What Is Preventing Mac From Being A Dedicated Game Platform?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Demetrio OS, May 7, 2007.

  1. Demetrio OS macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2007
    I switched to Mac 2 years ago. I got a Powerbook. I play WoW on it and I am pretty happy.

    But, I wonder what is Mac "lacking" from making it a gaming platform choice.
  2. FullCollapse macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2006
    Oneonta, NY
    developers don't want to make a mac version of their games because most gamers are playing on windows based machines. the gain from the mac audience i guess isn't large enough to compensate for the development costs. it seems like this is becoming less the case now that macs run intel processors.

    plus, the lack of upgradeable hardware and not particularly great graphics cards is also a big problem in the gaming aspect.
  3. nick004 macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2005
    This is why I love Blizzard :) Great Mac support + awesome games. Been hooked ever since I pitted my human fighters against smelly orcs in Warcraft I. Although admittedly not on a Mac at that time :p
  4. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    They need market volume. The amount of Mac user that are gamers are not enough for them to justify adding a whole software development team.
  5. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I think it's more likely to do with lack of experience in programming on Macs - if you compare recent console sales (US March figures), the total for the four best selling is barely 4 times more than the number of Macs sold (they're monthly figures compared to quarterly for the Mac, so I'm only guesstimating 2.4million consoles vs 600k Macs in the US.)

    And sales of individual consoles is comparable to Mac sales. (All this is handwaving, by the way. Despite much lower hardware sales, sales of console games far outstrips PC games sales)

    Still, enterprising games developers could stand to make lots of money off Mac sales if they made the effort.

    But ... as for a Mac being a "dedicated" games machine ... not going to happen. A few more games for casual gamers would be good, but really, if you want a dedicated games machine, build your own PC.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    blizzard is the exception. and they get a boatload of followers because of their Mac Support. i don't understand why they can co-develop for two platforms, but other developers can't.
  7. Schmittroth macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2003
    NYC, Astoria-Queens
    It's called DirectX people. That is the number 1 reason you won't see so many games on a Mac. B and C level developers aren't interested in the tougher to use API that OpenGL has. Also there are more features in video cards that developers can take advantage with DirectX.
  8. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
  9. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Stupid Developers is the reason

    I wish I had actual numbers but I want to disagree that low revenue would be a reason. When I go to CompUSA, I see a couple of crappy games and a few really good games. Some games like Unreal 2004 have been on the shelfs for years. When you buy PC games, you have so much selection and within 6 months to a year it is in the bargin bin. Then factor in piracy is going to be higher on Windows.

    I really think Mac games make more profit than the same game in Windows. It is just people get hung up on that 5% crap. They forget that 5% may generate 30% to 40% of their revenue for the product. Example I read that Office 2004 represented 13% of all Office sales over a year ago. A good game will make money on the Mac because the selection is terrible so people will more than likely purchase that game compared to Solitare on Mac or Checkers for Babies.

    Also remember that games like StarCraft or Diablo II are multi-format games. But when it is registered for sale it probably is considered a Windows game purchase.
  10. FullCollapse macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2006
    Oneonta, NY
    yeah, blizzard is great. i'm really hoping starcraft 2 will be the project they publicly announce on the 20th.
  11. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    But DirectX 10 is rubbish.....
  12. killr_b macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2005
    Game developers choose DirectX. That's just how it is. And from the guys I talk to, they aren't planning a change.

    Hence bootcamp! Yay!
  13. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040


    Oct 12, 2005
    Yeah Bootcamp is good I think that could change a lot of people's attitudes when a Mac is seen as a games machine.

    Better processors and graphics cards isn't bad either.

    But forr running games in Mac OSX that's still up to Developers, Blizzard is one company whicha has always had good Mac support (I know people have mentioned that before).
  14. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    Market share.

    Nuff said.

    Direct X is pretty good, but if there was a compelling Market to go after, the hounds would be let loose.

    Even the Wii has made a turnaround. You see developers getting pulled off of XBox and PS3 projects just to go for the quick buck.

