Valve Announces Half-Life 2 For Mac

By John Walker on May 26th, 2010 at 12:14 am.

Some Mac users, in a queue at a Mac Store, yesterday.

Valve has, without comment, released the video you’ll find below to announce Half-Life 2 for the Mac. To do so there’s brand new pre-rendered footage of Alyx, along with other Half-Life 2 familiars, which is clearly something that’s going to be worth a watch. It’s brief, it’s to promote a million year old game, but hey – it’s more HL2. Also, have they hidden any clues in there about anything else? It seems the sort of thing they’d do, and you seem the sort of person who’d be able to spot it.

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175 Comments »

  1. LewieP says:

    They did release it in both .wmv and .mov, which I thought was a nice touch.

    • The Hammer says:

      I giggled.

      That IS a nice touch.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Hmm, not sure why that’s a nice touch, as Steam is now both Mac and Windows. I’m pretty sure people of either platform would be interested to see the video.

      As for Mac as a whole, I really hope more developers will provide a Mac- version too, because the Mac looks so tempting now it’s all Intel processor and ATI graphics card filled these days.

  2. heartlessgamer says:

    Ugh… I thought it may be just a bad joke, but they actually went ahead and did it (the commercial rip off that is).

    • Rich says:

      Rule one of marketing. Know your customers.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Know your customers? Hah, that’s a good one, but how about we turn it around to being know the company you’re buying your games from.

      Rip off indeed and did they really have to do this after this long? Heck no.

  3. Razz says:

    Yeah, obviously rip-off/reference/ode to the “original” Mac commercial, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV3ubP8.

  4. Harley Turan says:

    Is it just me or did that seem slightly shoddy compared to previous Valve marketing efforts? It would’ve been much nicer with a simple noise/colour filter to fit with the style of the original ad.

    Also, TF2.

  5. Drexer says:

    Now I’m nostalgic. But should I play HL2 or read 1984?

    Still, I’m glad they took the fan images to their logical conclusion. It is very atmospheric and fitting in the HL2 universe.

  6. Slaphead says:

    Indeed. You can’t own your games on either platform. You just get a “license” to use them.

    • Vinraith says:

      Indeed, that was a very poor choice of words on Valve’s part.

    • Barman1942 says:

      That’s the way it is with all games.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Barman
      In principle? Sure. In practice, no one can flip a switch and make me incapable of playing most of my boxed games.

    • The Hammer says:

      I, er, don’t think the advert was getting into legal jargon. I also doubt they were trying to make a point with it. “Do you own/have [insert game here]?” is a common colloquialism when discussing games. There’s really no need to take this literally.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Yeah, but if they do flip a switch you can just download a crack for the thing they switched off, provided you’ve got the data saved. You could even download the crack now and just have it, just in case. Illegal? sure. Exactly as illegal is if someone decided to revoke your license to a boxed copy of a game you had (which they can do, since it’s just a license that’s held entirely on their terms).

      The practicalities really aren’t THAT different.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Hidden_7

      Two things:

      1) If you haven’t presently got a Steam game downloaded and they “flip the switch” it’s gone, period. You can’t crack what you haven’t got. With boxed copies you’ve always got a copy of the data on hand, they can’t take that away from you. Obviously the solution is backups, but that requires preemptive action (where none is required with a boxed copy).

      2) I’ve not tried cracking Steam games, but my understanding is that Source-based games present a much greater obstacle to cracking than a normal CD-check based game would. I’m also under the impression (feel free to correct if I’m wrong) that for many Steam games a crack doesn’t exist, either because boxed versions of those games don’t exist (so no “no-CD crack” has manifested) or for various other reasons.

    • rargphlam says:

      @Vinraith

      Actually, there’s a perfectly functional cracked version of Steam that doesn’t require you to be online. The DRM works in such a way that it requires SOME form of a client, but once you crack the client, the world is your oyster.

