The state of Mac gaming

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by MacGamerHQ, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. MacGamerHQ, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    MacGamerHQ macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France
    Hey guys,

    I wrote an article about the state of mac gaming. Where we are and where we are going.

    It is doing pretty well on Reddit so I decided to share it with you:

    The State of Mac Gaming

    All your comments and suggestions are more than welcome!

    I pretty much did again my "State of Mac Gaming" assessment, taking things a little further, using stats, graphs and comments and questions I've received. I hope you find it more helpful than my first try.

    You can find it here:
    The State of Mac Gaming
  2. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    Nice overview but I don't need or want a hackintosh myself. I love my whisper quiet, elegantly designed 27" iMac with its beautiful display. The 6970m GPU is plenty for my needs which do not require everything on maximum all of the time. I have not personally played it but from what I've read, Skyrim for example on my system can run with high settings. That is plenty good enough for me.

    You don't need a three thousand dollar gaming rig with a five hundred dollar video card to be a "hard core gamer" in my opinion. Hard core is more about how much you love playing games and spend time doing it than it is about the hardware you do it on. When I was a windows user my machine was never better than midrange for gaming purposes but it was always good enough for me to enjoy them and enjoy them I still do, very often. My relatively new iMac is much nicer than my old PC was and more capable for gaming than it was.

    It is awesome we have ways to play whatever we want to on a Mac. I personally have come to greatly prefer playing games in OS X without rebooting. I'll do it for something special like Skyrim or Fallout New Vegas when I get around to them but I'd rather never leave OS X.

    Fortunately, Feral and Aspyr keep turning out great titles that are going to be enough for the most part to keep me entertained in the future. It'll be a rare case going forward that I'd buy a windows title with so many cool Mac titles to play.

    Right now a lot of my gaming time is consumed enjoying World of Warcraft and its new Mists of Pandaria expansion. I love the game and have a lot of fun with it. It runs great with settings cranked at native resolution on my system. What more could I ask for? I also have StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3, a bunch of great games from Feral, some from Aspyr and a lot of old classics from that being older, all run inside a Parallels Windows XP virtual machine, again with no rebooting.

    Can you tell I dislike rebooting and leaving OS X? ;-)

    Anyway, I am grateful to have the option and will use it for Bethesda RPGs and some other stuff but I am really thinking the next Mac I own I won't even bother with windows. There is so many hours of high quality entertainment available for Macs now that I see no need to bother.

    What I should do is become familiar with Wineskin so I can just run Skyrim, the Fallout games, etc. also without leaving OS X. I've admittedly been lazy here but I am becoming more motivated by wanting to just stay in OS X. I do not like windows nor microsoft.
  3. kd5jos, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    kd5jos macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    Denver, CO
    This is meant to be helpful...

    You obviously have interest in what you are writing. You have done a great job with selecting a theme for the website that makes this article easy to read. The article is a good start. What parts of what you said are you planning on expanding? You've basically covered what is already well known. There are great Mac games out there and if you are an avid gamer you'll likely need one of the two ways to run Windows (why did you leave out virtual machines)...

    What I didn't see was anything new. Did you find out what the first game was that was a Dos or Win/Mac crossover (available on both platforms). Why don't more studios spend money on developing for both platforms? If OS X and iOS are in an inevitable head on collision (with only one survivor), what will gaming look like because of it? Any interviews with indie developers that develop on both platforms (I bet if you asked you could find ONE person that would be happy to interview)?

    You have started, now continue, and improve.
  4. MacGamerHQ, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012

    MacGamerHQ thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France
    Thanks for the comments Dirtyharry50.

    Don't get me wrong, the idea behind my article was not to convince people to get a Hackintosh (perhaps I am not very clear on that part) as I 100% agree with you. I used to have an iMac and had a hard time deciding whether to get rid of it or not.
    I ended up getting the 27" Mac cinema display as a compromise (they are just gorgeous to look at) ;)
    Anyway, in this situation, the advantage of a Hackintosh is that you can build yourself something similar (but no as powerful) to a Mac Pro with 1000$. That may sound like too much but we all have our priorities ;)

    Otherwise, I have the same "problem", so many games to play natively that I just don't see a reason to launch windows anymore ;)

    Thanks for the comments!


