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Steam gaming platform coming to Mac OS X?

updated 09:30 am EST, Wed February 24, 2010

Could represent major win for Mac industry

Valve is preparing a Mac version of the Steam gaming platform, evidence suggests. On Wednesday, Windows users were given the option of downloading a new beta interface, featuring changes like a WebKit-based browser, an improved appearance and customizable game groups. Buried within the Steam/Graphics folder, however, are images for 10 Mac-specific buttons. Within Steam/Resource/Menus, there is also a new "osx.menu" file.

When a port of Steam might be ready is unknown, given the status of the Windows software, but it could potentially have a major impact on the Mac gaming industry. The technology is essential for Valve's own games, which are some of the most popular in the PC world, including Left 4 Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2. It is also an increasingly popular vehicle for third-party sales, and as such the lack of a multi-platform client may be hindering interest in Mac development.

Apple has shown little interest in helping desktop gaming, preferring to concentrate on productivity apps and conventional entertainment. Any Mac titles distributed through Steam would still need to be ported individually, sometimes a difficult proposition as a result of different architectures and drivers.








by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. jaysones

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    comment title

    Oh god. This would be the biggest win for Mac gaming that I could imagine. Please, please let this happen.

  1. facebook_Jeff

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010

    +1

    Yes

    Agreed. That would be pretty super awesome delicious with sprinkles and a cherry.

  1. ibook_steve

    Moderator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Could virtualize

    The article mentions porting the games to Mac. But what if Steam for Mac included virtualization like Crossover Games? Then you could play any game, Mac or PC, on an Intel Mac.

  1. facebook_Spyro

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010

    +1

    I your dreams

    Why the h*** would there be OSX interface buttons images, when these are generated by the OS ? That only suggests an OSX "theme". But then again, why make an OSX theme if not for an OSX version ? Good question mister ! :D

  1. IvoryTower

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Big problem...

    ...and one that Steam can't fix: video card support. As any would-be Mac gamer could tell you, trying to find a decent board for a reasonable price and one that's Mac-native out of the box is an exercise in futility. However, I suppose the success of Steam on OSX might compel someone to make a few options for us.

    And Apple, ATi, nVidia...if you're listening, please try and make sure older hardware isn't cast aside. My MP 1.1 would thank you from the bottom of all 4 cores.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    But...

    From what I know of Steam, all it is used for is to deliver games to the client. It isn't a 'platform' such that it will magically make all these games work on a Mac.

    So all this brings is yet another way to deliver games to your computer. I seriously doubt many developers are going to say "Wow, Steam is coming for Mac! Well, let's go spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on porting a couple of games!"

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    Bigger problem

    Video card support might be a big problem, but the fact that Apple doesn't make a mac to use a video card except the over-sized MacPro is a bigger problem.

    The market for gaming video cards is extremely limited for no other reason than very few MacPro owners are gamers.

    Oh, and for And Apple, ATi, nVidia...if you're listening, please try and make sure older hardware isn't cast aside. My MP 1.1 would thank you from the bottom of all 4 cores.

    Sorry. Apple doesn't do backward compatibility/upgrades. It's not their style.

    But not to worry, Apple doesn't care about gaming on the Mac anyway. They want to sell you iPads and iPods for that.

  1. facebook_Jake

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2010

    +2

    Stoked for the future :)

    This marks the start of good things to come. While nothing is official, it at least offers a glimmer of hope. Good thing too, means I can finally be rid of this BootCamp partition just so I can play TF2 :¬P

    On the graphics card issue? I doubted the Mac's ability to play games well, and I was wrong. True I'm not playing the latest Crysis ball-buster game, but Macs are very competent. It's put me off owning a gaming rig for a while at least.

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