(Source: Valve via Kotaku)

  (Source: Valve via Kotaku)

  (Source: Valve via Kotaku)
Valve shows Mac gamers some love

Apple computers aren't exactly known for their gaming.  Still, they do generally have decently powerful GPUs and CPUs (in the current generation made by NVIDIA and Intel, respectively) and should be ready for gaming.  The critical problem is the graphics libraries.  Most modern PC games use DirectX -- which is a Microsoft product and not a part of OS X, Apple's Mac operating system.  Thus to get games into OS X you have to port to OpenGL, an open graphics library, much like you would port a game to a console.

Given Apple's small marketshare, that's been an unlikely proposition for most in the past.  However, recently with Apple's marketshare ever so slowly inching upwards, some game companies have started to make OS X ports.  Now PC gaming legend Valve has released a teaser that contains some incredible news for OS X fans -- the Half Life, Team Fortress, and Left 4 Dead series appear to be coming to OS X, along with Valve's game distribution service Steam.

Rumors of Steam coming to Macs leaked last week when some savvy users were viewing the source directories and spotted some icon assets that were OS X specific.  Now Valve has aired a series of comical teaser images that indicate that the rumors are indeed true.  The teasers include Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman with an Apple logo stamped on his chestplate, a silhouette of Heavy from Team Fortress 2 dancing around in a iPod commercial-like green light, and a black-and-white portrait of Left 4 Dead's Francis with the text "I Hate Different", a play on Apple's slogan "Think different."

An official announcement is expected to come from Valve at the annual Game Developers Conference, where Valve will be accepting a "Pioneer Award".  In the meantime try to keep from soiling yourself in shock, disgust, or excitement (depending on your view of Macs and OS X). 

As others have pointed out, the intriguing thing about Valve turning its attention to Macs is that it means the two top PC gaming companies -- Valve and Blizzard -- will both have pledged their support to OS X.  Now if Apple can just refresh its hardware that's looking more stale than a box of 50s era MREs, it will be sitting pretty.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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