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View Full Version : Open letter to Apple about gaming




Roderick Usher
Apr 24, 2007, 04:08 PM
http://www.fileplanet.com/fileblog/archives/2007/04/entry_254.shtml

The FilePlanet editor-in-chief published an open letter to Apple about the state of their support for native gaming on the Mac.

Found this over at the Mac Observer; the folks on their forums seem to think that any overt moves on the part of Apple to support gaming would either tarnish the Mac's image or dilute Apple's resources. I'm not convinced that this is the case.



zap2
Apr 24, 2007, 04:32 PM
Its a good read, but I don't know. Apple in 1999, had Halo preview, with jobs talking about how they would be bring games back to the Mac...things kind of did, but not really.

Also Apple's GPU state isn't too hot..to get a "gaming rig" you'd need to buy a Mac Pro(iMac can game, but its not machine that has much room for updates for GPUs) These means Apple would have to change its hardware line up around, go out and buy companys for game ect ect.

Its just not worth it for Apple. They current are understaffed as it is, iPhone, iPod ,:apple: TV and the Mac. They shouldn't be worrying about games now, new some new iPods out, 10.5 shipped and see that the iPhone sell lots, and then focus on something new

madog
Apr 24, 2007, 11:28 PM
I agree with that letter 100%. I've had a Mac for over 10 years [ever since I could afford one myself] this current one being my second one [I've had it for almost eight years now] and I loves to play mes somes games. I'm not all that consistent in my gaming, but when I do get into it I consider myself a "hardcore" one.

On many, many occasions I find myself searching Newegg for the necessary parts to build myself a shaweet gaming rig. Personally, I don't mind the fact that Macs are lacking in the games department because I think that will change in the near future because of the Intel processor; but rather I am more angry about the fact that if you want to get into gaming with a Mac you are, in essence, trapped with purchasing a way-too-expensive-for-the-purpose MacPro tower.

Like the article states, you can very well play all Mac games [and most PC games with BootCamp] with an iMac or a MacBook Pro; however, you are stuck with that purchase. There are little to no expansive options for you after that initial purchase aside from memory and one GPU upgrade with the iMac 24" as an after-market purchase; and other than the MacPro, none of them come with an empty memory card slot unless specially ordered -- which is absolutely ridiculous. Personally, If I had bought any other PC I probably wouldn't be limited to just the handful of absurdly over-priced graphics cards available for this machine.

And not just for games but for many, many other uses in my opinion, Apple is lacking one fairly simple, "headless" machine that specs somewhere between a high-end iMac and the MacPro. Something that will even-more-so entice the experienced Windows gamer and Mac gamers alike. Something a lot of people crave; myself included.

Erasmus
Apr 25, 2007, 12:54 AM
Its a good read, but I don't know. Apple in 1999, had Halo preview, with jobs talking about how they would be bring games back to the Mac...things kind of did, but not really.

I remember that! I saw it! Too long ago for me to remember what the hell it was, but I definitely remember a Halo demo being shown... It was the time that they released the iSub... And of course, the guy played "Addicted to Bass" on it, which was kind of amusing...

It was playing on some kind of new hardware. Maybe the brand new Powermac G4??? Geez, that was before my Cube!!! Scary...

All it takes for Apple is to include a decent graphics card in their next redesigns of the Mac Pro, iMac and Macbook Pro. If you're gonna do a redesign, you might as well spend the extra effort so the HD2900XT will fit in if not the iMac, then the Mac Pro. Mobility HD2600XT in MBP FTW!!! ROXXOR HAXXOR ROFLMAO! :p

EDIT: About the letter, totally agree. Want Crysis on my MBP! :P

applekid
Apr 25, 2007, 01:12 AM
I'd take the article more seriously if there wasn't so much sexual innuendo in like the first half of the letter. :D

Anyways, maybe Apple will eventually here gamers out. But there are 3 points I must make:

-I just don't see it fitting well into the hardware line-up. The Mac Mini and MacBook have integrated graphics. Granted, considering the market and prices they are sold at it, integrated graphics is fair. A quick look on Dell's website shows you get an ATI X1400 at the $899 price point. Perhaps Apple should add a real, but still low-end GPU in a MacBook. With the iMac, at least the new GPU interface in the 24" iMac may mean future upgrades in future models. We may not have CrossFire or SLI, but at least we do have a high end card (ATI X1900 XT) and the MacBook Pro's and iMacs definitely got some decent hardware, too. The unfortunate fact is you have to pay $2499 to have a Mac Pro for real upgrade options nor does Apple provide custom options for the iMac or MacBook Pro's GPU besides adding VRAM. It would help gamers if there was a cheap Mac Pro-like machine that is more upgradeable than an iMac while not killing Mac Pro sales. Obviously this is a hard balance for Apple to achieve by looking at the hardware line up.

