The State of Gaming On OSX

By Chris Calzonetti - May 3rd, 2010


I’ve been running OSX for quite a while now. Probably since 10.2 came out. The reasons are largely work related, and I’m certainly not here to persuade anyone that OSX is any better or worse for your own personal needs which I know nothing about; but as a gamer, I have always had to keep a machine running some version of the Windows OS close at hand.

Apple’s release of Bootcamp for the Intel-based Macs has been a bit of a godsend. It’s the Windows OS, running completely natively with fully supported drivers for Apple by Apple, which was a huge improvement. Granted, there are a couple of really good VM programs out there (Parallels and VMWare Fusion spring readily to mind) but running Windows in a VM is slow, and I have never seen the level of driver support that exists with Bootcamp.

Even more exciting is the growing support for games running in a native OSX environment: Blizzard has always provided very good support for Apple’s OS, all the way back to the original Warcraft; Firaxis, the company that published most of Sid Meier’s games has also worked very closely with a company called Aspyr to port a fair number of games; but these companies were few and far between.


Things are changing though. In recent years, there has been a huge shift in distribution methods for games. Small indie developers have been reacting much more quickly and we’ve seen some real gems out there: Plants vs. Zombies, Braid, and World of Goo. TellTale Games, a group of former LucasArts people, have been producing a whole slew of episodic content. Publishers like Greenhouse are cropping up too, providing places to find all sorts of games for Windows, OSX and Linux.

Let’s not forget Steam; Valve Software has already capitalized on digital distribution, and the icing on the cake is the announcement that Steam is coming to OSX on May 12th, bringing with it Valve’s hottest titles (though few if any of the third-party titles will be available). How many of them come on board in the future remains to be seen. (I would love to see Defense Grid, but I’m not going to hold my breath). Steam isn’t the game changer though. If anything, they’re reacting the smaller developers and publishers who have already realised that Windows isn’t the whole market. It does mean that I’ll be booting to Windows less and less.

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  2. By BillyHW
    Posted on May 4, 2010

    Football Manager!!!!

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