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Valve Confirms Mac Versions of Steam, Valve Games 541

Posted by Soulskill
from the branching-out-to-the-apple-tree dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Gamasutra: "Valve will release a version of its Steam digital distribution service for Mac next month, along with Mac-native versions of its own games, the company confirmed today after days of hints — and owners of Valve games will have access to both platform versions. The Source engine, which Valve uses to develop all its internal titles and also licenses to third-party developers, will incorporate OpenGL in addition to DirectX, to allow Mac support for all Source developers. ... 'We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform, so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360,' said Cook. 'Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates.'"
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Valve Confirms Mac Versions of Steam, Valve Games

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  • Not Cider! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sechr Nibw (1278786) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:12PM (#31405360)
    3 cheers for *native* Mac development, instead of just Cider builds!
  • NICE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:12PM (#31405362)
    I'm sure someone will rush in to point out how a PC is still superior as a gaming rig but, as a Mac owner, I still say NICE!!

    It's nice to see other game publishers figure out what Blizzard has known for a very long time.
  • Linux support (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:12PM (#31405368)

    Linux support is coming when porting it to linux becomes profitable, stop asking.

  • OpenGL (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Efreet (246368) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:14PM (#31405400)

    If the source engine is going to be running with OpenGL too now I suspect that these games will suddenly be much easier to get working in Wine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:15PM (#31405402)

    "Windows". Try using that word when you refer to the OS, it's not difficult.

  • Mac Gaming: 1 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dougmwne (958276) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:16PM (#31405430)
    A big win for gaming on macs. Valve has a cannon of some of the best FPSs the PC has to offer. I've been exclusively buying and playing my titles through Steam for about 2 years now (the sales are spectacular). Hopefully with native Steam support, more developers will take time and expense to make their new offerings dual-platform.
  • Re:well no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:17PM (#31405450)
    It might automate code generation but it doesn't automate debugging or QA testing which in my experience take significantly more effort then running the build system....
  • I'm a PC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DarthVain (724186) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:18PM (#31405466)

    I don't own a Mac, but today seems like a good day if you do.

    One of the things I don't like about Mac (and there are a few) is that many games are not released for Mac or if they are, they are released way after they are released for everything else.

    This seems to be a nice step in the right direction, and I got to say so far as a fit goes, Valve and Steam seem to me a great fit for Macs. Makes me think of the App store on their iPhones.

    As much as I like to bash Macs, this is a very astute move for Apple and for Valve. More competition the better I say, Windows has had much the world bent over a bench for long time now and pretty much a monopoly over the gaming market outside of consoles (and a big chunk of that also with the Xboxen). Next step, price Macs more competitively?

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:23PM (#31405552)

    Their episodic content is mostly design work, little programming. I think more likely the delay is due to the piss poor tools that Source has. That's always been one of its weaknesses is that its design tools are way, way behind Unreal Engine's. That might be where there's so many more UE2 and UE3 titles out there.

    Of course I suppose one could argue that the programmers were spending their time on this instead of making better tools, but it would seem that if they haven't now they aren't so interested in doing so.

  • wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:23PM (#31405558)

    and owners of Valve games will have access to both platform versions.

    In an age where publishers are doing everything in their power to tie your hands when it comes to their software, this simply amazes me.

    We've got publishers who user DRM that renders a game useless after a half-dozen installs... And valve is going to let you run your games on two entirely different platforms?! Not two different computers... But wholly different platforms. Amazing.

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:28PM (#31405612) Homepage

    Awesome. There will be an entire new population of n00bs for me to pwn. And these aren't just any noobs--they've never even been exposed to a real FPS experience of any sort. Hell, they don't even have a secondary-fire button!

    Mwuhahahaha... Dominating!

  • Re:NICE! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nutshell42 (557890) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:35PM (#31405698) Journal
    It's nice to see other game publishers figure out what Blizzard has known for a very long time.

    I think you're gonna see a lot more of it for a number of reasons.

    First, Microsoft fucked up the PC as a gaming platform. The lack of interest, investment, the Games for Windows fuck-up, MS execs admitting that they deliberately don't release games for the PC to prop up the Xbox. Blizzard complained publicly but others can see the writing on the wall, too.

    Second, piracy is a real problem on the PC. Ubisoft did experiment with no DRM at all; that they came up with the total fubar they use now, should tell you how that experiment went. Apple users otoh are more likely to have more money than time.

