Valve's Steam gaming system may be headed to the Mac

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 54
    I have virtual machine software (Parallels), and have dual boot (WinXP setup primarily to run Steam!) so I can play games. I would FAR prefer a native setup.



    Bring it on...and I'll be there. Thank you thank you thank you.



    JB
  • Reply 22 of 54
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    That would be awesome, to be able to log in to my Steam Account and start downloading my games which have been unused for quite some time.



    Why would you want to download all your Windows games under Steam for the Mac?
  • Reply 23 of 54
    I have loved Steam/Valve games---but every single one I played on my old PC played HELL with my OS. Not so much the games themselves (though they tended to be giant resource hogs), but the Valve/Steam update/interface system which played havoc with firewalls and anti-virual programs. I had to reboot constantly and eventually deleted all of them because it was such a pain.



    Too bad, Half-Life 2 was a heck of a game.
  • Reply 24 of 54
    Assuming this does go through, of course:



    One thing I liked about Steam was the ability to re-download a game you had previously purchased, even to a different PC. I wonder if they would let you download a Mac version if you had purchased the PC version, or if they will be two separate products?



    I had purchased a few older games on Steam that I never finished. I went Windows-free last weekend with the purchase of a Mac Mini. () Loss of those games was my only very small regret... I might have to pick up the original Assassin's Creed for the XBox...
  • Reply 25 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shunnabunich View Post


    OK, I realize I sounded very much like a troll in my previous post, but none of the opposing arguments so far have convinced me otherwise. Rewriting the Steam client for OS X isn't a trivial task (although I'm sure it's nothing like trying to port a game), and they'd be doing it for a handful of existing casual games, essentially providing a place to keep them in a list (which I already do with a stack on my Dock) and keep track of how many hours you've spent on each (which, admittedly, stacks don't do).



    I've played Ciderized games, and they're such pale, quivering shadows of their former Windows selves that I'm tempted to say they simply don't count at all. Plus, we can't delude ourselves into thinking that any DirectX-based games would be given any more effort than a quick Cider wrap and boot out the door. It's all that's been happening in Mac gaming since the Intel transition, with the exception of developers like Blizzard and Id who were already developing games cross-platform from the ground up.



    OpenGL is a graphics library, which only addresses one portion of what DirectX addresses ? and from the anecdotal evidence I've seen around the web, DirectX is apparently easier, or more pleasant or something, to program for than OpenGL. The fact that a newer iteration of OGL is being adopted now doesn't change that. The amount of effort needed to rewrite a DirectX-based game engine to use not only a completely different underlying graphics framework, but a whole other set of OS-specific APIs is most likely monumental. As much as the Mac market has grown relative to its old size, it's still very small, making it doubtful whether it's enough to justify that kind of work.



    I don't mind rebooting for more serious games (i.e. the HL2 series) because, having played Mac "ports" of them, the speed, graphical performance and hardware support they have on Windows is unmatchable. If Apple gave two shi?uhh, hoots about gaming outside of the iPhone OS, this might not be the case, but they've made it painfully clear for the last decade that they don't.



    I'm sorry if this makes me a "Debbie Downer". There are many things about OS X that we can be exceedingly proud of. Games aren't one of them.



    Good post - for what it's worth I agree. Despite having 3 Macs in my house and two iPhones, as well as an ATV, when push comes to shove, I boot my PC/Windows machine to play games, many of them on Steam.
  • Reply 26 of 54
    jfanningjfanning Posts: 3,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iwarriorpoet View Post


    I have loved Steam/Valve games---but every single one I played on my old PC played HELL with my OS. Not so much the games themselves (though they tended to be giant resource hogs), but the Valve/Steam update/interface system which played havoc with firewalls and anti-virual programs. I had to reboot constantly and eventually deleted all of them because it was such a pain.



    I have a PC sitting beside me that we use for Steam, and we have none of those issues.
  • Reply 27 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Yessir, the times.... They are a-changin'.



    Right, because every other day this site has an article about some new game studio deciding to fully support the Mac community. Oh, that's right, you don't.



    Electronic Arts has dumped a few games onto OS X via Cider, but that's about the extent of non-casual games that show up on the Mac. And Blizzard makes so few games they hardly count at all.



    Yep, certainly seems like times have changed...
  • Reply 28 of 54
    Seriously, if they are looking for senior Mac Developers they better be ready to invest into ObjC developers.
  • Reply 29 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cubert View Post


    So, I'm cornfused. Is Steam a development environment or a piece of software that you download so you can play certain games?



    Steam is basically the Windows equivalent of the App Store for desktop/laptop PCs, except that it is run by Valve (the company behind the hit game Half Life) and not by Microsoft.
  • Reply 30 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Socrates View Post


    Steam is basically the Windows equivalent of the App Store for desktop/laptop PCs, except that it is run by Valve (the company behind the hit game Half Life) and not by Microsoft.