    When Big Steve intro'd the iPhone, they talked about what market to go after next. They put up a couple of slides of the gaming market and decided that it really wasn't that big after all. It was dwarfed by the phone market, thats why you didn't see an Apple gaming console.
  15. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2006
    Funny, too, because with how standardized the mac platform is, if a developer built a game from the ground up for OS X, they would be able optimize code for the far more standardized hardware far easier than a developer could for windows boxes.
  16. 2ndPath macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2006
    You cannot really compare consoles to Macs. First of all, only a small fraction of the Macs and other PCs is bought primarily for gaming while essentially every console is bought for gaming. This means the effective size of the market for games is smaller for computers even if their number equals the number of the consoles sold.

    Secondly consoles have standardized hardware. And this is not a limited set of components as in the Macs, but almost exactly the same hardware in one generation of a console: A PS2 bought 5 years ago is essentially the same as one bought today. Macs might have less variety in hardware than other PCs, but still differ strongly in performance even between the currently sold models. And if you compare these to those sold over the last 5 years, there is a large variety in hardware with large disparities in performance. This prevents efficient coding to the degree it is done on consoles.

    Thus the Mac games market is probably best compared to the Windows games market. And in this comparison the difference in size is a big disadvantage for games on the Mac. Things like DirectX make cross-platform development more difficult, which again is a problem for the Mac. Another disadvantage for the Mac is probably that many gamers on Windows are the kind of people, who upgrade their machines regularly to keep up with the latest games. For these people the Apples hardware philosophy of all-in-one designs doesn't fit.
  17. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Steve Jobs.

    He doesn't play games so neither can you.

    Bill Gates.

    He dosn't play games, but is smart enough to realise that other people do.
  18. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Neither of these dudes produce games....
  19. OccamsAftrshave macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2007
    "Longs Peak", due this summer, will completely revamp OpenGL API's from the ground up, and "Mt Evans" will have all the Direct3D 10 hardware/card support and is due October (coincident with Leopard.)
    Should be a full match for DirectX10 and ports should be easier.
    Plus there is Cider.
  20. LaDirection macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2006
    People want to make money, look at EA with the iPod. If there was money to be made on Mac gaming, people would flock to it. The sad truth is that while a PC hot title sells millionsof copies, a hot Mac title sells thousands. Mac gaming barely break even on most titles which is why Aspyr, the #1 Mac game company started branching out on PC titles a few years ago.

    A recent survey showed that 55% of people buying Macs are over 50 y old, not your average Half Life players. Many are graphic/video/music artists who won't install games on their machines. What you have left is a very small market indeed.

    I remember playing Raven Shield online. The PC versions had thousands of people playing online at any given time, the Mac version never had more than 20 players connected!

    The only game market that really flourishes on Mac is the casual game market (Zuma, Bejeweled, etc).

    As long as vast majority of the 15-30 y old male market remains on PCk, you won't see many top of the line title being ported (along with the various engine technologies necessary).
  21. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Ya just keep telling yourself that while the rest of the planet plays some visually incredible games.
  22. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    Bootcamp makes the whole Mac gaming issue go away doesn't it? As people already mentioned, lack of marketshare and DirectX makes Mac OS less attractive for gaming, but really using Bootcamp gets you around all of that.
  23. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Microsoft does have PC game titles. They may not do the actual production but at least microsoft releases stuff under their own branding.
  24. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Steve Jobs is the problem.

    As i said, Steve and Bill don't play games - but Bill at least has figured out that other people do and there money to be made there.

    You could almost imagine hoards of Apple employees playing WOW on there lunchbreak, but then flicking over to iPhoto because , "Hey! thats what Macs are good at!" when Steve walks past.


    I like Mac's, and whenever Apple make a decent Mac for the computer enthusiast again I'll renter the fold - till then the only Apple hardware im buying is a new iPod when mine breaks.
  25. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
    When the majority of Macs sold come with a GMA 950, it's hard to consider the platform "serious" for gaming. Also consider that the MacPro comes with a 7300GT. That graphics card is ancient by gaming standards and it is in the top-of-the-line machine!

    Better video hardware is the first step, in my opinion.

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