    Third, Apple's market share's been increasing while the share of PC's who can run games has been decreasing. Compared to ten years ago MS lost the top end to Apple, the bottom end to netbooks and most of the middle's running intel integrated crap.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:35PM (#31405704) Homepage Journal

    Probably not a lot.
    Which Distro? What sound system? Lack of easy to install 3d drivers for nVidia and ATI. Actually the drivers for nVidia and ATI are pretty easy to install but probably beyond what some people will want to do.
    I would love to see it but Linux and OSX are not that alike. on OSX you just target quicktime for audio and video playback. No need to worry what "legal" codecs are available.
    Is Valve going to start targeting OpenGL? if so that part should be portable at least.
    But the real issue is lack of customers. I just don't see that many Linux users that don't dual boot into Windows for gaming.
    If you don't get new customers it doesn't pay off.
    OSX offers a bigger pay off and fewer development issues.

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:36PM (#31405716) Homepage Journal

    They're just too small to concentrate on two consoles, and it's a lot easier to target Win+360 than Win+PS3. They outsourced the Orange Box port to EA and it ended up sucking, big time. Rather than own up to the cheap port, Gabe Newell made some nasty comments about the how the PS3 sucks as a development platform.

    Until Valve gets a lot bigger, I doubt we'll see any of their games on PS3.

  • Re:well no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Telvin_3d (855514) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:38PM (#31405754)

    True, but in this case the relatively small subset of hardware supported by OSX makes things easier. Once they have it running at all it will only need to be tested against two or three OS revisions (10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard and possibly 10.4 Tiger) and a half dozen video cards. In many ways I suspect that the testing will be far easier than what is needed for a console. A few more hardware versions to deal with but at the same time there is so much higher margin in terms of RAM and processor power that there is a lot more room to play with.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:42PM (#31405800) Homepage Journal

    "The cost issue has become pretty meaningless to anyone who is willing to compare oranges to oranges: the cost of a Mac laptop or desktop with X features is pretty comparable to a Windows laptop or desktop with the same feature set, "
    Only sort of.
    There are fewer options for the Mac so there are configurations available for PC that just don't exists in the Mac worlds.
    For instance a Core2Duo with a high end graphics card and no monitor.
    If you already have a perfectly good monitor why get an all in one or a new monitor.
    Yes if try and match the Apple configurations with a PC the price will be about the same.
    But you can not get the equivalent to a an Mac Mini with a high end video card and a 3 1/2" Hard drive and no wifi or Bluetooth.

  • by Deadric (13491) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:43PM (#31405822)

    Before anyone gets overly excited, please remind yourself of what video card your shiny $1k computer is running.

  • by Telvin_3d (855514) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:45PM (#31405844)

    I doubt it. OSX is (relatively) easy to support because it has a very small subset of software to target (two/three revisions depending on if you support back to 10.4 or just 10.5/6) and a small selection of hardware. There is a massive difference between doing Q/A for a half dozen video cards on a stable platform versus trying to support the massive set of moving targets that get lumped together under Linux along with all the possible hardware that might get plugged in. Valve already has to do that with Windows. Do you think there is enough cash involved to make Linux worth the same effort?

    As one example, which of the current half-baked Linux audio architectures do you recommend they use?

  • Re:well no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:48PM (#31405890)

    Actually, I can see a system where the Source engine isolates the game developers from the hardware completely, as such platform dependent QA & Testing is only done by the source engine developers and not the game developers. Abstraction is a great thing.

  • by Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:50PM (#31405936)

    Actually there's a much bigger jump.

    Windows and OSX are fairly well-regulated monocultures: you have a consistent idea about how installation is supposed to work, you know where to put your config files, you know what permissions you need and how to get them. You rarely need to worry about broken dependencies: they happen, but the platform vendors usually provide an updater you can distribute with your application.

    On the other hand, Linux is an undifferentiated mass. An application developer literally cannot make any useful predictions about the end user's configuration, which means it's almost impossible to provide support. The state of Linux is fine - it's even very strong - when you're only talking about FOSS. When you start asking for money, you need to make sure that your software is Suitable for a Particular Purpose. Installation needs to be easy and it needs to work everywhere.

    I'm offering 10:1 I get modded flamebait for not drinking the Linux Kool-Aid.

  • Re:NICE! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by lazorz (1544583) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:55PM (#31406026)

    Compared to ten years ago MS lost the top end to Apple, the bottom end to netbooks and most of the middle's running intel integrated crap.

    Cite your sources for those numbers. I can honestly say none of my dozens of hardcore gamer friends and acquaintances use a Mac. Not sure where this statistic of yours is coming from.

    Second, piracy is a real problem on the PC. Ubisoft did experiment with no DRM at all; that they came up with the total fubar they use now, should tell you how that experiment went. Apple users otoh are more likely to have more money than time.

    Piracy exists on Mac OS, but there a far fewer games for it than PC, so once more games are released to Mac you'll see a steady rise of piracy as well.

  • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hidannik (1085061) on Monday March 08, 2010 @04:57PM (#31406068) Homepage
    Really? I've always had decent success playing in offline mode. I have some temporary network configuration that keeps me off the Internet, I start a Steam game, it complains that it can't find the Steam servers, and asks me if I want to play in offline mode. I click the Yes (or Okay, or whatever) button and away I go.
  • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:06PM (#31406226)

    First of all, I'll point you to a comment I made elsewhere in this same thread.

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1575328&cid=31406066 [slashdot.org]

    Steam is DRM.

    I am aware that Steam contains DRM. It also contains social networking stuff and marketplace stuff and server browser stuff and whatever else.

    When Steam goes down, you can't play your games... not even when you're offline. Just last week there was an outage that made all Steam games unplayable for an entire evening.

    Obviously, no system is perfect. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying to you.

    I have no experienced any problems with Steam. Certainly nothing like the problems I've experienced with some other forms of DRM. Specifically, I've never had any trouble playing a Steam game offline, unless it was in trying to access some on-line component of a game. As far as the outage last week... I personally played games on Steam just about every night last week, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

    And many games you buy on Steam will install additional DRM alongside Steam.

    So far, none of the games I've purchased on Steam have included any additional DRM. But, yes, a publisher can certainly include whatever they want.

    Valve is making some awesome PC games, at good prices, and with a good delivery platform. But don't forget that this all comes at the cost of some nasty DRM which is nearly as bad as the recent Ubisoft fiasco.

    I fail to see how a DRM package that allows me to play games offline is nearly as bad as a DRM package that renders your single-player game completely unusable if your Internet goes down. Never mind the fact that I can download and re-install my Steam games as many times as I want... And I can burn backup copies of my games... And install them on as many different computers as I want...

  • by Noughmad (1044096) <miha.cancula@gmail.com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:11PM (#31406342) Homepage
    If MS paid them, why are they now porting to Macs?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:23PM (#31406574)

    OS X is UNIX, Linux is Unix "like".

    I love how people say this and presume they've just said something significant. Mac OS X's UNIX certification is not worth much more than the advertising bullet-point they us it for. Both Linux and Mac OS X are UNIX in every way that actually matters today, namely POSIX-compliance. It's not like UNIX certification grants Mac OS X special compatibility traits; it's still not binary compatible with any other UNIX, neither is it source compatible if you move beyond what's specified by POSIX and other common standards. So what do you think is the significance of your factually-based and pointless assertion?

  • Re:Linux support (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Trashman (3003) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:37PM (#31406840)

    The problem is, how would you support Linux? They would have to "offically" support specific Distro's such as (an LTS release of) Ubuntu, Fedora, or Suse. Which means that if you run one of the lesser known distros (or one of the Bleeding edge) then you'll be S.O.L. when an update for your distro breaks something that Steam or one of it's games needs to run.

    I can't blame valve for not wanting to take this challenge on. Unfortunately, Linux is too much of a moving target.

  • by onefriedrice (1171917) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:47PM (#31406986)

    I'm offering 10:1 I get modded flamebait for not drinking the Linux Kool-Aid.

    You may be new here. You should know that Mac fanbois with modpoints outnumber Linux enthusiasts in articles from the Apple section. Either that, or at least you've been here long enough to have figured out that many moderators still fall for the classic reverse psychology "I know I'm going to get modded down for this, but..." routine.

    As for me, I used the term "Mac fanbois" in an Apple article. There's no amount of reverse psychology that can help me now. I might as well go down in flames by pointing out that a surprising number of people with interesting and unique sexual preferences choose Apple products. Oh dear.

  • by Luke has no name (1423139) <fox&cyberfoxfire,com> on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:50PM (#31407026)

    That's why they should develop exclusively for Debian. All its children will inherit compatibility (or else), and you have a standard Linux OS to develop for.

  • by pavon (30274) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:53PM (#31407074)

    Yeah, but how much effort did they expend to get their build process to that point, and how much of that could have been spent on HL2 Ep3 instead? My guess is "a hell of a lot of work", and "not much since Ep3 is mostly new content not new software".

  • by Spatial (1235392) on Monday March 08, 2010 @05:56PM (#31407126)
    I believe they explicitly mentioned that was an absolute pain to program for at some point. Valve are already rolling in money because of Steam and they're a small company, so it's not a high priority.

    (And people say PC gaming is dying. Hahaha)
  • by icebraining (1313345) on Monday March 08, 2010 @06:53PM (#31407786) Homepage

    So they are supporting Windows, XBox and MacOSX, and they'll use Mac-only libraries and languages instead of using cross-platform ones? That doesn't make any sense.

