The cat was out the bag, down the lane and locked away in a bunker with a lifelong supply of cat food and automatic weapons last week - but Valve has decided to firm things up anyway...
The company has announced Steam, its gaming service, and Source, its gaming engine, are both headed to the Mac. Furthermore, all Steam's library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and the Half-Life series will be launched on OS X next month.
"As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."
"Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge," added Jason Holtman, Valve's director of Business Development. "For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."
Valve also confirmed all titles will be native versions rather than emulation and Mac will be treated "as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360." Furthermore: "Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows."
Portal 2 is going to be Valve's first simultaneous release on Mac and Windows. Caveats? I can see just one: image the flame wars that can now happen between both sides!