After years of pissing and moaning (mostly from me), today Valve announced it will FINALLY bring gaming engines Steam and Source to the Mac, and the BEST news of all? Steam and Valve’s library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available in April.
And I have a feeling the gents at Valve are JUST as excited as I am!
“As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients … the Mac is a great platform for entertainment services,” said Gabe Newell, President of Valve.
Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve, added, “Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac. 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. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on his or her work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on a Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play.”
And rounding out the Epic Win trifecta, John Cook, Director of Steam Development, concluded with “We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation. The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source, gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. 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. 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.”
Oh, and I almost forgot … Portal 2 will be Valve’s first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows. “Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step,” said Josh Weier, Portal 2’s Project Lead. “We’re always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac.”
So what does this all mean, exactly? It means Mac users like myself have NO MORE EXCUSES as to why we don’t ‘PC game’. I look forward to modding the absolute hell out of Left 4 Dead 2 and acquainting myself with games like Counter-Strike and Portal that I’m told are “better played on PC”. There goes the REST of my free time.
And if I may add … Freakin’ SWEET.
– Crix Lee
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