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View Full Version : What Is Preventing Mac From Being A Dedicated Game Platform?




Demetrio OS
May 7, 2007, 02:25 PM
I switched to Mac 2 years ago. I got a Powerbook. I play WoW on it and I am pretty happy.

But, I wonder what is Mac "lacking" from making it a gaming platform choice.



FullCollapse
May 7, 2007, 02:30 PM
developers don't want to make a mac version of their games because most gamers are playing on windows based machines. the gain from the mac audience i guess isn't large enough to compensate for the development costs. it seems like this is becoming less the case now that macs run intel processors.

plus, the lack of upgradeable hardware and not particularly great graphics cards is also a big problem in the gaming aspect.

nick004
May 7, 2007, 03:38 PM
This is why I love Blizzard :) Great Mac support + awesome games. Been hooked ever since I pitted my human fighters against smelly orcs in Warcraft I. Although admittedly not on a Mac at that time :P

synth3tik
May 7, 2007, 03:40 PM
They need market volume. The amount of Mac user that are gamers are not enough for them to justify adding a whole software development team.

plinden
May 7, 2007, 04:00 PM
I think it's more likely to do with lack of experience in programming on Macs - if you compare recent console sales (US March figures (http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2007/04/march_npd_game_console_sales_f.html)), the total for the four best selling is barely 4 times more than the number of Macs sold (they're monthly figures compared to quarterly for the Mac, so I'm only guesstimating 2.4million consoles vs 600k Macs in the US.)

And sales of individual consoles is comparable to Mac sales. (All this is handwaving, by the way. Despite much lower hardware sales, sales of console games far outstrips PC games sales)

Still, enterprising games developers could stand to make lots of money off Mac sales if they made the effort.

But ... as for a Mac being a "dedicated" games machine ... not going to happen. A few more games for casual gamers would be good, but really, if you want a dedicated games machine, build your own PC.

PlaceofDis
May 7, 2007, 04:05 PM
This is why I love Blizzard :) Great Mac support + awesome games. Been hooked ever since I pitted my human fighters against smelly orcs in Warcraft I. Although admittedly not on a Mac at that time :P

blizzard is the exception. and they get a boatload of followers because of their Mac Support. i don't understand why they can co-develop for two platforms, but other developers can't.

Schmittroth
May 7, 2007, 05:15 PM
It's called DirectX people. That is the number 1 reason you won't see so many games on a Mac. B and C level developers aren't interested in the tougher to use API that OpenGL has. Also there are more features in video cards that developers can take advantage with DirectX.

Mavimao
May 7, 2007, 05:20 PM
It's called DirectX people. That is the number 1 reason you won't see so many games on a Mac. B and C level developers aren't interested in the tougher to use API that OpenGL has. Also there are more features in video cards that developers can take advantage with DirectX.

QTF

BornAgainMac
May 7, 2007, 05:44 PM
I wish I had actual numbers but I want to disagree that low revenue would be a reason. When I go to CompUSA, I see a couple of crappy games and a few really good games. Some games like Unreal 2004 have been on the shelfs for years. When you buy PC games, you have so much selection and within 6 months to a year it is in the bargin bin. Then factor in piracy is going to be higher on Windows.

I really think Mac games make more profit than the same game in Windows. It is just people get hung up on that 5% crap. They forget that 5% may generate 30% to 40% of their revenue for the product. Example I read that Office 2004 represented 13% of all Office sales over a year ago. A good game will make money on the Mac because the selection is terrible so people will more than likely purchase that game compared to Solitare on Mac or Checkers for Babies.

Also remember that games like StarCraft or Diablo II are multi-format games. But when it is registered for sale it probably is considered a Windows game purchase.

FullCollapse
May 7, 2007, 07:23 PM
This is why I love Blizzard :) Great Mac support + awesome games. Been hooked ever since I pitted my human fighters against smelly orcs in Warcraft I. Although admittedly not on a Mac at that time :P

yeah, blizzard is great. i'm really hoping starcraft 2 will be the project they publicly announce on the 20th.

ezekielrage_99
May 7, 2007, 07:27 PM
It's called DirectX people. That is the number 1 reason you won't see so many games on a Mac. B and C level developers aren't interested in the tougher to use API that OpenGL has. Also there are more features in video cards that developers can take advantage with DirectX.