-We have yet to see what the repercussions of the ATI/AMD and Intel/nVidia mergers mean. This could reduce our graphics card options severely. Both ATI and nVidia have recently showcased new higher end graphics cards which we will hopefully see soon on the Mac.

-Developers developers developers! The porting houses can only do so much. The indie Mac game developers can only do so much. The rumor about Apple starting up a game division is promising, but Apple does need some real Mac game developers. Apple has built up quite the war chest with iPod and iTunes and hopefully soon iPhone. Maybe it's time for some spending?

Honestly, it's easier to game on the Mac, in my opinion. I'm always fighting with the Windows Update app to play Battlefield 2 on my MacBook Pro. It keeps telling me to restart! Leave me alone... Installation and setup of games on the Mac are still as easy as installing any other kind of app on the Mac. Can't say that about every Windows game. Oh and don't get me started on patches. God damn. FilePlanet and all of those other file serving websites... They always want you to wait in line, subscribe, or jump through other hoops. I had one hell of a time making sure BF2 was up to date. Nowhere in the game or outside of the game could I find the version number. I wasn't sure if I was patched up or not. On the Mac, a simple Get Info check would have gotten me that info if the version numbering in game is awkward (like it is in BF2). Hence native game are still important to all Mac users.

Apple does kind of care about games. At least we don't get a uninspired version of Solitaire and Mindsweeper with our Macs. We get games like Nanosaur, Marble Blast, Bugdom, Deimos Rising, just to name a few games from the last 9 years pre-installed on your Mac. And Quake 3 and Halo demos at MacWorld expos. Memorable moments!

Apple is in a very good position to retake the computer market. I just hope they will capitalize it and bring gamers along for the ride.

Erasmus
Apr 25, 2007, 01:30 AM
Intel and nvidia have hardly partnered.

Intel will make its own discrete graphics cards in the future. They have said so. Nvidia is screwed, because they won't have much with which to compete once GPUs and CPUs merge in a few years.

Trogloxene
Apr 25, 2007, 01:39 AM
I think they are missing the point. The game market is declining on Macs & PCs because of a bunch of things.

1. The focus has moved to consoles, so there is not the development budgets there used to be for Mac and PCs.
2. Production costs have increased way beyond potential profits for game developers big and small alike.
3. Tons of free games are now available online, so sales to developers both big and small have declined.
4. Tons of free other stuff is on the web so people don't buy as many games.
5. Sales channels have shrunk. Just go to Best Buy where they used to aisle full of games, now it is just a few feet on one shelf.
6. Old games are being remarketed so there is a glut of competition.
7. Distribution in retail is monopolized by a few big players who limit product selection to their most profitable few titles.
8. Pirated warez sites have saturated the internet and broadband usage has increased, so the sales of existing titles has declined.
9. Costs of Mac/PC gaming machine are still high, as consoles cost has declined. This was the the main strategy of the consol makers in the first place, sell the machine at cost, control and make your money from the software.
10. One hundred other things that I'm not even thinking of.

So basically I think you will just see a further decline in Mac/PC gaming. :(

-T

Carrot007
Apr 25, 2007, 05:39 AM
I think they are missing the point. The game market is declining on Macs & PCs because of a bunch of things.
-T

Well.....


1. In todays environment of middleware if a game is written half decently ity should be a quick job to move to any other platform the middleware supports.
NOT A VALID EXCUSE (at least not for PC's which would likely be supported in the middleware).

2. Only because they belive they have to spend this sort of money. The thing they need to concentrate on is having a good game rather than throwing money at a bad one.

3. And most are horrible things that are ad ridden and/or pointless. We are talking about gamers wanting games here.

4. Again see point 3. Gamers want games.

5. I agree, unless it's for a console you pretty much have to buy online these days.

6. Old games are still games, bringing classic to the mac would be welcomed.

7. True.

8. Warez are nothing new, people have always bought games and will continue to do so, especially if the game is good. Warez loses nothing. Those who would not buyt the game anyway still don;t buy it and some may use the warez as a fair demo and buy it.

