Warning: LOOOOOOOOOOooooonnnnggggggg.... In a recent interview on Kikizo with Todd Hollenshead from ID software( http://games.kikizo.com/features/todd-hollenshead-id-software-interview-p4.asp ) A question came up about Mac: Kikizo: When we last spoke to Gabe Newell, one of the interesting things we discussed was the Mac. His view is that the people in charge of games at Apple change jobs every couple years and that there's no consistency or they don't take it seriously enough. But here we see you have this running perfectly on Mac. Would you agree with his comments on Apple gaming? Todd: It's a true comment. I think historically, Gabe is absolutely right. The Apple guys will probably frown to hear me say that, but I mean there are facts and there are facts [laughs], and the fact is, that over the years Apple has shown an interest in gaming and then not followed through on it. Certainly our hope is that they are going to follow through. I do think they have made a significant investment... Jobs had a limited amount of time [at his WWDC 07 keynote] and John Carmack isn't the kind of guy who's going to get up on stage just to try and please Steve Jobs. John has his own ideas and he's his own guy, and even the persona of Steve Jobs isn't going to work on John very well, if at all! But if Steve had games on his show; not only did he give time to id, he gave time to EA, and I do think that it demonstrates at least a commitment at a high level to sharing the platform's face, if you will, with games. But I mean, it is about the follow up. Now Apple was great to work with us; we were in some dialogue and they asked what we thought of having it on Mac, they sent some engineers down and they made a commitment about drivers and how they were going to support this stuff in the future, and I certainly hope they follow through on it, because with the hardware now, you're not having to deal with this weird Power PC architecture; they have Intel chips and all that stuff, and it does make it a whole lot easier for us to work with it. I don't think that they're hamstrung at a performance level - they don't have to create these weird Apple-only benchmarks. Added to this, is Kikizo's earlier interview with Gabe Newell from Valve, from last year, just before the release of the Orange Box( http://games.kikizo.com/features/gabenewell_valve_iv_sep07_p1.asp ) Kikizo: People keep asking you about a potential Macintosh version, and your stance is that this is a strictly Windows project...? Gabe: Well, we tried to have a conversation with Apple for several years, and they never seemed to... well, we have this pattern with Apple, where we meet with them, people there go "wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming". And then we'll say, "OK, here are three things you could do to make that better", and then they say OK, and then we never see them again. And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow though on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms. Kikizo: So you think it's all because of staff turnaround in their gaming department? Gabe: I just don't think they've ever taken gaming seriously. And none of the things developers ask them to do are done. And as a result, there's no gaming market there to speak of. We'd love it if they would get serious about it. But they never have, and can't even follow trough on any of their commitments for game developers. Kikizo: So would you say that the rumour that crops up every couple of years that Apple is about to do a big plan and release a console box, is basically ********? Gabe: We've seen no evidence that they are able to follow through on even simple programs in the game space. It seems bizarre to me because it's like one of the biggest things holding them back in the consumer space. If you look at a Macintosh right now, it does a lot of things really well compared to a Vista PC, but there are no games. Why, I don't know. If I were a Macintosh product manager, it would be pretty high on my list, and a problem to get taken care of, as probably the number one thing holding them back with consumers. Now, I love my Mac, and I have really come to love OSX, but that does not mean that people can't be in disagreement about certain features(or lack there off). I always thought it was idiotic to push forward on something casual entertainment like Music and Movies, and then just dismiss their lack of game support as "Apple does not care about games". Mac's are great for work, we get it, but there is no excuse why someone who bites into the "lifestyle" branding that Apple themselves sprew out, should not be able to enjoy games, which are just becoming a bigger and bigger and bigger part of the culture. Because as you can read above, they obviously do(or did) but have failed to manage it any special way. My opinion on this; Apple should listen to Valve. Next to Blizzard, Valve are the frontrunners in the Computer gaming scene. In the non-console space of Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo, they are kings. Many people feel that their service Steam, has made a revolution in gaming, as the 12+ Million users, begin to easily purchase and play games, in an the gaming hub. Not only a virtual store, but also what has become a gathering place for all types of gamers. The level of simplicity, stability and ease of use is amazing. It is single handedly my favorite app, that I miss from Windows. And the hole system is actually very Mac-Like, in terms of UI, and how easy to buy products and play. Since it's release it has become something massive, and many computer game companies are now publishing their games through Steam, as it seems to have an negative effect on Piracy, due to the fact that people using Steam, have to be connected to Steam(for varification). Another great thing about the service is that, when you purchase a game on Steam, you will never need to install it from a DVD, or put in a DVD to play, making it easier and less of a hassle. Steam now has many games up on it's service and more are coming every day, including Classics like Doom, and current favorites like Assassins Creed and Company of Heroes, and even upcoming games like Far Cry 2 and Left 4 Dead. There also alternatives like casual games for Soccer moms and light gamers, aswell as indie games for the folks who like alternative, like Audiosurf. In Steam now, you can even add your own games who was not purchased on Steam, and have them launch from the Steam Games Menu, which is a nice touch. One of the latest additions are Achievements, similiar to what is found in Xbox Live. Performing certain tasks like beating a game at a certain difficulty or performing 10 headshots in a certain online shooter game or beating a level in less than 4 and a half minutes, might earn you Achievements. Small emblems of status. These where rolled out with the Orange Box, but are now making their way into older products. Their amount of free updates and support from their fanbase and mod community has been nothing less than staggering. Steam is not only a game central, it's a hub for gamers and a community in it's own right. It's decent enough to still have Blizzard supporting the platform and have Boot Camp, but I seriously urge Apple to try and make it work with Valve, to get Steam on OSX. Individual Mac support for the litterly thousands of high quality games might be more tricky, but we don't exactly know what Gabe and Valve needs Apple to do. It seems to me that it's not impossible, rocket science or even a hard challange, but simply a matter of wanting to do it. If Apple really felt that gaming was not "meant" for their platform, they wouldn't even invest the slightest resources into asking companies to do it, and send technicians down to companies to talk about drivers and support. At the end of the day, OSX is an operating system and Windows is an operating system. They can both do most things - Web Browsing, Editing(Movies, Images, Audio), Writing, Management, general work and applications, E-mail... They are both capable in all ways but one, which is gaming. It's been talked about so much, since the early 90s and people will probably continue to talk about it, until something is done, because obviously there is interest from developers, publishers, gamers, and people who want to make the switch to Mac but won't because of the poor support. Over are the days of PowerPC, and I think Apple should embrace that fact and get something done. OSX can do pretty much everything else. If the sole problem lies in DirectX, then I think Apple should licens the use to use DirectX as it is the standard today that all games are made for. Note; I didn't buy my Mac to game on, and am not dissapointed or mad at Apple or anything, but obviously it is my belief that it is something that is holding Apple back, and I refuse to believe that Apple are so out of touch with reality that they don't know how big gaming has become. Profits surpassed the Movie industry years ago, The Playstations threat to home computing was the direct reason that the Mammoth launched it's Xbox console, and in every territory around the world(especially in Asia) are gaming still booming and increasing at a rapid rate. 10-15 years ago it might not have mattered as much, but gaming in as it is now, is AT LEAST as important, relevant and significant as Movies and Music. And I just know many people who won't take the plunge because of all this. And I think it's sad to. Because it makes the saying that Apple does everything you want in a computer to do, a lie. Because it obviously don't. Not yet at least.