Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Steam logo on Apple iMac

Some great things happened last year for MAC games. most notably (for me at least) was the release of Dragon age for MAC in December, a game I personally spent 63 hours paying (albeit on a PC while working at Electronic Arts). But 2010 could just be the best ever year for MAC gaming

 



But 2010 looks to be even more important for MAC gaming. Sure Electronic Arts is bound to release more PC games working on MAC through cider, but interestingly enough the big changes to MAC gaming are coming to MAC from other directions.

Most significant of these is the on-live service (onlive blog). A cloud computing game service which runs the actual game on a high end server and just streams the image to the user. In a sense it like looking through windows (sorry, poor choice of words) to the game screen while having complete control. It will run via a browser and cost $15US a month. No one is really sure if the frame rate or image quality will be good enough and there are still serious questions about lag which will only be answered  when onlive goes, um, live. One question you wont have to ask of onlive service however; "does it run on MAC?".

Also happening in 2010 should be the arrival of Valve's digital download service “Steam” to the Apple MAC. While were not sure when this will a happen (Steam on Apple MAC all but confirmed), the biggest question remaining is which games will be available and how will they run on the MAC? It's not likely that the will be ported to MAC (ie remade to run natively on the MAC) far more probable is that it will use cider as Electronic Arts games do. While cider is not everyones favorite solution because of the inefficient way it 'fools' windows game to allow them to run on the MAC (which takes time and system resources therefore reduces performance), it certain beats having to boot into that Microsoft operating system just to play your games.

Lastly it's been suggested that Apple might be bring the “APP Store” to the MAC. It's already wildly popular for the iPhone and with the release of the iPad it shows no sign of slowing. It's convenient digital delivery system has been a boon for developers and it has allowed the iPhone to become the largest smart phone gaming platform (even starting to rival PlayStation portable and Nintendo DS in terms of gaming). The iPad will no doubt increase the investment made in Games and if the App store is then used to deliver MAC App we will no doubt see a similar growth in games for the MAC. Although many of these games for the iPhone and iPad are bite sized, the ability for indie game developers to reach their target market will hopefully allow them to move to bigger and better things. Considering the games market for MAC has been so fairly sparse for so long, there is plenty of opportunity to take a larger share of a niche market. Maybe that's far better than a small slice of the windows market.

Amid all this speculation on how it will take shape, one thing does seem certain, 2010 will be a great year for MAC gaming. Hopefully by the end of the year you wont be holding down the alt key every time you boot up to play a game on your MAC.

 

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