9. Only for the low percentage of silly people who have to have the greatest hardware for no perceptable imropvement. Whatever people here may say the imac (bar the bottom model) has a gfx card that is very capable and good enough for 99% of peoples gaming needs.

10. Surely only 99 things :)

Though unfortunatly yes, the way things are going a lot of gaming is being lost to consoles. Though a lot is this is poor quality and not wanted. Hopefully someone can step in and make some good games to fill the gap!

gregorsamsa
Apr 25, 2007, 11:05 AM
So basically I think you will just see a further decline in Mac/PC gaming.

Inevitable, but there's no way it'll be a terminal decline as regards gaming on PCs.

Consoles thrive largely because MS were prepared to take massive losses on both Xbox consoles; Sony ditto with PS3. But at the end of the day, these consoles have the limited appeal of being cutting edge only for a relatively short period in their expected 5 or 6 year life-cycle. But PC games development, now with DirectX 10, will supercede all these consoles well before their successors come onto the market.

With PCs open architecture, this favourable situation is likely to always prevail. So, IMO, PC gaming will always remain relatively strong & the PC gaming market viable enough.

Apple's major problem with gaming is having cheap & dated graphics cards in their consumer, non-upgradable Macs. I think that's the main reason why most people buy PCs!

socamx
Apr 25, 2007, 11:17 AM
Only things I wish Apple did were these two things:

Add OpenGL overrides for nVidia cards, ATI has a panel for this. As far as I know Apple takes care of the nVidia drivers to an extent, and they really should add this in. (VSync override is a selling point for me.) I have to admit though newer games are giving some of these options, FSAA, AF, VSync.. but not all.

Give more advanced options for mouse control. I HATE Apple's default mouse acceleration, it drives me NUTS. OS 9 was great because it didn't have any. Now... whenever I get a new Mac, I always install USB Overdrive just so I can turn off that damn acceleration. Makes FPS games impossible for me (as well as graphic work) if I can't. Would be nice to assign custom commands and such to each mouse button...

As a side note... they also really need to add a "real" graphics card to the Macbooks (and Mini), only reason I'm not getting one is because of that. It is such a nice laptop but crippled by that intergrated bull.

Eraserhead
Apr 25, 2007, 12:39 PM
As a side note... they also really need to add a "real" graphics card to the Macbooks (and Mini), only reason I'm not getting one is because of that. It is such a nice laptop but crippled by that intergrated bull.

No they don't all computers of that price come with integrated graphics too, the PC game makers need to realise that their games must run on an Intel GMA 950. Earlier this year I priced up PC's on Dell's website, to get a PC (Laptop or Desktop) with a Geforce 7600/X1600 or better (these aren't great graphics cards) requires spending over £1000, to spend that much on a computer you have to really know what you are doing, it's not justifiable unless you're gaming heavily already. Now sure if you are so inclined you can build a great gaming PC for £500, but the OEM's don't sell them.

What is terrible about PC gaming is that Oblivion on low settings on a GeForce 5700 looks as good as Morrowind did on a GeForce 2 MX.

whooleytoo
Apr 25, 2007, 12:50 PM
the folks on their forums seem to think that any overt moves on the part of Apple to support gaming would either tarnish the Mac's image or dilute Apple's resources. I'm not convinced that this is the case.

Wow, I haven't heard that argument in 10 years or more - though back then it probably was how Apple felt - and most of us thought they were nuts. After all, have you ever heard "don't buy a PC for business, it's only a gaming machine"?

The gaming market is a tough one for Apple to break into, for one very good reason. All you need is one spreadsheet, one word processor, maybe a handful of development/design apps depending on your line of work, so it's easy for Apple to be competitive in these markets. However, gamers want a choice of perhaps dozens of new games a year, just one or two won't make a difference.

There's also the issue that Apple only has one range with upgradable graphics cards, and they're the most expensive, pro range.

But ultimately, I suspect the reason Apple doesn't take the market seriously (since the Sprockets technologies) is simply because Jobs doesn't game.*

(* why does that sound ironic, & grammatically incorrect?:p )

gregorsamsa
Apr 25, 2007, 01:13 PM
No they don't all computers of that price come with integrated graphics too, the PC game makers need to realise that their games must run on an Intel GMA 950. Earlier this year I priced up PC's on Dell's website, to get a PC (Laptop or Desktop) with a Geforce 7600/X1600 or better (these aren't great graphics cards) requires spending over 1000, to spend that much on a computer you have to really know what you are doing, it's not justifiable unless you're gaming heavily already.

