Print 34 comment(s) - last by MadMan007.. on Apr 23 at 12:21 AM

Valve is putting the finishing touches on the Steam for Mac edition

Steam for Mac reportedly is now in private beta, but an official release date is expected to be announced sometime next week.

The recently released Steam for OS X teaser images didn't show gamers very much, except that the OS X version should function closely to the Windows version.  It has the same user interface, lets users browse the game Library, and view game titles available in the store -- but it's unknown which game titles will be available.

Microsoft Windows still boasts a much larger video game following than OS X, but Steam has been a popular request by Mac owners.  A new Steam Play feature will give Steam users the opportunity to purchase one game title for PC or Mac, and use it on either platform – it also allows you to start a game at work on a PC and finish where you left off at home on a Mac.

The service was first rumored at the beginning of March, with many OS X gamers rejoicing at the thought of a native Steam release sometime in the future.  Valve hopes to woo Mac users to Steam's services by using a UI that closely mimics the regular Windows edition.

"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," Valve President Gabe Newell said last month.  "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

In addition, Windows Steam users will be able to get the Steam Client UI Update for Windows next Monday, according to blog posts.

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By damianrobertjones on 4/22/2010 11:41:28 AM , Rating: 2
The moment games start appearing alongside the Windows versions is the day when the mac REALLY gains ground on windows. Soon you'll have teens everywhere saying, "Ugghh, dude, why are you using windows when you can game on the mac?"

After that, the first trojan will hit.

Either way, other than price, apple could well smell a global victory forming


RE: Word
By Spivonious on 4/22/2010 11:44:02 AM , Rating: 3
Meh, Apple is still around 4% of total PC sales, so I'm not worried. Plus, who's going to re-develop DirectX games to work on OS X? If anything it might result in more popularity for OpenGL (which I assume runs on OS X).

RE: Word
By TMV192 on 4/22/2010 2:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well out of Apple's smaller market share a lot more have gaming capable machines with every Mac shipping since last year having nVIDIA GPUs, mostly something like a 9400M but still enough to play a lot of the games on Steam, including the Valve's Source games, as compared to the industry dominant intel GMA

RE: Word
By Mitch101 on 4/22/2010 3:29:16 PM , Rating: 2
I heard EA and Rockstar are working on a project together.

EA is going to merge Tiger Woods PGA Tour with Rockstar's Hot Coffee to make the game more realistic. ;)

RE: Word
By Sazar on 4/22/2010 5:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't South Park already preview EA Sport Tiger Woods 2011, showing Elin with the pre-nup power-up?

I would definitely buy that :)

RE: Word
By Farva on 4/22/2010 3:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
who's going to re-develop DirectX games to work on OS X?

Don't worry sooner or later Microsoft will get sued by the EU (or other vulture) again and be forced to create DirectX[X] for Mac.... Since, obviously Microsoft's DirectX intellectual property is causing an anti-trust issue.

RE: Word
By MrBlastman on 4/22/2010 12:06:18 PM , Rating: 3
Good luck with that. I look forward to the day I play against a mac gamer weilding a one-button mouse--look forward to laughing.

RE: Word
By Fancarolina on 4/22/2010 2:59:30 PM , Rating: 2
You must not understand that you can turn on the second button on a Mac, OSX has right click context menus just like Windows.

RE: Word
By Mitch101 on 4/22/2010 3:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
just like Windows
LIES LIES LIES Microsoft must have stolen that idea from Steve.

RE: Word
By AssBall on 4/22/2010 3:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
I can't hardly wait to start WTFPWNING N00BS with my 1337 macbook wheel.

RE: Word
By AssBall on 4/22/2010 3:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
You'll only beat me because the game will have no idea what a "command" "option" or "return" key is. It's okay though, Steve will design a "revolutionary" new keyboard with a patented "iALT" key.

RE: Word
By Jcfili on 4/22/2010 12:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
I still think Windows is better than a Mac for gaming .. Just because you can customize your Pc. And I agree that if this gives Mac more popularity then trojans and viruses will come out and then Apple and Windows will be on the same situation.

RE: Word
By Yawgm0th on 4/22/2010 1:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
Have you actually tried playing a remotely high-performance game on even a well-equipped Mac? Game performance is invariably awful on Mac OSX. There are Macs that can barely play Warcraft III with decent framerates, but will play the same game under Windows just fine. Steam for Mac is nice and all, but of those Mac users, how many of their Macs can reasonably run Source-based games in OSX, if at all?

To recycle an old meme, Mac OS couldn't run Crysis even if it were ported.

Linux isn't much better, for what it's worth. WINE or native, performance is consistently better in Windows as well.

RE: Word
By Breathless on 4/22/2010 1:31:13 PM , Rating: 2
But for those of us with Hackintoshes, this will be delicious :) and will probably play nicely - assuming they do a good job porting it.

RE: Word
By mellomonk on 4/22/2010 5:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Now, now children. Today's lesson is in optimization. Can you spell that? Let me explain. Today's Widows game are developed to take advantage of some wonderfully optimized APIs including Direct X. If and when there is a business case it is relatively easy to optimize the game code for the Mac. In fact there are some really cool aspects to the Core Graphics and tools in OSX. The limited hardware profiles could result in some real hardcore optimization if a developer really wanted. unfortunately DirectX is probably a no go on OSX for a number of reasons including security.

