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Valve Confirms Steam for Mac & Simultaneous Release Schedules

Gordon Kelly


Valve Confirms Steam for Mac & Simultaneous Release Schedules

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!


via Steam Forums


March 9, 2010, 5:11 am

OS X users prepare to get ganked on your NVidia 9400's! ;)


March 9, 2010, 6:07 am

Our Steam is worse than your steam?

As Valve have an opportunity for a fresh start here I hope they make the most of it and not just duplicate the chronically under-featured Windows version of steamworks.


March 9, 2010, 10:57 am

@xenos: Valve's games usually aren't that heavy, so even with a 9400, you'd be able to do some gaming. A friend of mine used to play CSS on a ATI X300 mobile ^^


March 9, 2010, 1:58 pm

Maybe this is the beginning of serious gaming on macs? Apple will have to catch up and put proper graphics cards in their desktops and laptops though - unlikely!


March 9, 2010, 3:25 pm

unholy crap, can you imagine how much an Apple gaming rig would cost?


March 9, 2010, 3:33 pm

@Soliber: Ditto!

As long as I can get some more play out of Portal/HL Episode 2 on my Mac, I'll be happy. Maybe I'll even escort the gnome through ep2. Nope, that's a step too far.

Here's hoping the upcoming Mac i7 refresh includes updated discreet graphics!


March 9, 2010, 3:42 pm

Great move on Valve's part. This is how gamers should be unified. At the end of the day, Steam Play will only add value for pc gamers. Look forward to more powerful gaming macs. I would love an iMac with a great big Valve arm logo on the back of it.


March 9, 2010, 4:16 pm

Considering there's strong rumours that new Macbook Pros are coming out next week; I think this timing could well mean a change of direction at Apple and that they'll launch gamer friendly devices. I don't mean a change in design, but internally decent graphics cards to run games.

They've seen how much money they can make from iTunes games and I think they feel they have to make the Mac finally a destination for gamers. Despite being seen as "fun" computers I think a lot of people feel burned when they get a Mac because of it's lousy game support; if that could change there'd be a lot less stopping people from choosing Mac over PC.


March 9, 2010, 4:26 pm

Yay, hooray for Macs which are just about able to play games using a 6 year old engine on the lowest graphical settings! Well, at least they're cheap I suppose.....oh wait



March 9, 2010, 6:16 pm

@xenos - bring it ! ;-)

@smc - lol

seriously, seeing more more graphical power in our macs would be nice. I play steam games on my imac - under bootcamp, be nice to be able to stay in OSX


March 9, 2010, 8:48 pm

@HK: The average gaming PC (i.e. that which gives best performance per pound) is around £600-800 these days so Apple would have to rather cannibalise their range to compete. They could compete with the high end £2000+ gaming PC but the people who buy them are often the most demanding and Apple are worse than Sony when it comes to not supporting even standard options, let along more exotic stuff.

Really, the only system I can see Apple selling is a console-like one where they sell a cracking gaming system for a loss at £300-400 and add £10 onto the price of every game to pay for the actual cost. Of course, it would have to be crippled somehow to prevent people buying it and installing Windows to play cheaper, non-subsidising games.


March 9, 2010, 10:25 pm

I don't think it's a problem. People are used to games on their iPod/iPhone - anything on even a current Mac is going to be a million times better than that. So they don't need to compete with high end gaming systems. They can leave that to PC users happily as it's a market they could never enter and compete, plus it's too small to care about. They want casual gamers and people who're happy to play a game that might be a year or two old. From what I've read Steam games aren't too demanding. So bring out new machines with half decent cards and the gaming market could change beyond recognition. It's not like having what some people would see as 'crippled' hardware has done them that badly in the last few years in other markets; so they could equally do as well with gaming; even if most people here don't see it as 'serious' gaming.

This is purely speculation, I've not played a game since Transport Tycoon & Warcraft 2 about 10 years ago so I'm perhaps not really qualified to talk about computer gaming.


March 10, 2010, 12:37 am

Looking at the Steam Hardware Survey, it seems most PC gamers are still running at 1280 x 1024 resolution using DX9 or DX10 GPUs with dual-core processors, so perhaps Macs aren't as underpowered as they seem? Especially since the upgrade to 9400M GPUs in the new Mac minis.

When I had my Mac mini, I could play Eve Online at 1920 x 1080 resolution - maybe not smoothly but it was playable. And it could easily cope with Indie games like Braid and World of Goo.

@Xiphias - The Mac client would probably be based on the new webkit client that's currently in beta on Windows. It's a lot more featured then the old client. I still have a feeling (hopefully false) that they won't re-skin it for Mac though, which would be a shame.

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