Sorry, but you're mistaken. Take a gander through any recent copy of any PC magazine which has reviewed gaming PCs. These computers are well under 1,000.

Sure, their graphics won't be cutting edge video cards, but they also won't be the cheap & dated ones that Apple uses in its consumer range.

Krevnik
Apr 25, 2007, 01:37 PM
Apple may have work to do while addressing the hardware problem of Mac gaming... they have been making good strides in the software end. OpenGL in 10.5 is already a bit of a monster.

WoW using 23-28% of a single CPU to run at 60fps in Ironforge, instead of about 75-110%? Yes, please.

Framerates aren't higher, per se.... but they are a heck of a lot more stable, and games that used to be CPU-bound are now GPU-bound. These changes being made to OpenGL are freeing up quite a bit of CPU for better AI/etc.

fblack
Apr 25, 2007, 02:37 PM
[Roderick Usher;3580683]http://www.fileplanet.com/fileblog/archives/2007/04/entry_254.shtml

The FilePlanet editor-in-chief published an open letter to Apple about the state of their support for native gaming on the Mac.

Yea I read that, funny. Businessweek about a year ago said the same thing:

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2006/tc20060531_384873.htm

I mean come on people want to play games especially those of us who grew up on them.

Found this over at the Mac Observer; the folks on their forums seem to think that any overt moves on the part of Apple to support gaming would either tarnish the Mac's image or dilute Apple's resources. I'm not convinced that this is the case.

Tarnish apple's image? Do they mean the image that macs are not gaming machines, in fact that they bite at gaming, that image? Really...:rolleyes:

On many forums I've read there seems to be this conflict between people who want apple to be everything all at once and those who seem to be terrified that any expansion of apple will result in diluting of resources and consequently a catastrophe. Like you I'm not convinced this would be the case. I think some middle of the road path would be a good start. Crossfire and SLI support on the Macpros would probably help, really would this be such a dilution of resources? If it helps you sell more macpros?

Roderick Usher
Apr 25, 2007, 02:45 PM
Exactly. I think anyone asserting "image tarnish" is also unwittingly implying that the Mac's image as a productivity tool is untenably delicate - which it isn't. Anyone that hasn't been living under a rock for the last few decades knows that computers are just as much for work as they are for recreation; I can't imagine that anyone today would react to news of Apple finally spearheading Mac gaming with "What, it plays games? What a toy!"

As I see it, even if Apple were to totally ignore the deficiencies in their hardware lineup, they would still have nothing to lose by more actively promoting native OS X gaming, in marketing and software engineering. It would only help the cumulative strength of the platform.

fblack
Apr 25, 2007, 02:54 PM
I think they are missing the point. The game market is declining on Macs & PCs because of a bunch of things.

1. The focus has moved to consoles, so there is not the development budgets there used to be for Mac and PCs.
2. Production costs have increased way beyond potential profits for game developers big and small alike.
3. Tons of free games are now available online, so sales to developers both big and small have declined.
4. Tons of free other stuff is on the web so people don't buy as many games.
5. Sales channels have shrunk. Just go to Best Buy where they used to aisle full of games, now it is just a few feet on one shelf.
6. Old games are being remarketed so there is a glut of competition.
7. Distribution in retail is monopolized by a few big players who limit product selection to their most profitable few titles.
8. Pirated warez sites have saturated the internet and broadband usage has increased, so the sales of existing titles has declined.
9. Costs of Mac/PC gaming machine are still high, as consoles cost has declined. This was the the main strategy of the consol makers in the first place, sell the machine at cost, control and make your money from the software.
10. One hundred other things that I'm not even thinking of.

So basically I think you will just see a further decline in Mac/PC gaming. :(

-T

I agree with some of the things that you are saying, but I dont buy consoles because I dont want to buy 3 different consoles to get games that were exclusive to each one plus have a computer, plus a sound system, plus a big screen, plus now an appletv to streams movies to my screen, etc.,etc. Wheew, that's alot of stuff. Man just the wires being all over the place are a pain. How about one machine that does it all? If I could do all these things and more on a computer, why would I ever want a console?

killmoms
Apr 25, 2007, 03:05 PM
I agree with some of the things that you are saying, but I dont buy consoles because I dont want to buy 3 different consoles to get games that were exclusive to each one plus have a computer, plus a sound system, plus a big screen, plus now an appletv to streams movies to my screen, etc.,etc. Wheew, that's alot of stuff. Man just the wires being all over the place are a pain. How about one machine that does it all? If I could do all these things and more on a computer, why would I ever want a console?