      Well, except for online. It does work, but Steam’s VAC protection tends to ban users of the cracked Steam. It doesn’t address the problem that almost all Digital Distribution’s have (you don’t have a back up, your game is gone forever), but that’s more of an inherent problem with DD than anything else.

    • Kadayi says:

      I see Vinraith is still toting his particular brand of ‘The sky is falling FEAR’ when it comes to all things Steam (because FEAR of the extremely improbably is a good way to live a full life). I suppose he’s also still telling everyone how he sees no point in Win 7 Vs XP still? Or has he actually evolved?

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Of course if you don’t have the game downloaded/backed up and your digital distributor goes under you can’t get it anymore. Really, that’s the digital delivery territory though. If you’re worried about that at all it doesn’t take very long to rectify it (back up a copy). That’s not required with a boxed copy since you already have a backup, but you also have to put on pants to get a boxed copy (or wait for delivery from Amazon etc.) so they both have their issues.

      And yeah, as previously mentioned, everything can be and will be cracked.

    • frymaster says:

      “my understanding is that Source-based games present a much greater obstacle to cracking than a normal CD-check based game would”

      for online… maybe, although you should subscribe to the mailing list. every now and then someone will moan about how mod A or feature B doesn’t work with no-steam servers (i.e. ones which let people play with cracked clients), and defend themselves by claiming that in their non-first-world country, 99% of all players have pirated the game

      for offline, definately not. remember that the game has to function without an internet connection (for if you’re playing on the road with steam in offline mode) so it can’t do anything fancy. And for non-steamworks or source games, I have been told by people in the know that it’s fairly easy.

      The main benefits of steam as a DRM platform are enforcing legit copies online (assuming a non-cracked server) like many other things do, and preventing pre-zero-day piracy by having physical media be encrypted and require a decryption key from steam to work.

      imo it’s the second one that’s important – my personal opinion is a lot of the people who are keen enough to download a game pre-release are also mostly the people that are keen enough to pre-order it if they can’t pirate it i.e. the “conversion rate” is higher. Encrypted disks prevent copies of the game going “missing” from distributors / shops and ending up online

    • Wulf says:

      Yep, you’re all right. This is what really ticks me off with the unfair discrimination of Valve, because while it works it’s more fair and polite than any other form of DRM, and if it didn’t work then it would be just as easy to crack as a non-Steam game.

      Point of fact: The ‘if you haven’t downloaded it’ argument is a non-argument. Steam allows you to create full backups, whether you make those backups or not is down to the user, and if you don’t then it’s your failure to do so. If Gamer’s Gate were to ‘flip the switch’ on some of your downloads and you didn’t have local copies, then that would be that, wouldn’t it? And yet, some people sing the praises of Gamer’s Gate and unfairly discriminate against Valve. That’s incredibly annoying, completely unfair, and they’re making a distinction that in reality does not exist.

      I needed to stress that last part, I felt it was important.

      If you backup your Steam games from the backup function that exists within Steam, it’s the same as backing up a game from Gamer’s Gate. If the DRM no longer works then you can use the piratey Steam emulator thing, which I know from experience works very effectively (I gave it a test run a bit back, it really is a marvellous thing).

      So…

      1.) You can keep the games you download.
      2.) You can crack the games you download and untie them from Steam.

      How is this any different than Gamer’s Gate?

      Though to be honest, the Steam detractors don’t seem to operate on logic. This all feels too much like a witch-hunt, and I do not like witch-hunts, wherein something is an aberration and should be burnt to the ground for all its evils. But if you ask about what these evils are, you’ll get mumbled, nonsensical replies. “How do you know that person is a witch? What evils have they done?” The same is true with Steam. Everything negative you could say about Steam you could say about any other DRM, and everything positive (like backing up and cracking) can be said about Steam too.

      I’ve got a good nose for FUD, and at the end of the day, this sounds like FUD, and people being technophobic luddites (which is always something that’s gotten under my skin). If you want to have a hate for something, then have a real reason for hating it, but give me one thing that Gamer’s Gate, with SecuROM DRM (as the vast majority of their games have, where only a few games are DRM free, and usually those DRM free games use only Steam DRM on Steam) can do that you can’t accomplish with Steam.

