Will Intel macs make for better Mac gaming?

Discussion in 'Games' started by neonart, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. neonart macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #1
    I have quite a few ?'s on this topic! I'm sure some of you do as well. Here's what I'd like to know.

    1) Will Intel Macs run games more efficiently since most games' original code in Intel based.
    2) Will this help games come out faster due to speedier porting?
    3) Will game houses feel more compiled to port games to Mactel themselves, or will Aspire and Ferral still have jobs?
    4) Are we going to experience a drought due to developers "transition and learning"?

    Obviously the clear answers are not available now, and time will tell as developers get acquainted with the new architecture.

    But I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #2
    Nope, they'd be just as fast as they are today -- maybe even slower.

    It's not the CPU, it's the APIs and the drivers.

    And the Mac does not run DirectX or the Windows APIs.

    We got Open GL and the Mac OS, which the games are generally not optimized for when they are ported.

    Edit: which is a good reason to dual-boot Windows to play games on the Mac. ;)
     
  3. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020

    DavidLeblond

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    #3
    Uhmmm... not sure thats 100% accurate. Linux plays some Windows games via WINE just fine. The reason WINE doesn't work on the Mac is because WINE Is Not an Emulator. Now it doesn't need to be.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #4
    But you are playing a Windows game, not a ported game.

    The ported games will most likely still suffer from the same problems we see today.

    The ability to play Windows binaries on a Intel Mac is a bit different.

    However, what the move to a Intel platform does for game development is a more interesting question.

    His question 4 becomes the biggie.
     
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    Mar 17, 2004
    #5
    THAT'S IT!!!

    I just realized; now we can install WINE on Mac OS X!

    Forget the DarWINE project (combining WINE and QEMU); now that OS X runs on x86, we can install WINE and run Windows apps!
     
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #6
    Yup, that's the number one reason that I am looking forward to Intel Macs. Wine will likely be ported to the OS X platform within days of the first machines release, and will be fully functional with hardware acceleration and all within months.

    This will let us run Windows apps at almost full speed, including a LOT of games that would otherwise not be available. I expect that some of the companies (the ones who make the Office specific WINE package and the gaming one - Codega?) will have a paid for version of WINE that will offer support and some non OSS libraries for better computability and hardware accelerated performance within that 6 months as well.

    I think it's going to open up a whole lot of Mac gaming opportunities... which is kind of funny if you think about it. All the game consoles are moving to a CPU similar to what we have today, and we're going to an Intel made/x86 compatible CPU which will give us more gaming options.
     
  7. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

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    #7
    the Intel switch will most definately be better for mobile gaming since mobile Pentiums are much faster/cooler than the G4... for that i am excited.
     
  8. Hydra macrumors regular

    Hydra

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    Finland
    #8
    I assume welcome for PCI-eXpress and the usage of PC graphic accelators as well... ?

    But still I don't like it, I would have wanted to keep PPC instead of x86 :mad:
     
  9. kainjow Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

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    Jun 15, 2000
    #9
    Are your reason being... emotional attachment - to a computer chip? :eek: Think logically here people.
     
  10. suzerain macrumors regular

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    Oct 5, 2000
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    Beijing, China
    #10
    Asking the wrong questions


    According to the game developers I've been talking to, the question should be more accurately framed like this: "why port games to OS X anymore after this shift?"

    Phil Shiller has already said the MacTels will dual-boot Windows, and we all know that WINE will now be able to be ported, so if you're a developer, why spend any cash developing games -- or anything else -- directly to OS X, when it can run your Windows version "for free"?

    I think this is good in the short term and bad in the long term, because we will get to play more titles, but we will be running in an insupported configuration, and over time I think more developers will just ignore OS X development entirely, and tell their users they can "run it under WINE".

    And I think this applies to a lot more than games. I think this move could turn out to be very, very bad to the state of native Mac software...
     
  11. berns19 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #11
    Amen

    If what Schiller said is true, and Windows can be installed on the new boxes, then why would anyone make software for the Mac? I can easily envision a situation where Apple's iApps and major packages (Word, Photoshop) run on Mac, but where all the other Mac developers just can't compete with the flood of Windows apps.

    Indeed, why bother porting games if you just need to reboot to run the Windows version? Unless your application is useful and not something worth rebooting for (a widget, a web browser, whatever), it's probably not a good time to be a Mac developer.

     
  12. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #12
    Heck, I'm already running WINE on my Mac. Except that since the Mac is PowerPC, I can only run Windows/PowerPC apps, only like three of which exist ;)
     
  13. comictimes macrumors 6502a

    comictimes

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    Jun 20, 2004
    Location:
    Berkeley, California
    #13
    I would think that more games would get ported because didn't they say that with X-Code 2.1 you can port applications in just a few days? so if porting is hardly an issue, then more companies will do it, and in my opinion the more games are ported, the more likely it is that gaming will become better on the mac.
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #14
    Unless Apple makes it simple to port games to the Mac OS, it'll kill a bunch of games development big time.