Because discrete devices pretty much always are better than something that tries to do everything. Jack of all trades, master of none as they say.

Roderick Usher
Apr 25, 2007, 03:18 PM
Because discrete devices pretty much always are better than something that tries to do everything. Jack of all trades, master of none as they say.
The Mac is a personal computer, and the personal computer is still the ultimate general-purpose device. To de-emphasize any part of this range of functionality is to limit the Mac's growth.

Eraserhead
Apr 25, 2007, 04:04 PM
Sorry, but you're mistaken. Take a gander through any recent copy of any PC magazine which has reviewed gaming PCs. These computers are well under £1,000.

But are any of them Dell or HP? Or smaller manufacturers?

I am wrong though about the price though, Dells top "entertainment" PC can have a 7900GS or an 8800 which works out at £804 with a 7900GS


1.86Ghz Core-2 Duo, Vista Home Premium, 7900GS graphics, 2GB RAM, 2x250GB HD in RAID 0, 1 year warranty.


The others are all limited to X1400's which are worse than the iMac's graphics card.

fblack
Apr 25, 2007, 04:56 PM
Because discrete devices pretty much always are better than something that tries to do everything. Jack of all trades, master of none as they say.

Sometimes. But the jack of all trades master of none does not always apply. I mean take a look at your dock on your mac, and all the things it can do. Following your logic you are saying that the mac and conversely all computers bite at all they do. Instead of using that ichat on your dock you should use a phone, instead of MS Word you should use a word processor machine or typewriter, instead of iphoto or aperture we should all just go back to using a darkroom and smelly chemicals, instead of itunes we should just buy a big old jukebox and buy music from Tower Records, instead of iMovie or Finalcut lets go back to physically editing (cutting and splicing) the Quadruplex 2" tape, yipee! Instead of garage band or protools...well you get the picture.

Computers do many things that used to be done by other technologies/discrete devices. Some of those things I would submit to you computers have improved on, others still need work. So I don't think the Jack of all n Master of none necessarily always applies.

gregorsamsa
Apr 25, 2007, 05:23 PM
But are any of them Dell or HP? Or smaller manufacturers?

The only list I have immediately at hand is from PC Pro, edition July 2006. There are no Dells or HPs here, but the PCs from Vantage, Mesh, Evesham, Carrera, etc. have respectively: Nvidia 7900 GT, 7600 GT, 7600 GT, 7900 GT. All priced below 1,000 &, bear in mind, reviewed 10 months ago.

I don't necessarily expect Apple to offer similar graphics (for eg. the quite powerful GT 7900) on their iMacs, but I think their closed-off architecture renders the X1600 as poor value by today's standards.

FWIW, I'll be buying a computer this summer (to complement my Mac laptop). I'm hoping that Apple will update the iMac's graphics by then, rather than delaying until October. But whatever happens re those updates, I certainly won't wait beyond June's WWDC to get a computer with better than X1600 graphics.

Eraserhead
Apr 25, 2007, 05:49 PM
The only list I have immediately at hand is from PC Pro, edition July 2006. There are no Dells or HPs here, but the PCs from Vantage, Mesh, Evesham, Carrera, etc. have respectively: Nvidia 7900 GT, 7600 GT, 7600 GT, 7900 GT. All priced below £1,000 &, bear in mind, reviewed 10 months ago.

Yes, but these are all pretty small manufacturers on a global scale, who have made a specific PC as a "gaming PC", review PC's for magazines are advertising and the prices are better than if you custom configure one on their website.

FWIW Right now I can get to £770 with an 8600GT/2GB RAM/250GB HD/Vista Home Premium from Evesham (http://www.evesham.com/products/configurator/default.asp?e=5D0D4BBD-294C-4BAD-8C5E-B6831EB2ECBD), so it's a cheaper than the Dell, and isn't too bad.

The computers from Dell or Evesham which cost about £770-£800 aren't bad and will run games pretty well, but the only thing I've upgraded in these configurations is the graphics card (and the RAM on the evesham), the Hard Drive, Processor are all standard.