      This hatred of Steam is illogical, and those hating have blinders on. They refuse to see things as they are, rather than as they were.

    • jalf says:

      Why compare it to GamersGate specifically? Because it’s the shoddiest digital distribution service ever, meaning that Steam can only end up looking good?

      Impulse and Direct2Drive do allow you to decouple your game so even if D2D flicks the switch on a game you bought from them, you can still download and play it from Impulse. Admittedly not with *all* of their games, but still.

      Does Steam allow that with *any* games? I thought not. Impulse is, I believe, working on OpenID integration. Steam has no plans of either 1) allowing me to log in with anything other than the dead email address I signed up with 6 years ago, and haven’t had access to for the last 4, or 2) handing over authentication to someone qualified for the job.

      The “forgot password” function is broken, and has been for years. It sends everyone the same code, making it a wee bit less secure than I’d like.

      They often forget to list info about the DRM included with a game, so you literally have no clue what you’re buying.

      But ultimately, while Steam has some flaws compared to their competitors (and yes, they have a few areas where they shine as well), that doesn’t really matter. What matters is if they’re good *enough*. They can be the best digital distribution service in the world and still suck. And they do. You get less, for about twice the price. They have a history of 1) security flaws, and 2) refusing to provide support to those affected by the flaws, so giving them the power to “flick the switch” on my games is a bit uncomfortable you might say. And when it costs about twice as much to download 4GB of data as it does to have a physical box with a physical dvd and manual shipped to you, something is wrong. Whether it is Steam’s fault or the publisher, it still means Steam as a service doesn’t really service you very well.

      Where other digital distribution services (which for the most part still suck, yes) are actually improving, and compete on actually offering value to the customer, Steam stubbornly sticks with the exact same model they had 6 years ago, giving the customer nothing whatsoever.

      And you know, the funny thing is, I don’t hate Steam. But it seems like I end up sounding like it, again and again, because it stands in such sharp contrast to the fluffy pink clouds that most Steam users seem to envelop themselves in.

      @Britpunk:

      Arguing semantics over ownership is folly. Nobody has had their Steam switched off for any reason. Nobody will

      A few people on the Steam forums would like to argue that point with you. I believe you’re right, Steam has never switched off anyone’s account as such. But they have failed to protect people’s accounts from getting hacked, and they have failed to recover the account afterwards.

      That’s the problem with the discussion over ownership. It’s not just “Valve can take back my games”, but also “anyone else can take my games and I have to rely on Valve to get them back”

      But you’re right about DRM. It is hassle-free, and if that’s what it takes to keep developers making games on the PC, it could be a lot worse. Steam has its good sides and bad sides. But pretending that *because* it has its good sides, none of the bad sides matter is just foolish.

    • MD says:

      Wulf, the fact that some people have different priorities to you, and care more or less than you do about certain aspects of a DRM scheme, doesn’t make them any of the various names you called them.

      The suggestion that “everything negative you could say about Steam you could say about any other DRM” is the clearest kind of nonsense. Leaving aside questions of ownership, the obvious distinction between Steam and many other DRM schemes is the need for a client not only to install the games, but to run them.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      not everything will be, games which are so small they escape notice don’t get cracked.

    • jalf says:

      Oh whoops, perhaps I should comment on the article itself too. Whatever Steam’s failing as a service in general, adding support for Mac, porting Valve’s games, and allowing users to access their games on both platforms is a brilliant move.

      Steam has its flaws, but this is not one of them.

    • Bhazor says:

      @ Rargphlam, Hidden_7 and Kadayi

      So you can download an illegal crack for Steam so that you can use what you’ve paid for if Steam stops working? How is this a point in Steam’s favour exactly?

    • Hidden_7 says:

      My point wasn’t that this was in Steam’s favour. It was simply a reply to the suggestion that, unlike boxed copies, you somehow “own” your games less if it’s on a DD service.