    However, a lot of non-game developers wanting to move to Unix/Linux and use a big commercial OS being touted as an alternative to the Windows security mess -- it's orgasm time, hopefully the Viagra is flowing freely or we are in trouble.

    But Apple has to be 100% ready for Office being killed on the platform.

    Apple is basically dropping a hungry leopard into the mad cows pen, problem is the cow is as big as Paul Bunyon's big blue ox.
     
  15. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #15
    If the above is true, the PS3 could end up running with UNIX and OpenGL, which could push Linux and Mac OS X porting...
     
  16. Freakk123 macrumors regular

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    Feb 19, 2003
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    Bronx, NY
    #16
    Close on the name of "the gaming one" - Cedega, by TransGaming. I have in on my Windows/Slackware box, because I'm trying to move more and more away from Windows.

    Wine and Cedega both work well, but for powerhungry apps/games, they suffer.

    I'm very excited about the prospect of ditching my windows box altogether and just running a dual(/triple?) boot box with longhorn and leopard :D (and perhaps slackware/gentoo or some other linux distro). However, the concern about a decrease in software being developed for Mac OS is very real, and would suck... I just hope it doesn't happen...
     
  17. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #17
    Check Inside Mac Games for input directly from the developers on this exciting topic.
    Link
     
  18. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #18
    Well, one thing I can see happening is that some company like Cedega (thanks :) ) selling directly to game development houses a set of tools that they can 'wrap' their Windows binaries with that will let them distribute games to Mac users with very minor tweaks. So we still get the single icon drag and drop experience, but the game is just a wrapped Windows app.

    This cuts down development cost and time, while allowing Macs to be supported officially much easier. Sure, we will then lag behind Windows machines in clock for clock performance of the same games, but haven't we always? This would just give us more options of what we wanted to lag in. :)
     
  19. neonart thread starter macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    Near a Mac since 1993.
    #19
    Very mixed feelings. Alot of fear there too. I can see the point some of these guys are making. Why bother working hard to port a MAc game if you can simply run it emulated or dual boot your machine? Dual boot may not be so deadly because many people really don't care to run windows (like myself) regardless. (I have a Windows box that sit's for weeks and months doing nothing.)
    But if emulation is taken to the point where all you do is shove the latest UT07 in your MacTel and it installs and runs good, then mac gaming is over as we know it.

    I just had a thought. What if Apple could give a flying squirrels buttucks about games or software in general? They are HUGELY succesful in seeling iPods to a bunch of people beacause it's cool, it has a great OS, etc. What if all this is a transition so that there is FAR LESS mac specific software and they sell more of these (high-profit) sexy MacTels with OSX. People will be lured to say- "Well those macs are sweet, fast, run OSX, AND ALL MY WINDOWS APPS!" It's a win-win for the consumer and Apple. No Windows, no viruses, no spyware, no buying new SW. Just learn the delicious OSX and enjoy a beautiful Mac...

    This could be a really weird time...
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    It didn't have anything to do with Windows applications/games being ported to Mac OS X. It was taking one Mac OS X application running on PPC and having that same application running on an Intel processor.

    There is one place where the switch will shine: loading files that were generated for x86 machines. Since the PowerPC processor goes along with every large machine in its byte orientation, bytes have to be swapped on reading data from x86 PC files. With Mac OS X on Intel processors, there would be no byte swapping and you'd see an instant speedup in load times.
     
  21. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #21
    I think porting will be even slower. The developers won't want to drop PowerPC support, so they'll still have to port to PowerPC, plus they'll have to port to x86. Therefore it'll take longer.

    Remember, a game isn't like a regular app. Games tend to interact directly with the CPU, rather than going through the 'slow' APIs. Steve was probably right when he said that it'll only take a couple of days to port from PowerPC to x86, but that's for a regular app. Complex apps like games would take a lot more effort.
     
  22. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

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    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
    Interesting article. I especially liked where Ryan Gordon of Epic games said that Havoc can now be ported to the Mac, which means that the games that use that engine on the PC (and there are a lot of them) can now be ported to Mac/Intel. That includes HL2. :cool:
     
  23. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    afk
    #23
    What about virtual PC? Does it means using Virtual PC, can we achieve speed perhaps almost on par with standalone windows on the same machine? which would allows us to play quite a number of windows games?
     
  24. neonart thread starter macrumors 65816

    neonart

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    #24
    From what I understand Rosseta and maybe WINE will make it so that VPC is no longer needed.
     
  25. XboxEvolved macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2004
    #25
    I talked to the VP of Marketing at Aspyr, and Susan Lusty, the PR Director of Wideload games (Stubbs the Zombie) as they are really my only contacts in the world of Mac gaming. They both told me that at this point all their companies are worried about at this point is making games for what they said before, and will worry more about Intel base later. That said, both more or less have high hopes for the transition, with the VP of Marketing at Aspyr letting me know they hope this means better graphics cards and so on for Macs.
     

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