The other problem is if you look at the graphics card options for the evesham, how the hell am I supposed to know which one to get? (Other than the price). I don't have a clue how a 8600GT and an 8600GTS compare, how is your average customer going to know?


NVIDIA GeForce 6100 on board graphics [£0.00]
256MB DDR NVIDIA 7500 PCI-Express Graphics [£34.99]
256MB DDR NVIDIA 8500GT PCI-Express Graphics [£64.99]
256MB DDR NVIDIA 8600GT PCI-Express Graphics [£104.99]
256MB DDR NVIDIA 8600GTS PCI-Express Graphics [£135.00]
320MB DDR NVIDIA 8800GTS PCI-Express Graphics [£209.98]
640MB DDR NVIDIA 8600GTS PCI-Express Graphics [£334.99]
512MB DDR ATI Radeon X1950XTX PCI-Express Graphics [£424.99]
768MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce PX8800GTX PCI-E Graphics [£434.99]


FWIW I play PC games multiplayer networked regularly, it's great fun and I really enjoy it, but PC gaming is dying. A bog standard PC from Dell or PC World doesn't come with a good graphics card, and consoles are much cheaper than a gaming PC, especially as even pretty cheap computers are perfectly fast enough for everyday usage.

gregorsamsa
Apr 25, 2007, 07:37 PM
You've made some good, thought-provoking points in that all these impressive PC specs are quite relative to an overall bigger picture. But, as I said, I'm not expecting Apple to compete with all these PC companies with parity on all components. My issue is with the X1600 & that it can't even handle Mac-native games such as AOE3 on the highest settings.

The other problem is if you look at the graphics card options for the evesham, how the hell am I supposed to know which one to get? (Other than the price). I don't have a clue how a 8600GT and an 8600GTS compare, how is your average customer going to know?

I agree. I assume that the average customer wouldn't have a clue. But with MS trumping up the importance of Vista's DirectX 10 to the future of PC gaming, I imagine that most serious PC gamers will have a fair idea about those video cards.

BTW, I always advise people buying PCs to get the best graphics they can afford, but avoid the most expensive, cutting-edge video cards. They'll come down in price soon enough & they can always upgrade later.

FWIW I play PC games multiplayer networked regularly, it's great fun and I really enjoy it, but PC gaming is dying. A bog standard PC from Dell or PC World doesn't come with a good graphics card, and consoles are much cheaper than a gaming PC, especially as even pretty cheap computers are perfectly fast enough for everyday usage.

FWIW, I'd no more buy a PC from PCW than I would a Mac.

I think it's in decline, but not terminally so. IMO, PC gaming appeals to a different part of the gaming market from consoles. I'd even say that PS3 & Xbox 360 appeal to a different part of the gaming market compared to Nintendo's Wii. I also think that the cake is big enough to go around, & it's likely to get even bigger in the years to come. IMO, Apple are certainly missing out here. - But perhaps they simply don't care.

whooleytoo
Apr 25, 2007, 07:45 PM
The Mac is a personal computer, and the personal computer is still the ultimate general-purpose device. To de-emphasize any part of this range of functionality is to limit the Mac's growth.

Exactly.

If you want a graphics/design machine you'd probably opt for a Mac, but you could get by with a PC with little difficulty. However if you want a gaming machine, you'd go for a PC and a Mac wouldn't suffice.

Most people would opt for the machine that can do everything even if it isn't optimal at every single task.

Gasu E.
Apr 26, 2007, 08:13 AM
Sure, the Mac's share does suffer from the relative dearth of native gaming titles. However, I'd like to see some evidence that the gaming market is driven by hard-core gamers who need the ultimate performance. Even integrated graphics are good enough for the vast majority of consumers to enjoy the vast majority of games. I think it's the Mac's small share, the cost of porting, and the cost of stocking dual inventory that really matter, by making the economics look unattractive to game developers. What Apple really needs to do is come up with tools that make it a no-brainer for the original developer to deliver a dual-platform kit in the first place.

KurtangleTN
Apr 29, 2007, 09:55 AM
I think Apple is really losing out on some marketshare by ignoring gamers. I have so many friends who want to make the switch, but look at how you can spend $1300 for a horrible integrated graphics card on a Macbook, and the MBP is out of their budget.

I wish they made another class that was geared to gamers, in-between the iMac and Mac Pro. It could be a real nice card thats not outdated in a year in an AIO or a mid-range tower.

gMacs baby.

