Valve transforms the Mac into a viable gaming platform

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Valve has announced that it will be bringing both the Steam gaming service and Source (Engine) to the Mac.

Indeed, a number of classic games - including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and the Half-Life series - will be available for OS X in April.

Valve transforms the Mac into a viable gaming platform"We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation. The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward," explained John Cook, Director of Steam Development.

"We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. "

Meanwhile, Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead, confirmed that the sequel will be Valve's "first simultaneous release" for Mac and Windows. 



"Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," said Weier. 



"We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."

Half LifeFinally, Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve, emphasized that the Mac version would support "all" of Steamworks APIs.

"We have [also] added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge," noted Holtman.

"For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."