Steam is the pre-eminent digital distribution platform for PCs. With more than 1,000 games and 25 million user accounts, Steam is by one estimate responsible for more than 70 percent of digital game purchases. Bringing the service to Macs means wider selection, quicker updates and more episodic content for Apple’s traditionally game-deprived computers.
Valve wants to position its games not as static products but as part of an ongoing, constantly updated, ubiquitous service, company co-founder Gabe Newell told Wired.com in advance of Monday’s announcement.
“The traditional model has always been that you have these really extended development times … where you do nothing for customers for several years and then you try to drive everybody into the theaters or into the stores on a given date,” Newell said. “It makes it hard to steer your decisions based on customer feedback, and customers don’t particularly like that. They would like to have the experience of being part of an entertainment community where they’re getting something on a daily or more frequent basis.
Bringing Steam to Mac will give gamers several cross-platform benefits, Newell said.
- If players already own the PC versions of Valve games, they’ll get Mac versions at no extra charge through a feature called Steam Play.
- By using the Steam Cloud feature that the company introduced in 2008, players can save in-progress games online, then call up those saved games no matter which version they’re playing. If you’re playing Half-Life 2 on your home PC but then head out on the road with your MacBook, you can continue your game-in-progress.
“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,” said John Cook, director of Steam development, in Monday’s press release.
“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,” Cook said. “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. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.
Read More http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2010/03/steam-mac/#ixzz0hgb0KFx2
Just saw the news and thought I'd share. Do you guys play any games on you Macs? Are you at all excited about the upcoming opportunity to play some really cool games?