updated 04:25 pm EDT, Wed May 12, 2010
Torchlight, Portal, Sam & Max form early wedge
Wrapping up a beta period, Valve has officially released the first Mac version of Steam. The software functions as a way of buying, launching and updating games, as well as well as joining multiplayer matches and tracking groups and achievements. Titles bought through Steam can be installed on multiple computers and multiple platforms at no extra cost.
Spearheading an initial wave of games are major titles such as Portal, Torchlight and Civilization IV, thought not yet Team Fortress 2, the highlight of the beta test. Likewise available are some important bundles, such as the Telltale Steam Play Pack, the LucasArts Adventure Pack and the Steam Play Indie Pack, the latter of which includes games like Machinarium, Osmos and World of Goo. Some 63 downloads are listed at present; Valve is promising more each Wednesday.
The opening of Steam to Mac users may represent a significant milestone, as the software is a dominant distribution system for games. It is also required for Valve's own titles, which have so far helped to keep many gamers on Windows. To spur adoption, Valve is in fact offering Portal for free until May 24th.