    ...and meant specifically for games. But yeah, good analogy.
  • Reply 31 of 54
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Porting a game from Windows to Mac, is substantially easier than most apps, as they rarely rely on many OS APIs or GUI. Porting from DirectX to OpenGL is not a major issue - and many engines already support both. Any console-PC port or multi-console game has already been through this porting process, so porting to another platform at the same time shouldn't be a major issue.



    From speaking to a number of graphics programmers at work, most seem to agree that OpenGL has a nicer API than DirectX. I've only ever dabbled with DirectX, myself. DirectX covers a number of things beyond what OpenGL covers - input and sound for example, but this doesn't really matter - there are plenty of other libraries that do this, and many games won't use DirectSound even if they use DirectX.



    I'm not saying it's trivial, but it's not really that hard - someone with good knowledge of both platforms and their graphics APIs could probably port even a complex game in a few weeks, as the vast vast majority of code is going to be standard C++.
  • Reply 32 of 54
    This would be way more exciting a development than the ipad.
  • Reply 33 of 54
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    I buy nearly all my games through steam now. That's one every 2 months or so. I would happily buy Mac games through it too, but only if the Mac version was somehow programmed more efficiently (e.g. higher frame rate) than the PC version. Otherwise I will just buy the PC version since it is typically out first.



    I don't really like console controllers, despite years of trying to, so I will choose PC whenever possible. Also don't like touch screen games (sorry to my iPhone). The PC mouse really is killer awesome. Until immersive VR comes along of course.
  • Reply 34 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Porting a game from Windows to Mac, is substantially easier than most apps, as they rarely rely on many OS APIs or GUI. Porting from DirectX to OpenGL is not a major issue - and many engines already support both. Any console-PC port or multi-console game has already been through this porting process, so porting to another platform at the same time shouldn't be a major issue.



    From speaking to a number of graphics programmers at work, most seem to agree that OpenGL has a nicer API than DirectX. I've only ever dabbled with DirectX, myself. DirectX covers a number of things beyond what OpenGL covers - input and sound for example, but this doesn't really matter - there are plenty of other libraries that do this, and many games won't use DirectSound even if they use DirectX.



    I'm not saying it's trivial, but it's not really that hard - someone with good knowledge of both platforms and their graphics APIs could probably port even a complex game in a few weeks, as the vast vast majority of code is going to be standard C++.



    Interesting. Even encouraging, perhaps.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I don't really like console controllers, despite years of trying to, so I will choose PC whenever possible. Also don't like touch screen games (sorry to my iPhone). The PC mouse really is killer awesome. Until immersive VR comes along of course.



    If they weren't living in Roddenberry's utopian society, the Next Gen crew woulda had some kickass holodeck FPS's. I'm with you about the controllers, though...the keyboard and mouse have always felt roomier to me, more comfortable.
  • Reply 35 of 54
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Maybe. The PC games market is in terminal decline, outside of World of WarCraft and The Sims. Perhaps Valve see the Mac as a way to replace lost PC sales, for a while at least.



    Personally I gave up PC gaming, in favour of consoles, years ago and never looked back. There's no way they can match the sofa/50" plasma/5.1 big speaker surround/ease of use setup I get from my 360 and PS3.
  • Reply 36 of 54
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,377moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djames42 View Post


    I wonder if Steam for Mac will come complete with the same annoying copy protection that plagues the Windows version.



    That's exactly why it's popular with publishers so it has to stay. I'd prefer that than have some software installed that messes around with virtual disk utilities.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShunnaBunich


    Rewriting the Steam client for OS X isn't a trivial task



    I don't see how. The purchasing part is essentially a web browser. Their website has the same design. They switched the rendering engine from Internet Explorer's trident engine (which obviously doesn't run on the Mac) to Webkit, which does.



    Steam is just an authentication portal. Choose a game, download it. Run the game while Steam reports back that it's legit. The whole app is 1.2MB in size.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shunnabunch


    they'd be doing it for a handful of existing casual games



    The Mac has quite a lot of big titles:



    Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare

    Star Wars The Force Unleashed

    older Star Wars game like Jedi Knight 2, Jedi Academy

    Lego Star Wars & Indiana Jones

    Tiger Woods PGA Tour

    The Sims 3

    World of Warcraft

    Prey

    Bioshock

    Myst series

    Battlefield 2142

    Fable The Lost Chapters

    Enemy Territory Quake Wars

    X3 Reunion

    Unreal Tournament 3

    NFS Carbon

    Colin McCrae Rally

    Star Wars Battlefront

    Harry Potter

    Star Wars Knights of the old Republic

    Flatout 2

    Tomb Raider games including Anniversary and Angel of Darkness

    Cold War

    True Crime games

    Halo 1

    Driver

    No one Lives Forever

    Fallout 2

    Sacrifice

    XIII

    X-Men 2

    Star Wars Pod Racer

    Star Trek Elite Force

    Max Payne

    Heavy Metal FAKK2

    Deus Ex

    Oni

    Tony Hawk 4

    Kelly Slater's Surfing

    Red Faction

    Indiana Jones

    Rayman 3

    Shrek 2, Cars etc Disney games

    Bionicle

    Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon (not GRAW)

    NFS: Carbon

    Spore

    Prince of Persia



    But if you go to a retail site like Amazon or Play, those titles are mostly unavailable. Even for Call of Duty 4 alone, this whole thing is worthwhile because they can drive the prices down along with the PC version.



