If you were Steve Jobs...

Discussion in 'Games' started by aldo, May 2, 2004.

  1. aldo macrumors regular

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    #1
    ...What would you do for gaming?

    Personally:

    1) First, desperately try to get DirectX on Mac. Considering only Camarac's games don't use DX, it's needed if porting is going to last. Personally, most ports that are DX --> OpenGL now are taking forever and are (IMO) poor. As games get more and more complex, ports are going to start taking so much time they won't be worth it.

    You could either license it off MS or try and work with the WINE team on this. Personally, I prefer the second.

    2) Start in house game development lab. This would allow OSX to become a viable, wanted gaming platform instead of a 'side order'.

    3) Introduce a new 'gamer' range of machines. These would be a CPU, RAM and Graphics Card heavy version of the PowerMac. This would canabilize PM sales, but they aren't going too well so I'd say cut the losses and let it happen. I would expect current purchasers of PMs (graphics companies etc) to carry on purchasing them because they are what they have stuck with and wouldn't want to work on a gamer machine.

    Some suggested specs (assuming PM updates at WWDC and release of gamer machines at late Q4):

    Lite: Single 2GHz G5 CPU, 512MB RAM, 9600XT 128MB graphics. 120GB HDD. $999.

    Middle: Single 2.6GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, 9800XT, 160GB. $1399.

    Extreme: Dual 3GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 9800XT, 320GB HDD (2x160 in RAID). $1999.

    Now keep in mind these prices are for the end of this year, and I think they could be done. Considering I could build a PCs for those specs now and still have some spare change, I don't think it would be too hard for Apple to do it.

    Where would the profit be? Accessories. I'd expect most people to buy a studio display with it and maybe things like Airport Extreme. These are extremely profitable for Apple, imo.

    Of course, Apple has never really cared about gaming, but without it I can't see them ever getting market share in big numbers again. I doubt anything like this would ever happen, but it's the only way Apple will ever get back into gaming again.
     
  2. IrishGold macrumors member

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    May 1, 2004
    #2
    You've got to be smoking something if you think those prices would ever exist by the end of this year :p

    I think that Apple should try as hard as possible to get directx.

    Do a whole commercial thing on "Play different"

    Make programing games for the ppc platform as easy as possible.

    One day, maybe one day, the ppc platform will be suitable for a gaming machine.
     
  3. applekid macrumors 68020

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    #3
    We don't need DirectX. We don't need a proprietary Microsoft technology.

    An in-house development studio won't be profitable. An average Mac game sells about 40,000 - 100,000 copies. In the PC and console world, that's laughable.

    Apple could price every Mac across the line cheaper and that would make them perfect game machines, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

    Apple isn't that interested in gaming. OpenGL is lacking compared to the Linux and PC versions. Apple needs to expand on the technology and make it a better experience for developers. That's all.

    The PPC has proven to be viable gaming platform. The GameCube currently uses a modified G3 processor and the next X-Box is supposed to use a PPC chip.
     
  4. IrishGold macrumors member

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    #4
    That same mentality will continue to hold Apple down.
     
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #5
    really sounds like the same crap we hear for years , if you want to game get a pc or console. simply garbage. we all know we have the slowest cpu in the business-G4. and we get the slowest(cheapist) video chips fx 5200. The software problem wouldnt be so bad if Macs had some muscle. its just bad that the only decent gaming machine is maybe the dual 2.0 G5.
     
  6. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #6
    Buy a great game company !

    If I were Steve and I had $4Billions on hand I would buy Activision or another good game company. Then I would let them work on both versions for PC Mac and maybe even consoles at the same time. I would release both versions at the same time. As long as the ROI for the Mac version is 1 or little above its OK, because with good games you get people to switch to the Mac and you sell more Macs.

    And then I would ask Geoff Crammond to make a GP5 for Macs ONLY. :D
     
  7. rice_web macrumors 6502a

    rice_web

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    #7
    Don't be nonsensical: a port of DirectX would certainly make the Macintosh a viable gaming platform. As it is, developers won't even consider a Macintosh launch because of the expense (and lack of a large audience to justify the cost) of the conversion. Any step to ease developers' work will help the push for OS X as a consumer operating system.