    Thanks for the comments kd5jos, I appreciate the kind words AND the constructive criticism.

    As you see I'm barely starting but yes, you ask very interesting questions and they are all going to the "post ideas" list! I will focus next on the future, what games are coming? are there more studios thinking about the mac? etc.

    I will also make some experiments and compare performance between the same game running on windows (native / virtual machines) and mac.

    The interviews are something I hope to be able to do, but I need a little more experience, and specially, an actual reader base ;) (developers have to have a reason to spend time doing the interview ....)

    PS: The Mac /iOs likely to collide is a good catch.

    Do you blog?
  5. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    You really consider gaming in Windows (mac or hack) as "Mac gaming?"

    A Mac is no longer a Mac without Mac hardware and OS X. Otherwise its just Mac hardware (part of a Mac) with Windows.

    I was expecting to read more about actual Mac gaming, or something with gaming and Macs... maybe talk about the thousands of Windows only games that are playable on OS X with different options...
  6. MacGamerHQ thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France
    I believe the games I listed as AAA mac games are all native OSX...

    The last solutions (bootcamp and hackintosh) are for what I would call hardcore gamers, people that want to play all the latest games (maxed out if possible).

    Otherwise, I have to agree with you, if we are going to talk about gaming in bootcamp, than I might as well call my blog Windows GamerHQ ;)
  7. basketball762 macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2009
    I very much enjoyed reading your article and I think you do a great job explaining the current world of mac gaming and the future of it too. Great job!! I would love to read an article about hackintosh machines as I am considering making one.
  8. antonis macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2011
    The article misses a great portion of Mac gaming for games that don't exist natively on OS X that is called wine (including all the flavors of wineskin, crossover, play-on-mac etc) which removes the need for bootcamp. And I'm not talking about any illegal copies or anything.

    A good example of this is Skyrim which I've bought original game, wrapped with wineskin, played and finished without ever leaving OS X. Until all games come native to the Mac by the same time they launch for Windows, I believe this solution is the real power of Mac gaming.

    For most people, anyway, bootcamp is not an option for various (and all fair) reasons.
  9. MacGamerHQ thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France
    That one is in the to-do list! However, I will most likely not make any publicity for it here, as a lot of people is "against" hackintosh (or not buying Apple, if you prefer).

    Keep an eye out, it's coming soon ;)
  10. MacGamerHQ thread starter macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2012
    Lyon, France
    To be honest, the reason why I didn't talk about it is because I know nothing about it... Yes, I know....

    I am educating myself and just got a skyrim copy.... I owe it to myself to actually write a dedicated post including some performance comparisons...

    I'm somewhat of a geek and even I can't stand to boot and reboot to play games on bootcamp so I hear what you are saying.

  11. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    Tons of hackintosh users seem to come here.
  12. Wardenski, Oct 3, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

    Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    Nice article but for me OSX is woeful for games and to an extent, so is the hardware.

    Staples of Mac gaming are
    - Poor GPU support
    - Poorer performance (wrt Windows)
    - Poor quality ports
    - Poor mod support
    - Ports that are 1 year late
    - Ports that are never updated after a year
    - Not all games are available!!!! This is by far the biggest disadvantage of gaming in OSX
    - Poor surround sound support

    Bootcamp is great for gaming...because it runs Windows.
  13. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    Too few quality porting companies left to match those like Feral. Also, Feral is actually quite small, hence the long time taken to do a port like Empire TW.

    Not enough support from Apple. Latter highly unlikely to change.

    With Lion, Apple killed off Rosetta & loads of classic gaming titles with it.

    As they continue integrating OS X with iOS in future OS releases, who'd trust them not to kill of many of today's Mac titles in a few years time.

    After all, they get more than enough profit from "Angry Birds" casual gamers.

    TBH, the future not looking too great for Mac gamers & the Windows/Bootcamp option likely to remain very viable, esp for non-casual gamers.
  14. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    I wish people wouldn't say "use bootcamp for gaming" "bootcamp is good for gaming" and other such phrases.

    It's Windows that is GOOD for gaming not bootcamp, this just causes confusion for many people as they think there is some magic app called bootcamp they install and use to play games.
  15. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    it drives me nuts too... but I've talked to some people who really think its "Bootcamp" that is running Windows for them... Any time I've tried to correct people over just saying Bootcamp like that I've always been harshly criticized.