  • Re:NICE! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GaryPatterson (852699) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:24PM (#31408666)

    Fabrication != design

    It's a common error, but needs to be picked up. Apple's boards are all designed by Apple, regardless of who builds them, and as such have different design tolerances.

    Apple are not just another OEM.

  • by Goat of Death (633284) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:29PM (#31408706)
    I've been dual booting my Mac into windows for some time to play games. Good to know I can stop doing so at least for some of the great games I play like L4D and L4D2.

    I've always disliked the idea of steam, online login to validate, locking your games to an account so you can't resell, etc. But valve just keeps throwing in so many perks it's hard to fight all the great advantages Steam offers. It really is DRM done about as right as it can get.

    • They let you download games in perpetuity.
    • I don't have to carry around a bunch of install DVDs. As long as I have an internet connection I can install my games.
    • Great weekend deals.
    • Now every Steam game I've purchased I'll suddenly get the Mac version for free as well!

    Kudos to Valve!

  • Re:wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GaryPatterson (852699) on Monday March 08, 2010 @08:43PM (#31408818)

    Apple's DRM: My computer, containing all my downloaded iTunes TV series and movies is destroyed in a fire. I can call Apple and beg them to let me re-download them, but this is described "as more a favor then a policy." [about.com]

    That's not DRM that you're describing. That's an artifact of the delivery system. Even if Apple allowed you to authorise your replacement computer and re-download all the files you purchased, each file would have DRM (or not) regardless.

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:28AM (#31410214) Journal

    Which Distro?

    Ubuntu. And which version of Windows?

    XP? Then you don't have DirectX 10. Vista/7 Only? Then XP people hate you. And professional, business, personal, what?

    What sound system?

    OpenAL, which will run on anything, including Windows and OS X. That's about as retarded as asking what graphics library you should use.

    Lack of easy to install 3d drivers for nVidia and ATI. Actually the drivers for nVidia and ATI are pretty easy to install but probably beyond what some people will want to do.

    Same exact thing, word for word, applies to Windows. The only difference is whether or not the OS was preloaded -- so buy a Dell with Ubuntu, problem solved.

    I would love to see it but Linux and OSX are not that alike.

    They're both Unix. They both use OpenGL.

    on OSX you just target quicktime for audio and video playback.

    According to another poster, quicktime for audio is deprecated in favor of a few APIs, including OpenAL -- in other words, if they've done this right, it is exactly the same on Linux and OS X. What else you got?

    No need to worry what "legal" codecs are available.

    Two big duh moments here.

    First, you're a game developer. You can include codecs with your game, and you can encode your audio however the fuck you want. There is nothing stopping you from using Vorbis and Theora, as other developers have in the past.

    If you really need the superior quality-per-bit, and you don't want to rely on your customers having a certain codec installed -- might fly for OS X, certainly won't for Windows -- you license. And that same exact license will cover your use of that codec on any OS.

    Is Valve going to start targeting OpenGL?

    No, their OS X port runs on magical pixie dust. Of course they're targeting OpenGL!

    So basically every technical argument of yours is pure, unadulturated FUD and BS. Why are you still at +5 insightful?

    But the real issue is lack of customers. I just don't see that many Linux users that don't dual boot into Windows for gaming.

    And Mac users don't? Given the demographic, I'd expect Mac users to be able to afford the extra Windows license, even Parallels so they don't have to reboot.

    If you don't get new customers it doesn't pay off.

    Bullshit. [wolfire.com]

    OSX offers a bigger pay off

    See above. Also, it seems to me that more Mac people would be willing to dual-boot and/or run Parallels, and would have the funds to do so.

    and fewer development issues.

    Nope, pretty much every development issue you raised is completely moot, especially if they already have an OS X port.

  • Re:NICE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:39AM (#31410270)
    Your post is just a long-winded way of saying PC gaming is dying which quite frankly is a load of crap.

    Do people with Macs have more money or just more debt? Macs don't tend to come with very powerful video cards. For the same price, you can get a PC that is much more powerful. There are still more games out there for the PC. Plenty of games that are on the 360 are on Windows as well. Some of them, like Dragon Age Origins have compelling reason why the PC will be a better experience. Do you really think piracy won't be a problem on the Macs? All of a sudden these hackers who can break any DRM known to man will be helpless against the power of Mac security? You have been drinking way too much of the kool aid my friend.

    I am not anti-Mac. I think it is great that Steam is doing this. But you gotta keep your fanboism under control. No one thinks you are special other than people with Macs and your Mom. And Apple is about as evil as a company can get. I still love my iPod Touch though :)

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