      In neither case do you own the game, you own the physical media only. Vinraith suggested that this is true in principle, but in practice a DD service like Steam can go under, turn off your account, whatever, and you’ve lost access to your game, unlike a boxed copy. I was simply countering that the practicalities aren’t THAT different.

      Yes, it is slightly more hassle to get access to your game if it’s on Steam after you’ve been told you can’t have it anymore (for whatever reason). It would be easier with a boxed copy, but not THAT much easier. If you’re really worried about that happening, but still want to use Steam, just back up your games when you download them, save the discs (like you would a boxed copy) and keep a copy of a Steam emulator crack kicking around. You now won’t lose access to your library if Steam shuts down or decides to deny you access in the future. YES, it was more trouble than if you just had a boxed copy, but again, you didn’t have to leave the house. So it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other. If you don’t mind leaving the house that much, don’t buy stuff online, get it at a shop.

      My main point, was that in the event that you’ve been denied access to your game for whatever reason, license revoked or whatever, downloading the illegal crack is exactly as illegal as simply installing the game from your boxed copy. In this bizarre mind-think where a publisher removes your license to play a game you bought, you are now no longer allowed to use any of the data on the disc you have, because you don’t own it, you never owned it, you were always only licensing it, and that license has expired. It’s easier to break the law by installing a game off a disc than it is to download a crack, but not a huge amount easier, and in both cases you are acting contrary to the publisher’s wishes, and the law.

      In conclusion, yeah, Steam type things drive home the idea that you are merely licensing software a little harder than boxed copies, that’s not a point in their favour. But they also aren’t really behaving in a fundamentally different way than those boxed copies.

    • Bhazor says:

      You’re right, they *can* refuse your license to use a boxed copy. They *can* refuse to provide support or ban you from using it on-line. But they *can’t* come into your house and seize it and as far as I know theres no law that requires you to return it to them.

      But what can you actually do that would have someone revoke the license for a boxed game? The only thing I can think of is using it to make multiple copies or reverse engineering the software to use it in something else. With Steam you can be banned for two weeks for filing a Paypal complaint (trust me I know), reporting a stolen credit card or a dozen other things. Thats not even going into the other factors which could block your access like server instability, company takeovers, individual publishers suddenly pulling their games, borked off line modes or developer ineptitude in releasing a game breaking patch which Steam force you to download in order to play.

      Thats the issue here. Yes a boxed copy could have it’s license revoked. But it probably wont.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Yeah, now I am wondering. Are we going to get the Mac versions of games we already own as a bonus / freebie or do we have to pay for it?

      From what I see most games that have both Mac and Windows support, are a single license to be able to play them.

      Hope that’s true for HL2 too.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Wulf

      I’ll never understand why a thoughtful, intelligent poster like yourself feels the need to resort to base insults, ad hominem attacks, and general mischaracterizations in defense of Steam. You ask how it’s different than Gamersgate. For the most part it isn’t, GG has the same “if you haven’t backed it up you’re screwed” issue that Steam has, but of course in GG’s case there’s no need to “actively” make a back up, you can just download the game. With regards to cracking, with GG you only ever have to crack the game, not deal with the fundamental risks and problems of a full cracked client.

      But yes, several of these are general problems with most digital distribution. I never claimed otherwise. As others point out, GOG and D2D do get around the issue of having any site-specific protection at all, which is nice, though with D2D you never know what you’re getting DRM-wise.

      You say Steam is good “because while it works it’s more fair and polite than any other form of DRM.” You are entirely welcome to your opinion, of course, but it is exactly that. Among major digital distributors Steam is still the only service that has ever repeatedly denied me access to my games. It is the most complex service to “liberate” games from (GG is second, and still quite a pain). If it works for you and you trust the people that run it, that’s fine, no one here is saying you shouldn’t use it. No one here hates Valve, and indeed I have quite a few games on my Steam account. This does not mean we should not question those aspects of the system that present problems, and it certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them on a misrepresentation of their service like this use of the word “ownership.”

