Mac Gaming Renaissance?

Matt Barton's picture

Tech News World is running the 2nd in a 2-part series on the Mac Gaming Renaissance, which explores some exciting new developments for those with Macs. The first part looks at how "recent changes in the Mac platform, such as the move to Intel processors and the introduction of virtualization software like Boot Camp, Parallels and VMware, have led to a surge in Apple's share of the computer market."

There are in fact some big names "signing on," such as EA, though one wishes the more middling companies would take up the slack. With a proper mouse and keyboard (not supplied, by the way), my iMac has become a heavenly machine for gaming, much better than my admittedly antiquated PC. I also disagree with the oft-heard claim that hardcore gamers love upgrading their PCs. Maybe a subset do, but I know plenty of others who would appreciate the Mac's simplicity in that regard. Indeed, it seems that a healthy Mac gaming platform would be great for developers, since they'd be working with a comparatively uniform platform compared to the PC market, similar to the console markets.

I've been playing several games via bootcamp, such as Age of Empires III, Dungeon Siege 2, and a host of adventure games. The machine handles these games excellently, though it is a pain having to restart into Windows mode. I have no doubt that I'd be better off with games for the iMac rather than the bootcamp option. Still, if more Windows gamers are willing to go Mac because of the bootcamp option, perhaps this might lead (eventually) to more Mac games.

I play the Mac version of World of Warcraft and have been very impressed with that--indeed, it's much nicer in many ways than the PC version. For instance, I can stream iTunes in the background, and WOW will even print the song titles on the gameplay screen for me. I haven't seen the equivalent of that on the PC version.

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Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006
What about Crysis?

What about Crysis?

also, despite how many people I've seen claiming that Mass Effect will never be ported to PC, check this out. Not only is it being ported, but significantly enhanced:

According to EA, Mass Effect has undergone a slight makeover for its PC debut, with new PC-centric "fully customizable" controls, the ability to assign hot keys for "run and gun control," an enhanced inventory system, and a new decryption minigame. The publisher also boasts of the version's new "highly detailed" visuals...

Hmm.

It still seems that although game publishers see the consoles as a cash cow, at least some still save the best for the PC versions.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Ports - Not the same thing

Well, that makes sense, Matt, in that most of the hard work was already done for the 360 version, so it's not a major deal to tweak it a bit and release it for the PC at a much later date. That's true though for many after-the-fact ports whether it's console-to-console or PC-to-console or console-to-PC. If you're talking a year or more later, you often find the port enhanced in some way. It doesn't change the fact that the PC was still an afterthought. Nevertheless, great game and I have the collector's 360 version. It will be well worth it on the PC if it does finally come out.



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Seb
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Joined: 06/04/2006
Mass Effect

There are exceptions, of course. On a lot of big titles i've worked on, the PC version was nothing more than a quick two or three weeks job to improve whatever we could, which often meant upping the textures from 128x128 (PS2) to 256x256. I would take all marketing spiel with a big grain of salt, especially in this industry. I don't know the dev team of Mass Effect, but my guess is that EA put as much effort improving the game for PC as they're anticipating the game to sell. A couple of marketing bullet points to boost sales. Customizable controls, enhanced inventory, and a new minigame... yay!

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