Or at least just allow a bit more options when buying a Mac in terms of video. 17 inch screen and the rest of the specs on the starter iMac are really fine for me, but if I really want a good card I have to go to the 24 inch, which is very overkill for me, and out of my range.

Freyqq
Apr 29, 2007, 11:28 AM
i don't get it...if you want to game so badly on a mac install windows on it..

diamond.g
Apr 30, 2007, 08:08 AM
While it would be nice for Apple to get into the gaming scene I don't think they will.

1. Mac Pro uses Xeon Chipset. Show me a Xeon that supports Crossfire or SLI. Go ahead, I'll wait...

2. OpenGL currently lacks the ability to report what features are supported in hardware. That means if you have a card that doesn't support say Instancing you CPU does all the work. DX tells the game what features your card supports so things that are ran are actually being ran on the card not the CPU. That makes the lives of devs far easier when trying to track down what feature is slowing the game down too much and has to be looked at.

3. PC games aren't dying. They just aren't getting the same level of press like console games. Which is understandable. Console games does rake in more dough. But that hasn't stopped MS from trying to get game development suites cross platform (XNA anyone??).

4. IMHO, Apple probably couldn't afford to keep up with the pace of hardware in the PC gaming world. I notice ppl here are super excited about the HD2600XT, why? How come you guys aren't petitioning for the 8800GTX? Shoot the iMac could be using a Go 7900GTX, but it isn't, why? From my understanding it runs in Linux just fine, why not OS X?

Aside from that I love how everyone is all like get a console to game on. Not realizing currently the only console worth getting thus far is either the PS2 or the 360. You guys here seem the dislike MS enough, so why would you buy their console. Currently the PS3 isn't much of an option (not a lot of games) and the Wii is pretty freaking hard to get a hold of.

applekid
Apr 30, 2007, 10:50 AM
While it would be nice for Apple to get into the gaming scene I don't think they will.

1. Mac Pro uses Xeon Chipset. Show me a Xeon that supports Crossfire or SLI. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Google search and I found an Xeon SLI workstation, to my own surprise, too: http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.asp?PRID=4384

Not so much luck on finding a Xeon-Crossfire system :)

3. PC games aren't dying. They just aren't getting the same level of press like console games. Which is understandable. Console games does rake in more dough. But that hasn't stopped MS from trying to get game development suites cross platform (XNA anyone??).

You may be right, but things have certainly died down since Doom III and Half Life 2 being hailed as next-gen engines. There's also a lot of ports from consoles to PCs, which hasn't worked out well (namely Capcom ports). Not to mention a game like World of WarCraft occupies most people's time now. I won't be surprised if Microsoft or someone else comes back to the PC gaming scene, guns blazing, but there certainly are a few hurdles to get back to PC gaming.

4. IMHO, Apple probably couldn't afford to keep up with the pace of hardware in the PC gaming world. I notice ppl here are super excited about the HD2600XT, why? How come you guys aren't petitioning for the 8800GTX? Shoot the iMac could be using a Go 7900GTX, but it isn't, why? From my understanding it runs in Linux just fine, why not OS X?

Apple has proven it can and can't keep up pace. The nVidia GeForce 3 was a Mac-exclusive for a short time, and we've had our share of Quake 3 and Halo demos at MacWorld. Apple on the other hand cannot keep its graphics card drivers up to date, unless there is more of a push from developers. Blizzard basically forced Apple into getting SMP OpenGL, and when UT2K3 was released, MacSoft forced Apple to update drivers.

I agree the 8800GTX should come our way, but I somehow don't see a mobile chip having staying power in the iMac. The X1600 arguably might be the mobile chipset in the iMac, but the 7300 or 7600 in the iMac might be an indication of things to come. Not to mention, new GPUs mean Apple needs to have new products in the pipeline. The iMac hasn't been updated recently, so no new chip.

This is why hardware upgradability is an important factor for Mac gaming, but it's too expensive since that's requiers Mac Pro. The other is just the sheer lack of developers. Those are the two main factors, as I see it.

diamond.g
Apr 30, 2007, 11:45 AM
Google search and I found an Xeon SLI workstation, to my own surprise, too: http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.asp?PRID=4384

Not so much luck on finding a Xeon-Crossfire system :)

Hmm, interesting. I believe that the MacPro uses LGA771 socket. The board linked is for the 604 pin variant (not C2D tech). Nvidia does have SLI, but it seems to be for AMD systems (looking at their website). But now I am interested in looking. Still pretty sure Intel doesn't have a SLI chipset and I am pretty sure Apple wont go with anyones chipset/logicboard but Intels.


