How Apple can solve the Game Problem

Discussion in 'Games' started by combatcolin, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Apple can quite easily bury the MAc's bad reputation for gaming within 6 months - how?

    Money, and not that much of it.

    What Apple need to to is co-fund the Mac development of a new title - as it stands now it cost £££ (or $$$ or whatever currancy) to convert over a title and most companys are not willing to invest money into such a small (but loyal) market.

    If apple stumped up the money for the mac version of "FPS 2005" its creators could easily break into a small, but loyal, market without breaking a finaicial sweat.

    When the game starts selling Apple get a % of its income, but more importantly, increase the amount of Games out there.

    I remember back in 1998 when i bought my ist gen iMac that it would herald a new age of Mac gaming, surpassing the golden age of the late 80's.

    And look what (mostly didn't) happen.

    (BTW, first thread psoting so be gentle!!!) :D
  2. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2004
    Moorlough Shore
    Why could Steve's Pixar not get more involved in game porting or even producing ? Maybe a crazy question but there are so many amazing things coming out of those studios... who knows.
  3. ijimk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2004
    I think all that needs to be done is most devolping companies just needs to be exactly like blizzard when coding their games(blizzard codes games for PC and MAC simutaneously). :cool:
  4. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    Apple needs to have a hardware sound card before the Mac can even be considered as a serious gaming platform. But because Apple has a deal with the Beatles where it can't make any hardware sound cards, they will need to go to Nvidia or Creative and buy the chips off them. This will allow Mac gamers to play games at similar speeds to PC users, so the CPU will no longer be doing all the sound work.
  5. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I don't think that's much of an issue. The main reason Mac games are slow compared to PC is that most games are all written for DirectX, which the Mac can't use. So, they have to be translated to use OpenGL instead. And because most games are written for PCs and for DirectX, graphics card producers (ATI & NVidea) always optimize their cards for primarily DirectX. OpenGL is an afterthought. Since games now heavily utilize pixel and vertex shaders, the translation issue is only getting worse. With the dual G5s, for the most part CPU speed is no longer an issue for Mac games, it's the GPU that's the problem. Apple can help by doing more to optimize OpenGL for their part, but there's only so much that can be done there (OpenGL has already been considerably optimized over the last several years of OS X development). Plus, we Mac users usually don't even have access to the latest and greatest GPUs, even if we were willing to pay for them, so we're always using "yesterday's" hardware. Apple's insistence on using proprietary connects such as the ADC port forced GPU manufacturers to create special (and more expensive) Mac editions of their Mac cards, and now they're lagging behind on adopting PCI Express.

    They have $5.5 billion cash in the bank. They should get serious and buy Blizzard and EA or something. Now I know technically Blizzard is no longer officially for sale by Vivendi Universal, but offered enough cash, anything is possible. And EA has something like $2.4 billion in cash themselves. So obviously it wouldn't be easy but yeah, I believe Apple needs to send out a shockwave or things are never going to change. They made a successful foray into the music world with the iPod/iTMS, why not games now? What about their own game console or handheld? Apple has come a long way since the dazed & confused days of the ill-fated Pippen. Where's my GamePod! Apple has already trampled over Sony's Walkman line with the iPod, now do it to the PSP.
  6. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    Or someone should just invent a ubiquitous code translator. . . that can translate and maximize code for any system! (except windows cause M$ doesnt like to share their code) then it would be CHEAPER to build a game fur lunix, mac, java or any other computer EXCEPT M$! plus PC gamers would like it because they would have a more stable machine and could more easily customize what is on the computer (or more importantly what is NOT on the computer) by getting rid of all the pointless dumb things installed with windows.
  7. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2004
    Moorlough Shore
    What did Bill pay for Bungie ? Owise fully agree would be nice to see more games written for OS X rather than having to be ported.With the iMac, more potential gamers are hitting town so Apple needs to look seriously at this.
  8. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    Or, Apple could just use the money to create a Gaming division and create an Apple line of games. Microsoft did it and has great games Like Age Of Empires, HALO etc..
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Actually the studios are looking at their own game companies.

    So Pixar buying/starting their own game studio to put out some type of games for the Mac platform may help -- especially if they work with Apple to build the Mac into a game platform.

    Or simple port Direct X to the Mac, or make a true (easy way) for the porting houses to port Direct X games to OpenGL/Quicktime without rewriting any code.

    Not exactly easy, but awhile ago I thought some of the GCC folks were talking about whether it would be worth the effort to intercept the x86's inline assembler code for the x86 SIMD units and have the compiler convert them directly to the PPC/Altivec.