    Talk on SlashDot today covers the port of Apple frameworks to *nix (and so much more, as SlashDot discussions obviously diverge). Steps such as that and DirectX-porting would invariably propel OS X for the next few years (until Longhorn comes along and annihilates everything).
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #8
    This all goes back to marketshare, why do anything when you are selling 2 out of every 100 new computers. that doesnt give anyone a lot of incentive to make ANYTHING for Mac.(including viruses) where is the market for someone to sell in? Apple has several major problems the first is CPU's that dont compete and the second is a smaller amount of the market every quarter. They dont change those 2 things around they are in world of hurt. I dont see Apple listening at all to the consumer. Even when sales are the same as 3 years ago in a growing market they dont get it.
    Laptop line is pretty nice, desk top line is a mess. How long will it take Apple?
     
  9. applekid macrumors 68020

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    #9
    I doubt DirectX will save the Mac gamers. MacDX (an API) was released a few years ago, and the porting process hasn't moved any faster. You still haven't solved the problem about translating assembly code to code the Mac can understand.

    Having the real DirectX on the Mac won't make much of a difference. Look at it this way: What makes you say the current development houses will just jump in and develop games simultaneously for the Mac and PC? There's no incentive for the developers. So what, you've got DirectX? You'll only sell peanuts as far as games go. And you still need to re-write some of your assembly code. How about the gamers? What's the incentive to switch? The price is high for a customizable machine that has power (PowerMac G5).

    Apple needs to make cheaper machines and development houses have to release games simultaneously on the Mac and PC. All of this has to happen at the same time. The Mac game library needs to expand, and the price of a PowerMac must drop. My friends would switch, if the price wasn't an issue, the fact that ports come slowly wasn't a problem, and you can customize your machine completely with ease.
     
  10. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #10
    We all know your opinion. The thread title is: what would you do if ....

    :mad:
     
  11. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

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    #11
    DING. nothing more needs to be said.
     
  12. cubist macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Listen you guys, DirectX is a massive kludge that only came about because of the huge overhead of the normal Windows APIs for graphics and sound. It started life as WinG. Since then, Microsoft has added layers to it like thick coats of paint. It's a terrible, ugly, disgusting, proprietary API. Writing a game in DirectX is a huge, complicated project. DirectX has no meaning outside of the Windows environment. Adding it to Mac OS X would be like adding an aircraft landing gear to a boat.

    What the industry SHOULD do is keep adding publicly standardized APIs to OpenGL so that it can become the standard API for Linux, Mac and Unix games. Then, who will care about Windows and its piddly market share?
     
  13. Schmittroth macrumors regular

    Schmittroth

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    #13
    I'd continue on the path that Apple is on with the convergance of the digital hub. Get TV integration into every Mac (with DVR capabilities) next then slap in an offical PS2 emulator.

    It'll make it easier when the time comes to make a 'gamePod'. You'll just transfer the games from your Mac/PS2 games to the pod like iTunes. It'll also make it easy to create movies of games in action. Game trailers are becoming a big industry like movie trailers. Some major trailer companies have already moved to Final Cut Pro for it's flexiblity.
     
  14. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #14
    Nothing. I'd do nothing. Aren't you glad I'm not Steve Jobs?

    ActiveX? Please. The last thing we need on our Macs is more Microsoft junk.
     
  15. applekid macrumors 68020

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    Jul 3, 2003
    #15
    Buying a game company isn't an instant solution either. Like I said, there's only about 40K-100K copies of games sold on the Mac on average (it's more like 40K-60K to be called a success). A profit isn't possible if you plan on making your own commercial-level game. As an aspiring game designer, I'd like to make my own Mac game studio, but it just isn't possible to stay in business. Either marketing games for both PC and Mac or just doing ports is the only way to profit on the Mac side as far as commercial games go. Creating shareware/donationware is also profitable, but don't expect to make the big bucks.

    The things I would do as Steve Jobs is create a huge opportunity for game developers to join the Mac development bandwagon at this year's WWDC. Give them the technology to work with, and they'll make the games. Of course, to attract the gamers, I'd make an attempt to update OpenGL, supporting the best graphics cards available on the market, and drop the G5 prices or create a new line of PowerMacs that are barebones and highly customizable with user parts. I doubt the latter will happen at all, but giving developers more technology to work with isn't that farfetched...

    ADC - Games
     
  16. LoadRunner macrumors member

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    #16
    Actually gaming on a mac has improve. More title have been ported last year then in prevues years. The time it generally take to port a game is less then it was two or three years ago. Macsoft, and other companies, have built a trusts with pc game developers. And more company have turned to pre made engines to cut cost and reduce development time.

