that if game makers port to Mac OS X from PPC consoles, they will run pretty well due to PPC architecture optimizations. Though due to completely different API sets, it will be just as difficult as it is now to port programs. Reply 4 of 7 pbg4 dude Posts: 1,611member November 12, 2004 12:36PM Quote:Originally posted by Guartho ... Since Microsoft sold the X-boxes at a loss and might even still be doing so, we know that they're most interested in generating software revenue. If porting titles to Mac turns out to be relatively easy, that's just that much more software revenue for them. You would need DirectX ported to OS X in order to run XBox games. I certainly don't expect this to happen in our lifetimes. MS is married to DirectX and Apple has hitched its wagon to OpenGL. Reply 5 of 7 splinemodel Posts: 7,311member November 12, 2004 12:46PM First off, aside from the XBox, console sytems are very much monolithic pieces of embedded hardware. They count on having a specified set of hardware available, and only that set. Programmers don't waste time with compatibility issues or portability, because there's no f-ing point. Secondly, much of the code will be written in C or C++ for sure, and those parts are portable so long as the API is translated. And that's a lot of work. The Xbox 2 will be based on some kind of PPC, but the API's it works with are no more compatible with macs than windows is. People don't code large projects, like games, in assembly, so the fact that is has a PPC means little. Since compilers are so ubiquitous, the architecture of a given processor has come to mean very little to any programmer other than an OS programmer.Quote:Originally posted by Boukman Another related question: How long before Mac OS X is ported to these game platforms?You could run Darwin on them, yes. But there's a lot to OS X that isn't Darwin. And running Darwin doesn't really get you any farther than running a barer-bones installation of any other UNIX, unless you have a thing for the Mach kernel. (which does rock) Reply 6 of 7 boukman Posts: 93member November 12, 2004 12:47PM Quote:Originally posted by chych Without Apple's specific hardware, there's no way any PPC hardware will natively boot OS X. Emulation, sure, but that's unusable. Darwin by itself, sure, someone can port that to a PPC console.I do not know if this is true or if it is only because nobody has ever tried hard enough to do it. I also know that some hardware that was thought as being "Apple specific" before was later demonstrated to be rather generic (ie: original Apple Airport Card = Sony 802.11b card although it was reported as being a modified version), and there isn't much Apple specific hardware, besides a custom chipset, on Apple motherboards anymore. Of course, there is Openfirmware, but that is a standard, not something that Apple controls entirely.Besides, the part of the OS that talks directly to the hardware is the kernel, which is part of Darwin. That effectively makes Darwin a sort of hardware abstraction layer on top of which the remaining of OS X sits, and through which OS X talks to the hardware. The difficulty is therefore to write drivers ("kernel extensions") for the hardware found in game consoles.If anyone knows better, I would certainly appreciate learning more about the subject. Reply 7 of 7 amorph Posts: 7,112member November 12, 2004 9:24PM A third party in the UK has a Mac DirectX library they're willing to license, and Glenda Adams, late of Westlake Interactive, has said that the Mac porting houses have accreted DirectX-compatible libraries from years of porting Windows titles. So that's not a problem.The problem is almost never in hardware anymore. Most games are written in high-level languages now, even on consoles, so the technical aspect of porting isn't so much of an issue.The issue with game availability on the Mac comes down to money. If there's no money in the market, it doesn't matter whether the game would have to be ported from a PPC-based board or some completely alien platform. It's not going to happen. As it is, the reason most Mac ports are delayed is for the simple reason that the publisher waits until they have enough profit from the PC release to cushion against a potential loss in the Mac market before they call Aspyr to make a deal.There's very little incentive for console developers to port to the Mac. For one thing, console hardware is very highly specialized, and developers target the hardware narrowly (PC games at least run on roughly analogous hardware). For another, the console market dwarfs the Mac games market to the point where the latter probably fits comfortably in the margin of error. There's hardly any reason to attempt the port in the first place. The effort's much better spent on another console game. Sign In or Register to comment.