    To me the "Use Bootcamp" response is not only misleading, but its barely better than an answer of "buy a PC"
  16. Wardenski macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2012
    I really do not understand how people can get confused by that.

    Mind you, people may then think that Windows, on say VirtualBox is good for gaming, which of course is nonsense.


    Bootcamp is by far the best way of running Windows on a Mac, how it that advise misleading?

    And yes, I realise bootcamp is only a tool for installing Windows but without it there is no other way to run Windows natively.
  17. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Jul 21, 2012
    You don't even need a hackintosh for good gaming experience.

    I got myself a 2009 Mac Pro for 1300$ (with 16GB RAM and a 2.66 Quad) and bought a PC GTX 570 2.5 for another 500$. You can even use a GTX 680, which has even more gaming power. I still paid less than for a iMac.
    It runs perfectly fine, just to mention.
  18. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    because thats not what people usually say. the normal thing you hear is "Bootcamp is the best way to game on a Mac" and Windows is rarely ever mentioned when people discuss "using Bootcamp"

    Its also misleading because its not the "best" way to run Windows on a Mac. Its running Windows on Mac hardware... sure, and it might be the best, it depends on what the user is doing. I the user is running some very simple little apps, and needs to multitask with OSX apps, then no, its not the best way to run Windows for that user.

    Bootcamp is a tool to help you get Windows installed, and contains some drivers you'll need. You can install Windows directly on your Mac without using Bootcamp... no Bootcamp is not required to do so, but its just easier to do it that way. If you don't use Bootcamp you'd probably want to grab the drivers out it has anyways and still use those.
  19. Tombs macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    Sutton, Surrey England
    I'd say its the other way round....its a PC running Windows but in an Apple designed case...after all the components are PC components just packaged nicely.


    But it isnt all Mac hardware is it? GPU, CPU, hardrive, RAM....all made by other manufacturers.
  20. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    if you don't know what it takes to actually design a computer... you can see it that way. Apple of course buys components, but its not like you just buy a bunch of components and plug them in and it works. Designing a laptop is not like building a desktop at home. There is a huge difference in building and designing. The main logic board design in there (which is Apple's) is very complicated.
  21. gregorsamsa macrumors 6502a

    Apr 6, 2006
    (Metamorphosing near) Staffs, 51st State.
    This would be so if Apple sold Macs running Windows only with no OS X & all the integrated Mac software. But as long as PCs don't run OS X legitimately, or at least sufficiently hassle-free for most consumers, Macs are't PCs even if they're running Windows in Bootcamp. Macs stay unique.

    When you buy a Mac, you're also buying OS X & some great software.

    Not knocking PCs as I own one & actually like W7.
  22. arashb macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2009
    Yeah Bootcamp is a tool, you don't need it to install Windows but it makes no difference to how it runs if you use Disk Utility instead, so why be an ass about that? It's easier to do and there's less risk in messing up the hard drive.

    And seeing how his blog is meant for gaming, I think it's safe to assume that bootcamp is indeed the best way to run Windows.
  23. SlickShoes macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2011
    The problem is people that have no idea what they are talking about. You know what bootcamp is and what it does so it's not an issue.

    I had a friend that thought he could run a program called bootcamp and then play games without buying a windows license or having a windows disc. People use the "just use bootcamp" when they don't even know what it is.

    I spent 12 hours talking a friend through the entire process of using bootcamp and installing and updating windows, for people that don't know much about PC's it is not an easy process, even although some of us can do it in no time at all without even engaging our brains.

    When someone posts on a game forum saying they have a mac they get two responses, get a pc or use bootcamp. Saying that a game runs fine under bootcamp is utter drivel, the game runs fine in WINDOWS, nothing runs in bootcamp.
  24. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    Apple makes some beautiful computers. I came close to getting the rmbp, but at the cost, it must be able to replace my desktop and MBA. It comes close, but isn't quite there yet. The GPU in there is still slower then my nvidia 460, which is the first card I haven't felt any urge to 'upgrade' (it easily handles all the games I enjoy). I find it pretty exciting that it is even in the ballpark. Soon!
  25. adder7712 macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2009
    But still based on Intel's or (formerly) NVIDIA's chipset.

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