Steam on Mac
The May 12th launch of Steam for OSXhas gotten me thinking about the implications of a real gaming platformcoming to Macs. I’ve seen many friends, Break included, switch fromWindows to OSX for various reasons; the one downside being that theylose their ability to play PC games. This time period marked one ofthe biggest declines in PC gaming, so it was understandable, but nowthat the two major platforms will have support for games will it bringpeople back into the fold?
Oneof the biggest obstacles for this is the fact that Macs are notoriouslydifficult to do serious upgrades on. PC gamers take pride in keepingtheir systems up to date by swapping out graphics cards and CPUs likethey were different color crayons coloring a motherfucking Technicolordinosaur or something. Apple’s website even has misinformationregarding upgrading. I know that Break put a new video card in his MacPro, despite the Apple store telling him it was incompatible. For Macsto be really viable for gaming they must be able to be upgraded, withease, regularly. Otherwise, people on Macs will be running seriouslyinferior versions consistently.
Anotherbig downfall is that PC games primarily run on Microsoft’s DirectX API,and any game coming to Mac will have to be ported to OpenGL. Not aninsurmountable issue, but any game developed for more than one platformalmost always suffers on one side or both. Any console game has asuperior version that makes the fanboys of other systems come up withridiculous reasons why their version is actually better. Don’t youknow that the fact that there is an extra crack in the wall negates theother version’s steady framerate?
Don’tlet this article fool you, I think it is a good thing that Steam iscoming to Mac. Great games to more people. I just feel that theseissues need to be properly dealt with, or the Steam client on OSX willbe the special Olympics to Windows regular Olympics. Here’s hopingthat May 12th ushers in a new viable way to play games.