Apple has proven it can and can't keep up pace. The nVidia GeForce 3 was a Mac-exclusive for a short time, and we've had our share of Quake 3 and Halo demos at MacWorld. Apple on the other hand cannot keep its graphics card drivers up to date, unless there is more of a push from developers. Blizzard basically forced Apple into getting SMP OpenGL, and when UT2K3 was released, MacSoft forced Apple to update drivers.

Which I think is sad on Apples part. Apple doesn't support OGL 2.0 yet do they?


I agree the 8800GTX should come our way, but I somehow don't see a mobile chip having staying power in the iMac. The X1600 arguably might be the mobile chipset in the iMac, but the 7300 or 7600 in the iMac might be an indication of things to come. Not to mention, new GPUs mean Apple needs to have new products in the pipeline. The iMac hasn't been updated recently, so no new chip.

AFAIK the Go 7900GTX has been around for a while. But I can understand Apples reluctance to make the iMac faster than the Mac Pro in graphics related items. Coupled with the higher power draw (thus higher heat envelope) the 7600GT is a probably good choice.


This is why hardware upgradability is an important factor for Mac gaming, but it's too expensive since that's requiers Mac Pro. The other is just the sheer lack of developers. Those are the two main factors, as I see it.

Well publishers would stand up and notice the Mac community if every Mac owner purchased a specific game (say every Mac owner has WoW). Publishers like having a consistent userbase. We Mac ppl may complain about having no games but if we don't buy the existing games in droves publishers wont be interested in catering to us (in terms of the most popular franchises).
Developers really only push games on platforms that the publishers feel there will be a godd return in (hence lots of PC games getting console counterparts).

Roderick Usher
Apr 30, 2007, 01:40 PM
i don't get it...if you want to game so badly on a mac install windows on it..
This does not help the Mac platform in any way. The usefulness of an OS is defined mainly by what software is natively available for it, and this includes games. Switching to another OS to play games does nothing to encourage game development for the OS that you'd rather stay in 100% of the time.

diamond.g
Apr 30, 2007, 04:32 PM
This does not help the Mac platform in any way. The usefulness of an OS is defined mainly by what software is natively available for it, and this includes games. Switching to another OS to play games does nothing to encourage game development for the OS that you'd rather stay in 100% of the time.

Agreed.

sikkinixx
Apr 30, 2007, 04:36 PM
Is gaming on a Mac worth it to develop since Apple holds ~4% of the computer market?

psychofreak
Apr 30, 2007, 04:39 PM
Is gaming on a Mac worth it to develop since Apple holds ~4% of the computer market?

Yes, but a higher percentage of macs are decent gaming machines than windows machines.

Also, if you get an unopened market, you could easily capture most of the mac-gamers, while the PC market is oversaturated in almost every genre.

Eric5h5
Apr 30, 2007, 04:52 PM
Also, if you get an unopened market, you could easily capture most of the mac-gamers, while the PC market is oversaturated in almost every genre.

This is true. There are cases of shareware games that have both PC and Mac versions, and the Mac version will actually sell more (that's probably not common, but it has happened). Some cross-platform online games have much more than 4% of the player base on Macs.

--Eric

MacsRgr8
May 4, 2007, 04:30 PM
What about sound...?

Ofcourse grfx are of immense importance, but one of the other reasons why gaming on a PC is better than on a Mac, is the use of sound cards.
Not only can they support decoding of Dolby 5.1 surround sound (which can be VERY cool in games!), but also helps the performance.

Because the Mac Pro only has PCI-E slots, no Soundblaster X-Fi orso card can be installed.

diamond.g
May 4, 2007, 07:16 PM
What about sound...?

Ofcourse grfx are of immense importance, but one of the other reasons why gaming on a PC is better than on a Mac, is the use of sound cards.
Not only can they support decoding of Dolby 5.1 surround sound (which can be VERY cool in games!), but also helps the performance.

Because the Mac Pro only has PCI-E slots, no Soundblaster X-Fi orso card can be installed.

Well thanks to Vista OpenAL has more of a fighting chance now. As long as Apple supports OpenAL they should be fine.