    • Vinraith says:

      @Hidden_7

      Yes, it is slightly more hassle to get access to your game if it’s on Steam after you’ve been told you can’t have it anymore

      And for the record, that was the sole point of my reply. By and large I think you and I agree.

    • durr says:

      Even the original ad from Apple seems very ironic today. Apple is the WORST when it comes to DRM, software and hardware lock ins. Their platform is about as closed and 1984 as it gets.

  7. dan says:

    All I want is TF2. Give me TF2 on my mac.

  8. Dawngreeter says:

    Am I the only one offended by this? The screenshotted line, I mean.

    • Slaphead says:

      No, you’re not. I’ve been playing games since the mid-eighties, and never could get over the way game companies now insist that you don’t own your copy of the game you’ve purchased. In a way statements like in that screencap are bait-and-switch marketing, since you pay roughly the same price for a game as you’ve paid for decades, but now you don’t own that copy, and many companies reserve the right to “revoke your license” for it for whatever reason.
      That’s one of the reasons I’ve take to mostly buying games only at the point where they hit the bargain bins. A “license to play” the first Mass Effect, is no way in hell worth 50€ to me, but the 14€ I finally ended up paying for it is much more sane.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      This has ALWAYS been true. Errr… ok, to be fair, it’s only be true as long as I’ve been playing games, which has been for about 20 years now, but it’s been true for a LOT longer than people are making it out to be, i.e. it hasn’t just cropped up in the last few years. You always only OWNED the physical media, not the data; the data was used under license. That is, you owned the CD/diskette/cartridge the game was saved on, but not access to the data.

      Theoretically, you could have had your, say… System Shock license revoked for whatever reason. It’s just slightly easier these days to make that actually stick, with DRM etc. You would have still been in exactly the same wrong (legally) installing Thief after your license was revoked as you would be torrenting HL2 because you got your Steam access taken away (has this ever actually happened?)

      All that’s happened lately is the terms of service under which you use games has become a lot more overt and obvious than they were back in the day; the terms haven’t actually changed.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      The difference is that the license used to be easily transferrable.

      Now it is, maybe, if you have it on the right platform/DRM system.

    • Lukasz says:

      @drewski
      that’s your problem? that you cannot resale it…
      big deal. seriously.. [huge sarcasm]BIG DEAL[/huge sarcasm]

      and yeah. Movies, music, books… you only own the physical object (cds, box, paper, ink) never the content of the medium. It has been like that since the dawn of the copyright.

      So steam is nothing else than another form of allowing to use the producers’ property.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      There’s no need to be a dick about it. Fine, you don’t believe in reselling things. To other people, it’s a significant loss of first sale rights.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      Oh yeah, ok, I totally agree with you on the reselling thing. That is some bullshit. Considering how all these DRM / first copy DLC / DD type situations pretty blatantly go against first sale doctrine I’m sort of expecting a big ole’ class action lawsuit against someone or other at some point over this.

      My point was just addressing your ability to continue to play your game that you payed for in perpetuity.

    • Clovis says:

      Wait, you are saying that you only own the physical object for ANY type of media? I only own the physical copy of the book, not the words in the book? So, you think that the publisher of the book can revoke my license to read my book?!? Er…. no.

      A physical copy of a game = a physical copy of a book. Once I have bought it I have full access to everything in that book or on that disk, and it cannot be “revoked”. I can sell the physical copy and the new owner now has full access to it. I cannot make copies of it though. If I sign a contract saying that I only have limited access, then I would only have limited access. EULAs are not contracts.

      Creators do NOT have complete control over how their works are used. Once they sell a copy, they cannot control the use of that particular copy any more. Show me a law that says otherwise.

    • Starky says:

      @Clovis

      Yes, yes they can and it has been done in the past, I remember an example with D&D that a clause in the licensing required 3rd party companies to destroy any copy of no-longer-licensed works, AND make a reasonable effort to destroy all copies their CUSTOMERS have.