    Oh and mac user now have access to many of the same video cards as pc users.
     
  17. switchedanhappy macrumors regular

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    ct usa
    #17
    Ok so this may seem stupid, but couldn't apple have a third party company create a third standard (not opengl or dx) that would be better than opengl or dx and work on macs or peecees? this way, ports would be easier and cheaper and games would look better. the only issue is I don't see either company letting a third party company create a graphical standard for them and microsoft wouldn't want anyone else to tip over their dx bandwagon. perhaps porting DX is the only way. though i'd hate to have to watch apple bow their heads to m$. anyway... just thinking out loud...
     
  18. ZildjianKX macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

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    #18
    As someone else said, you can't really port DX to OS X since it's based on the Windows API. To make things worse, some graphics cards are now architecturally designed to be optimized for DX.
     
  19. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #19
    I found a pretty good article comparing DirectX and OpenGL.
    Certianly worth a read.

    http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article1775.asp

     
  20. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

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    #20
    I agree with you when you say that Steve should develop a opportunity for game developers. But what I think a good way to do this is increasing the market share and get young people that go to school or students to switch to Macs. Many are not switching because there are no or not enough games. Thats why I said Apple should create games like they create iLife. I don't think that iLife has a very good ROI and the games they create wouldn't have one either. But they don't need it if it supports hardware sales.

    As soon as more gamers switch to the Mac there is a market opportunity for other game companys as well.

    I really don't think that the hardware we currently have or APIs like DX have anything to do with it.

    Create a market and market opportunity and game companys will develop because they will find a profitable market. Thats how economy works. Has nothing to do with Direct X.

    Apple could afford developing games with a low ROI (that means return on invest) like 1 because it supports there hardware sales. A standanlone game company couldn't.

    See: if a company core competence and market is developing games - what they will do is looking for the market opportunitys where they get the MOST of there invested money. They don't care about platforms.

    my 2 cents
     
  21. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    I totally agree that most of the students and school kids don't switch to macs because of games. If they don't sort it, Apple is going to be locked out of the home (no games) and business (linux is going to take over the corporate desktop soon - people will not switch to OSX. It's too late now), and be left with us hobbyists and graphics/movie designers. It's not going to be enough to support the development community.

    While Steve Jobs doesn't think marketshare is an issue, it is. The only reason is hasn't had a huge affect yet is because Cocoa a good development platform and it means people are more likely to get on with it.

    However, once it starts dropping below 2% (which it is rapidly approaching), developers are going to stop bothering with it. Also, the porting thing will become a bigger issue as the PC gaming industry will require more money for the port license, with the marketshare not rising in the same way.

    To be perfectly honest, Apple is making some really bad long term decisions (imo). They seem to base their whole business now on the ipod and itms. Once the market gets saturated, it will dry up and apple will be left high and dry.

    I think 2004 is going to be the year to show if the mac will sink or swim.
     
  22. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Oh also, on DirectX, if it's so hard to port, how the hell have the WINE people ported it all over to Linux, running at full speed of the windows version. This is an opensource project.

    Also, all graphics cards now are based on DirectX architecture now - most of the performance is wasted on OpenGL only systems.
     
  23. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

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    #23

    I certainly wouldn't call the WineX project a "complete" port of DirectX. It barely runs any games, and those that do run, run badly.
    Here's there website: http://www.transgaming.com/

    Besides the fact that it was still using the x86 architecture instead of the PPC.
     
  24. aldo thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Dippo, you are wrong. The wine (not winex - that is a commercial version), project can run DirectX very well. Considering the fact that it is changing directx to opengl _on the fly_ it's incredibly impressive. It is porting it in realtime.

    Of course its not a complete port, but it is very impressive and in the few years it has been going, its went from no compatibility to directx 9 compatibility and can run many, many major games at a level 4 or above (on wineXs chart with 4 being minor bugs that can be worked round, and 5 being no issues). The amount of games that run at level 4 or 5 is way above the amount of mac ports and also, they can run with windows users on networks - something that no mac games can do due to directplay (which wine can port on the fly).

    This makes it even harder for apple to get a vibrant gaming community on - even if they get more and better ports out, with out native networking compatibility, no-one is going to switch if they can't play with their PC friends...
     
  25. guywithsocks macrumors newbie

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    #25
    The whole point of gaming on a Mac may be mute. Visit this article on the conspiracy theory of console games stealing PC's thunder.
     

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