The problem is there is getting to be little business case to develop new PC games let alone OSX. Sure there will be the diehard developers willing to deal with DirctX11 and PC optimization, but the money is on the consoles. Proper PC games are becoming fewer and fewer each year. Don't be surprised at a future of mainly console ports for both Mac & Windows. It is already happening.

RE: Word
By consumerwhore on 4/22/2010 6:54:59 PM , Rating: 1
"Ugghh, dude, why are you using windows when you can game on the mac?"

Because in terms of performance-for-money, my PC bitchslaps your Mac into oblivion?

By Breathless on 4/22/2010 11:50:23 AM , Rating: 2
They need to figure out how to enable Vsync on Mac, or this is moot. I can't stand playing games without Vsync on as the tearing drives me nuts.

RE: Vsync
By Anoxanmore on 4/22/10, Rating: -1
RE: Vsync
By Breathless on 4/22/2010 12:54:10 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me you clearly don't know what your talking about. Having a better PC makes the games tear even more (Higher FPS = more tearing). I have a very good PC BTW.

It would be correct to say "get a better monitor", specifically one with 120Hz refresh rate to remedy the tearing - but not "get a better PC". Tearing happens because the FPS of your game exceeds your monitors refresh rate - therefore the higher the FPS of your game, the worse the tearing. This is why people can play crysis without vsync and not notice much tearing.... because the game is so demanding that it naturally keeps the FPS low, usually lower than your monitors refresh rate.

Not to be brash, but to say "almost no one uses vsync on the PC" is pure stupidity.

RE: Vsync
By sapiens74 on 4/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Vsync
By Breathless on 4/22/2010 1:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
And yet I dare say that 90 percent of "true gamers" likely have a monitor that is 60Hz. This 120Hz technology is relatively new still, and is not widely adopted yet.

If "true gamers" all bought monitors with 120Hz refresh rate, there would be little to no use for them to use vsync, so I don't see where you are coming from here.

RE: Vsync
By Farva on 4/22/2010 4:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Having a better PC makes the games tear even more (Higher FPS = more tearing). I have a very good PC BTW

Umm...yeah, so that's just wrong. I never run v-sync and usually on Source games get around 120 fps as stated and on Unreal Engine3 games I usually get around 90 fps with zero tearing. I don't enjoy vsync locking my fps at 60 also "real" (as opposed to "fake"?) gamers don't use vsync because it can screw up your mouse tracking for lets say shooting that hunter in mid-air.

Logically, if you are running with a refresh rate of 60 and your video card is pumping out more frames wouldn't you want the most recent pixel to be displayed?

RE: Vsync
By Breathless on 4/22/2010 5:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
Umm...yeah, so that's just wrong

No, its not.

gamers don't use vsync

Again, wrong.

RE: Vsync
By someguy123 on 4/22/2010 10:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that is how tearing works. Your video card is sending data for frames faster than your monitor can handle, and your monitor is displaying parts of both frames at the same time, causing a tear in the picture.

If you don't notice this it is either because:

-your monitor's refresh rate is close to your FPS
-you haven't tested vsync
-you just don't notice for whatever reason (poor eyesight, slow reaction etc). not saying this in a derogatory way.

Most likely the reason you don't notice the tearing is because you're using a 100hz crt. Source drops frames over 100FPS if you've uncapped the FPS (at least in CS:S) and you say you're getting 90FPS in UE3, pretty close to 100hz.

RE: Vsync
By monstergroup on 4/22/2010 1:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a mac user to me.

RE: Vsync
By Anoxanmore on 4/22/2010 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
I have V-sync off on my computer, always have, always will and do not notice a tearing. My ususal FPS in source games is around 120-ish. :P (That is average of course during action sequences, not sitting and staring at a wall in a corner)

Steam is just going to make fools of themselves...
By Motoman on 4/22/2010 1:34:54 PM , Rating: 2 the mere implication that Macs are suitable for gaming.

By Breathless on 4/22/2010 1:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, but its got to start somewhere... and what better platform than Steam to "start" with?

By AssBall on 4/22/2010 4:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
Steam is just going to make fools of themselves...

Well, I thought they all ready did that a long time ago with their sloppy server connection issues, huge memory and OS resource footprint, and irritating built in advertising.

By MadMan007 on 4/22/2010 2:12:15 PM , Rating: 1
So this is the real reason for the dumbed-down, iTunes/multimedia program-like look of the Steam beta. Mac users can only deal with big simplistic icon-pictures and want as little detailed information as possible.

RE: aha
By Sazar on 4/22/2010 5:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
The new Steam UI provides a heck of a lot more information than before and makes management a lot easier too.

The old layout was a little speedier, but a lot less information was shown. Now it is aggregated better and Shift+Tab (my default) shows a LOT more options than just your friends list.

Remember, just because DOS was a stable setup doesn't mean GUI didn't change the game and become the defacto interface of the future.

RE: aha
By MadMan007 on 4/23/2010 12:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
I guess since all I use Steam for is buying and installing games I don't really give a rat's ass about the UI. I rarely have any reason to open Steam itself but now when I do I'll have to figure out the new way to do the few simplest things I already do. I do however know that big 10-foot UI icons make stuff look dumb and kiddie-like.

Not surprised...
By theplaidfad on 4/22/2010 12:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
...didn't show gamers very much...

That's right, nothing to see here. Move along, move along.

By eddieroolz on 4/23/2010 12:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
People play games on Mac?

All sarcasm aside, Steam will only gain traction when Apple starts putting modern hardware into their computers.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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