But DirectX 10 is rubbish.....

killr_b
May 7, 2007, 07:35 PM
Game developers choose DirectX. That's just how it is. And from the guys I talk to, they aren't planning a change.

Hence bootcamp! Yay!

ezekielrage_99
May 7, 2007, 10:31 PM
Game developers choose DirectX. That's just how it is. And from the guys I talk to, they aren't planning a change.

Hence bootcamp! Yay!

Yeah Bootcamp is good I think that could change a lot of people's attitudes when a Mac is seen as a games machine.

Better processors and graphics cards isn't bad either.

But forr running games in Mac OSX that's still up to Developers, Blizzard is one company whicha has always had good Mac support (I know people have mentioned that before).

pilotError
May 7, 2007, 11:53 PM
Market share.

Nuff said.

Direct X is pretty good, but if there was a compelling Market to go after, the hounds would be let loose.

Even the Wii has made a turnaround. You see developers getting pulled off of XBox and PS3 projects just to go for the quick buck.

When Big Steve intro'd the iPhone, they talked about what market to go after next. They put up a couple of slides of the gaming market and decided that it really wasn't that big after all. It was dwarfed by the phone market, thats why you didn't see an Apple gaming console.

bmb012
May 8, 2007, 01:01 AM
Funny, too, because with how standardized the mac platform is, if a developer built a game from the ground up for OS X, they would be able optimize code for the far more standardized hardware far easier than a developer could for windows boxes.

2ndPath
May 8, 2007, 10:06 AM
I think it's more likely to do with lack of experience in programming on Macs - if you compare recent console sales (US March figures (http://www.bynkii.com/archives/2007/04/march_npd_game_console_sales_f.html)), the total for the four best selling is barely 4 times more than the number of Macs sold (they're monthly figures compared to quarterly for the Mac, so I'm only guesstimating 2.4million consoles vs 600k Macs in the US.)

And sales of individual consoles is comparable to Mac sales. (All this is handwaving, by the way. Despite much lower hardware sales, sales of console games far outstrips PC games sales)

Funny, too, because with how standardized the mac platform is, if a developer built a game from the ground up for OS X, they would be able optimize code for the far more standardized hardware far easier than a developer could for windows boxes.

You cannot really compare consoles to Macs. First of all, only a small fraction of the Macs and other PCs is bought primarily for gaming while essentially every console is bought for gaming. This means the effective size of the market for games is smaller for computers even if their number equals the number of the consoles sold.

Secondly consoles have standardized hardware. And this is not a limited set of components as in the Macs, but almost exactly the same hardware in one generation of a console: A PS2 bought 5 years ago is essentially the same as one bought today. Macs might have less variety in hardware than other PCs, but still differ strongly in performance even between the currently sold models. And if you compare these to those sold over the last 5 years, there is a large variety in hardware with large disparities in performance. This prevents efficient coding to the degree it is done on consoles.

Thus the Mac games market is probably best compared to the Windows games market. And in this comparison the difference in size is a big disadvantage for games on the Mac. Things like DirectX make cross-platform development more difficult, which again is a problem for the Mac. Another disadvantage for the Mac is probably that many gamers on Windows are the kind of people, who upgrade their machines regularly to keep up with the latest games. For these people the Apples hardware philosophy of all-in-one designs doesn't fit.

combatcolin
May 8, 2007, 10:34 AM
Steve Jobs.

He doesn't play games so neither can you.

Bill Gates.

He dosn't play games, but is smart enough to realise that other people do.

CanadaRAM
May 8, 2007, 10:44 AM
Steve Jobs.

He doesn't play games so neither can you.

Bill Gates.

He dosn't play games, but is smart enough to realise that other people do.

Neither of these dudes produce games....

OccamsAftrshave
May 8, 2007, 05:48 PM
B and C level developers aren't interested in the tougher to use API that OpenGL has. Also there are more features in video cards that developers can take advantage with DirectX."Longs Peak", due this summer, will completely revamp OpenGL API's from the ground up, and "Mt Evans" will have all the Direct3D 10 hardware/card support and is due October (coincident with Leopard.)
Should be a full match for DirectX10 and ports should be easier.
Plus there is Cider (http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/gameroom/index.php).