    There's a bit of stuff that can be done to make cross-compiling applications easier that would help, don't think Apple took the bait.
  10. Dalriada macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2004
    Moorlough Shore
    Exactly and use a prestigious name like Pixar. With the limited graphics (time being) on the iMac any bad port of a popular PC game will hurt.
  11. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    well apple also needs to change some things if they want to stand a chance at gaming compainies to start taking them seirously they should start putting or offering REAL graphic card in there lower end system. Not just there top end power macs.
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Ideally, more games would be coded for Mac rather than ported. As others have said, that would go a long way towards making games on the Mac a no-compromise experience. Things are better now than in the 90's, but I think that it will take some kind of further commitment from Apple to really achieve some parity with PC's - I like the idea others mention about buying a game developer. I think it would work. Wouldn't it be nice to see a Game of the Year written by an Apple owned game developer that did a simultaneous (or Mac first) release of a game that ran just as well on a Mac as on PCs?

    Also, it's important that we see more retail video card options, or at least more OEM options. Apple is moving in the right direction there, but there is definitely room for improvement. I understand that ATI and nVidia are ultimately responsible for the cards, but if Apple doesn't show interest then they won't either.
  13. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    to answer the original question most succinctly, Apple must first:

    1. Give a crap about gaming or gamers or games.

    2. [doesn't matter because 1. will never happen]
  14. combatcolin thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK

    This would be a very, very good idea.

    Its not the quality of Mac games, its the quantity, ironically what we need are loads of bog standard games - the sort that cram game shop shelves and are 10 to the penny.

    And how much did the Apple U2 cost?
  15. weldon macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I think the best move would be to start a game publishing division. Apple doesn't need to hire all the programmers and keep an in-house games studio busy with a full pipeline of projects. Rather, they could concentrate on marketing, promotion, and distribution (which they are arguably quite good at) and contract with developers that want to produce Mac games. I think the biggest hurdle would be that they would need to produce games for both Mac, PC, and console platforms if they were going to publish original titles.

    Spock had the right idea with using Microsoft Games as a model. Of course, they have the Xbox platform to work with also.
  16. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    London, England
    thats the reason why apple isnt a gaming platform. if apple wanted to be a good gaming platform they would just need to push that area of the market like they have done with the ipod and make serious headways in the market within a few years. but we would never see that as mac's are more of a professional machine and do what they do very well. quite frankly it doesnt really bother me. i have my playstation 2 for playing games and it does it really well as that is what it was designed for!
  17. dermeister macrumors 6502


    Jan 19, 2003
    640x480 hates you.
  18. Edot macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2002
    Microsoft DID NOT create Halo. It was created by a company called Bungie, and the game was originally being developed for the Mac. MS bought Bungie to release Halo on their Xbox gaming system.
  19. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003

    Here's a solution that will solve everybody's problems in an instant... Use the Search feature in this forum and find the answers to questions that have been asked. combatcolin, I'm not blaming you for anything, since your new around here, but, to everyone else, how many times do we get similar threads? I think we've replied to similar threads at least 30 times since I started looking at the Mac Gaming Forum often. Too many things we repeated. I encourage everyone to start searching for your answers before posting a redundant thread.

    The three most repetitive threads we get are (in no particular order) an solution for the lack of games on the Mac, something related to a Blizzard game, and a request or question about a game that hasn't been released multiple times (one time is alright, but when you have two or three threads that are active and about the same single game, someone needs to consolidate them or it's a confusing mess).

    No more! Please! Thank you.
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's especially interesting when the threads are right next to each other. How difficult is it to read? :D

    Maybe, Apple should put some money into seeding the game market. I would certainly be more willing to develop for money. ;)
  21. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    I never realised the lack of a sound card in Macs was due to Apple Corps, but you're probably right :p

    Gaming on a Mac isn't great because of:

    1) Lack of sound card (meaning CPU has to be used instead of processing other info)

    2) Direct X not being available on Macs and poor porting of games to OpenGL

    3) Crap video cards in consumer Macs with limited video RAM

    Apple may not be able to do much about 1 and 2 but they could do something about the third option. I think the lack of games is less of an issue because most of the popular games do come out for Mac (eventually).

    I still say buying a console is the best and cheapest option.
  22. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    Macs definitely have some sort of on-board audio system. It's not an audio accelerator/card/processor, but yes, there definitely is something for the audio in and out on all Macs. It's definitely not an all software solution by any stretch of the imagination. By going with what was said in this thread about how Apple Corps possibly affected the Macs from getting any audio support, you'd be denying the existence of any audio support on the Mac at all. Now, I could be wrong, but I remember reading the Macs have some cheap generic audio support. Also, I really don't know what the full conditions of the Apple Corps. agreement was. Not to mention, there have been a few sound cards released (the Revolution 7.1 and the 5.1 and the old SoundBlaster that had OS 9 drivers).

    Is it just me, or does nobody remember the good ol' days? When both Macs and PCs were beige boxes and we used... FLOPPY DISKS... Windows was at 3.1 at the time and the Mac was in 7.5.x. I remember reading on my kiddie game boxes that the PC version required a SoundBlaster compatible sound card in order to play with sound when the Mac had no need for any audio card since we had built-in audio!

    I just wanted to add a new comment about this whole porting ordeal we always seem to talk about: I get the impression many of you blame the porters for doing a terrible job porting the game (not directly from this thread, but from past threads). Well, I want any of you that believe that to step down from your opinion. Porting houses often get any of these or a combination of these:

    - Only parts of the source code that the developer and publisher agrees to release
    - Publishers from the PC side will set up times that projects must be completed in
    - A porting budget is pretty tight

    Really, I would like for some of you to imagine reading literally millions of lines of code, re-writing it into for Mac-supported APIs and optimizing it all in a matter of six months. Tricky? Well, the porting houses mange to do a decent job for what they're given, so stop giving them a hard time. I have found through Mac Gaming Forum that Mac Gamers are one whiny bunch! Sheesh! :p But it seems only to be this forum since we do have casual gamers, I'll blame them instead. ;)

    Johnnyjibbs, I can say 3 is definitely false. VRAM affects resolution and textures more, not overall performance of the graphics card. Apple is basically the same as the rest of the PC market when you look at VRAM alone. I still see 32 MB cards and definitely 64 MB cards, but often they are Intel Integrated types, to cut costs even further. 128 and 256 MB cards are on the high-end as expected. 2 is pretty subjective, and 1 is mostly false. A sound card would help much more when a game supports high end encoders (or would decoders be the terminology in this case? Like Dolby 5.1, etc.) than when you are getting your basic stereo sound. UT2K4 shouldn't eating up so much of your CPU for sound alone (dual processor machines should be able to show this. The spare processor will process sound and it shouldn't be a high figure at all). If a game like UT2K4 isn't eating up that much CPU power, none of the current or past games should be. So I find sound cards to be a luxury on both PCs and Mac, and less of a necessity.

    I definitely see underclocking a graphics card leads to problems for us gamers. Think, we might actually be tied in certain benchmarks or even jumping ahead! (That may be wishful though) However, I have read somewhere Apple needs to underclock the cards not only because of possible heat/noise issues, but they sometimes make artifacts and random pixels appear; symptoms of an overclocked card! :eek: I don't know why that's happening, but that appears to be a bigger part of the reason. For those of you with an underclocked graphics card, try clocking it to the PC counterparts clockspeeds. I suspect you will see some artifacts and pixels in games. Please confirm or disprove my hypothesis for those of you that are willing to risk it. I would like to honestly know.

    I'll just say this statement, I've repeated a few times, once again: The gaming market on the PC is still miniscule in comparison to the whole general PC market and even when compared to the console market. Bringing all of the PC gamers to the Mac platform will add about 5% of what we have now. Not quite worth the costs in my opinion. And, using a Mac or PC as a gaming platform is not profitable unless you inflate your price like Alienware, when you compare it to a console. Just watch, consoles will be the gaming machine of choice, not the PC soon enough.

    My calculations for the percentage? The top selling average PC game will exceed 1 million copies sold. The best-selling game was The Sims on the PC, but that's counting expansions which adds up to 8 million copies sold. Myst sold I think somewhere between 6 and 7 Million as a series, which held the previous record. So, let's estimate there's about 2 million PC gamers we can convert. Alright, now we've got 22 million MacOS X users according to what was said at WWDC '04. Okay, so it's more like 10%, but that's definitely not worth investing in, or at least so much more than what Apple is doing now. Let Apple put the money in business and creativity sectors, not the gaming sector. Then let's talk about gaming after we gain some serious market share.
  23. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    I think that the problem really isn't as big as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, a bit of performance is lost in "powering" (for lack of a better word, it's late) the sounds that the games produce, but I can't imagine it'd be that much. The big problem, however, is the coding. Companies are spending all of their time and money in producing the PC version and ensuring it works all nice and smooth, and are then whipping it over to the Mac OS just hoping to make a few extra bucks. I think a good example of a company that doesn't appear to be following this trend is the one behind Doom 3. (The name's lost on me right now.) If they optimize it as well as they did the PC version (which they say they're going to), I think it will be a very great Mac gaming experience. Just a naive sixteen year old's two cents ;)
  24. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    what game problem? :D LOL i didn't notice. :p

    but seriously, do you mean, lack of games on the Mac platform, or the inability of Macs to play the games that are out for Macs?

    as hvfsl said, Macs need a soundcard. then Macs need some beefy GPU, and gaming would be just fine.

    a friend of mine had a PIII, pretty slow, maybe 1GHz? (this is a couple of years ago) but he had a kick-ass video card. sure it would take a while to load a game, but when it did, he'd still frag everyone. :D

    beefy GPU, and soundcard. simple. :cool:

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