    CoD4 sold 13 million copies. If they can get some of the 20 million Mac users who would be able to run the game (Mac user have more modern computers than PC users), it's another few millions copies.



    Direct2Drive already has this setup working:



    http://www.direct2drive.co.uk/buy-mac-download



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShunnaBunich


    I've played Ciderized games, and they're such pale, quivering shadows of their former Windows selves



    I don't think they're all that bad. I actually think some work better than Mac ports. I've seen Mac ports that take ages to launch and shut down but Cider games are quick. NFS plays much the same as it does on Windows:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCTmFWbGO48



    That's an older 8600M GT MBP and although it lags a bit, the graphics shouldn't be up as high.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShunnaBunich


    having played Mac "ports" of them



    That's the problem, they're not officially supported Cider ports and people try to hack various wrappers onto them and configure them properly but typically only manage DirectX 8 support - no HDR reflections etc. FWIW, the HL2 games ran at the same speed for me, just less graphically pleasing. With official support, this would be rectified.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbmcavoy


    I wonder if they would let you download a Mac version if you had purchased the PC version, or if they will be two separate products?



    It would be good if they charged just a small fee in that case.



    If Valve are considering porting their games over, this would be amazing. Portal is a great game and I've played the HL2 games through a couple of times each. It would be a great franchise to have on the Mac.
  • Reply 37 of 54
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    A Mac has power to spare for games like counter strike source, which believe it or not is still quite popular.



    I wouldn't have to purchase anything the games I've paid for are linked to my Steam account all I'd have to do is download them, I already have the licenses.



    I just haven't used windows for a while.



    Steam has made game servers available for Linux for quite some time.



    Could this be a nail in DirectX's coffin?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post


    LOL. There are plenty of reason's for Valve to do this, they are called dollars.



    Casual games are huge money makers and there are plenty for OS X that could be delivered by Steam. I am not saying I believe they will or will not do this, but a business case could be easily made for bringing Steam to OS X.



    However, the biggest problem I see for games on OS X is the crappy GPU options on Apple's consumer desktop products. The top of the line iMac only has 4850 512MB GPU for its top choice. That is pathetically bad for a display with the iMac's native resolution. More importantly, you can't even get that card with the less expensive machines.



    For casual games, GPU selection will not be a problem. Other than that, I just don't see any indication that Apple cares about the gaming market for OS X.



  • Reply 38 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Unreal Tournament 3



    Hasn't quite made it yet. There was a major issue that couldn't me solved without some extensions from OGL3.0 those might be in 10.6.3. Port has otherwise basically been complete for about two years.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mitchelljd View Post


    well, this would be good news if it actually means more games for mac's and associated devices which are REAL games.



    not the crappy iphone app stuff. but real games. that said i understand why they think apple has dropped the ball on game development. they have.



    that said, if they supported Steam and getting more games on the mac, more people would buy macs. so they really have alot to gain.



    if this becomes reality, and maybe Cider is more affordable for developers. Steam makes it cheaper to distribute games and be less reliant on physical stores. which is helpful when they need to run promotions and keep pricing low. all of this could help drive volume in sales or mac playing. yay.



    The iPhone crappy stuff makes Apple and the Mac more attractive.



    Also, spending a fraction of that 40 billion on transgamming might not be a bad idea, especially if it were renamed "gamecode" or something and offered free to developers.
  • Reply 39 of 54
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Maybe. The PC games market is in terminal decline, outside of World of WarCraft and The Sims. Perhaps Valve see the Mac as a way to replace lost PC sales, for a while at least.



    Correction: The PC retail market is in terminal decline. Online services (such as Steam), casual games, indie games and subscription-based games are showing strong growth. There's also a lot of markets outside of the US where PC games are still king - especially eastern Europe and Asia.



    I'm a massive fan of Steam. It's got such a sensible attitude to DRM. Yes, there's DRM but it never restricts my usage of games. In fact, it has benefits as I can re-download games onto any computer at any time. Their sales are also amazing. Over Christmas I picked up a whole bunch of recent and critically acclaimed games for $5 each.



    I'll be very happy if Steam is released for Mac OS.
  • Reply 40 of 54
    Nice that steam will come to Mac but now they need the games to follow
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