LaDirection
May 8, 2007, 09:36 PM
People want to make money, look at EA with the iPod. If there was money to be made on Mac gaming, people would flock to it. The sad truth is that while a PC hot title sells millionsof copies, a hot Mac title sells thousands. Mac gaming barely break even on most titles which is why Aspyr, the #1 Mac game company started branching out on PC titles a few years ago.

A recent survey showed that 55% of people buying Macs are over 50 y old, not your average Half Life players. Many are graphic/video/music artists who won't install games on their machines. What you have left is a very small market indeed.

I remember playing Raven Shield online. The PC versions had thousands of people playing online at any given time, the Mac version never had more than 20 players connected!

The only game market that really flourishes on Mac is the casual game market (Zuma, Bejeweled, etc).

As long as vast majority of the 15-30 y old male market remains on PCk, you won't see many top of the line title being ported (along with the various engine technologies necessary).

contoursvt
May 8, 2007, 11:11 PM
But DirectX 10 is rubbish.....

Ya just keep telling yourself that while the rest of the planet plays some visually incredible games.

Bigheadache
May 8, 2007, 11:13 PM
Bootcamp makes the whole Mac gaming issue go away doesn't it? As people already mentioned, lack of marketshare and DirectX makes Mac OS less attractive for gaming, but really using Bootcamp gets you around all of that.

contoursvt
May 8, 2007, 11:15 PM
Neither of these dudes produce games....

Microsoft does have PC game titles. They may not do the actual production but at least microsoft releases stuff under their own branding.

combatcolin
May 9, 2007, 11:51 AM
Neither of these dudes produce games....

As i said, Steve and Bill don't play games - but Bill at least has figured out that other people do and there money to be made there.

You could almost imagine hoards of Apple employees playing WOW on there lunchbreak, but then flicking over to iPhoto because , "Hey! thats what Macs are good at!" when Steve walks past.

;)

I like Mac's, and whenever Apple make a decent Mac for the computer enthusiast again I'll renter the fold - till then the only Apple hardware im buying is a new iPod when mine breaks.

Jack Flash
May 9, 2007, 12:47 PM
When the majority of Macs sold come with a GMA 950, it's hard to consider the platform "serious" for gaming. Also consider that the MacPro comes with a 7300GT. That graphics card is ancient by gaming standards and it is in the top-of-the-line machine!

Better video hardware is the first step, in my opinion.

Roderick Usher
May 9, 2007, 04:33 PM
Neither of these dudes produce games....
LOL, what? (http://www.microsoft.com/games/) MS does a ton of actual game development as well as publishing.

Also, Macworld had a recent article (http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/gameroom/2007/01/vista/index.php) that I thought summarized fairly well why Mac gaming is in the state that it is.

Bootcamp makes the whole Mac gaming issue go away doesn't it?
Not at all. Reverting to Windows to play games does absolutely nothing for the strength of OS X in terms of its native software library - which includes games.

Chone
May 9, 2007, 07:20 PM
In a nutshell: Apple Inc.

That is why Mac isn't a viable gaming platform and the things look now, it doesn't seem like the situation will change anytime soon.

1. DirectX is the best and most known graphics API in the market and it is Microsoft proprietary.

2. Steve Jobs hates 3D, this is why a MacBook comes with a shoddy GMA 950 and a $2500 Mac Pro comes with a 7300GT

3. No Mac, except the 2500$ workstation, can be upgraded... this means even if the cards were good they would suck long term.

4. Macs have enough gamers to appeal to casual or moderate gamers. Most people with desires to play all the latest games will actually be *glad* to play their games in WinXP (which is a MUCH better gaming platform than OSX in terms of features, performance and flexibility).

5. Parallels and VMWare virtual machines are already starting to implement 3D acceleration.

So basically, don't expect to see much more native games than we see now, that X1600 in the iMacs and MBP are lousy mid range at best and while its enough to play games, it won't cut it a few months from now. Don't even get me talking on the GMA 950.

Basically there is no market and for those hardcore gamers, companies are just going to say, oh let them use bootcamp, for the casual gamers they are just going to say, well enough games are already ported to appease those crowds.

It is all Apple's fault really, if they really wanted they could have a great gaming market, they just need to make the right decisions but obviously Steve Jobs doesn't think gaming an important market for Apple.

Dont Hurt Me
May 9, 2007, 07:24 PM
Apple missed the gaming thingy by their own hand. Anyone have a tune :eek: