Since the Mac became an Intel-based computer, fans of the platform have been salivating at the prospect of mocking their PC-loving counterparts as Mac OS X claimed superiority in one of the oldest Windows strongholds – gaming.
Sadly, that day has yet to come.
While new Mac models provide the power, in both processing and graphics capabilities, to run the latest games, developers have continued to be cautious when it comes to porting to the Mac. The result? We only see strategy titles, indie games and the bestselling PC titles of the past year or so.
Aspyr and Feral Interactive are doing their best with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Rome: Total War to reinvigorate use of the colon in the English language as well as bring the big hitters to the Mac, and iCreate friends and neighbours at Virtual Programming continue to produce quality with Flatout, Galactic Assault and Championship Manager among its releases.
But it’s today’s rumours of Valve Software‘s planned entry into the market that has gaming fans so excited.
It all began with whispers that the Mac grapevine of the currently PC-only game developer and distributor was thinking of moving its stable of games, which include Left 4 Dead and Half Life, to Mac. These rumours have now been given credence with one of the most intelligent, Apple-centric teaser campaigns for a Mac launch outside of Apple HQ. A series of images featuring major Valve gaming franchises have gone viral via six websites with clever Apple-related hints included in each.
The code translated – It’s likely Mac users will soon be able to download and play Valve games via its Steam online distribution service.
Many sites note that this significant sneak peak is well timed given the Game Developers Conference this month where an announcement could likely be made. It’s also worth noting that Apple’s Mac Pro and MacBook Pro lineup are due for an update which could bring about new graphics cards and other enhancements to improve their gaming credentials.
It’s not yet known whether the lure of the iPod touch and its success in the games market brought about Valve’s change of heart from a historically Windows-focussed standpoint or if Apple’s recent surges in market share have gone any way to make dollar signs flicker in the eyes of Valve’s directors but changes are certainly afoot. The possibilities of a partnership between Apple and Valve are not outside the realms of possibility either.
The viral images in order:
Games website Rock, Paper, Shotgun received the first image featuring a reworking of Apple’s first ever print advert for the Macintosh.
Mac Rumors received an image of Half-Life character Gordon Freeman sporting an Apple logo on his chest
MacNN picked up a render taking off Apple’s Get A Mac adverts featuring turrets from Valve games Portal and Team Fortress 2
Shacknews, another games site, discovered an iPod silhouette ad-style image of a Team Fortress 2 character in its inbox
Eurogamer received an email attachment playing on Apple’s Think Different campaign using a character from Valve’s Left 4 Dead
Macworld’s email provided the final piece of the puzzle, a Half Life character acting out a sequence from Apple’s 1984 commercial.