      Obviously that is unenforceable, but yes a book publisher could revoke your licence to read that book – you can ignore this demand and there is sod all they can do to enforce it, but by reading it you are in breach of copyright laws.

      Another example that is fairly common is with supplementary learning material provided with software, say for example Autocad. You can buy the Course material (books for the students, practice tests, exercises so on) on a yearly basis. Should you decide to stop paying you have to send those books and materials back.
      You’re just renting those books.

      Of course it is harder to enforce in a physical product – but book publishers are already moving towards a digital model, because books cost a lot to produce and ship (they are heavy) and make very little profit.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      If that were true about books, then http://www.bookcrossing.com/ would have been shut down ages ago on the same basis many torrent trackers get shut down.

      Now, obviously, companies can write whatever they want into their contracts. This does not make contracts enforceable or, indeed, legal. Granted, I’m armchair-lawyering here so it’d be nice of someone with actual knowledge on the subject could step in.

    • Clovis says:

      @Starky: Show me the law. There might be one in the UK, but there is none in the US.

      Now, if you sign a contract, which is usually what happens when businesses license things, then yes. But when I buy a book at Barnes & Noble, I do not sign any contracts. In the US at least, the copyright laws do not give the owners that kind of control.

      Please tell me this is just a UK vs US law thing. I’ve found the “software is a license” argument frustrating, but to believe that buying a book is just a license is like somehow wandering into bizzaro land. I can’t find anything with a quick google search about this either.

    • PHeMoX says:

      14€ is still somewhat of a rip off after 2 years. I think a physical copy costs less already, more like 10€.

      Steam is in no way a cheap service. But I like the online distribution part nonetheless.

      If they would at least give Europeans the dollar prices like it used to be, I’d shut up and be happy.

      But it’s insane what you’ll have to pay for the ‘license’.

  9. geldonyetich says:

    Poor choice of words. “Game Ownership is No Longer Dictated By Platform” makes it sound like if I buy any game served through Steam, I automatically have ownership to that game on all other platforms. I doubt it.

    • Archangel says:

      Actually, you do own the (Steam-purchased) game on all other platforms. That’s the whole idea behind Steam Play; if you own it on PC, you automatically own it on the Mac (and vice versa)

    • geldonyetich says:

      Wow – I’m surprised they managed to get all the publishers under them to agree with that.

    • jsdn says:

      I think it’s just for Half-Life 2 right now. Since Valve is their own publisher, it wasn’t that hard to convince themselves of their own idea.

    • bob_d says:

      @geldonyetich:
      I’m not *entirely* sure they have. Games that already have Mac versions, such as Bioshock and Dragon Age haven’t shown up on Steam yet; perhaps they will still, or perhaps Valve has only really been making the promise for their own offerings, but implying it was universally true. Guess we’ll find out in the next few months.

    • Thants says:

      It’s not just Half-Life 2. All of the (not that many) Mac games on Steam now have it.

    • Paul B says:

      @Thants – Not all the Mac ports are available on Steam. For those interested there’s a list of those games with Steam Play, and those that have Mac versions but aren’t on Steam yet, on SavyGamer:
      http://savygamer.co.uk/2010/05/12/the-steam-mac-watchlist/

      In response to the OP – here’s hoping a Linux version is in the works, then all major platforms will be covered.

    • LionsPhil says:

      geldonyetich: There are some non-Valve games which have SteamPlay or whatever they’re calling it, such as Altitude. I would expect indies to be more sensible about extending your license across all platforms, if only because most indies seem to do porting work themselves, whereas conventionally “big” games ported to Mac get outsourced. (Ironically, support for Linux, when present, tends to be in-house, same-license, network-compatable and patch-synchronised: UT up to 2004 and Neverwinter Nights 1 being examples. Go figure.)

      Also, hahaha Steam DRM argument. I finally give in and buckle to buying an indie game on sale via Steam, and the DRM system promptly fucks over my plans to run it on my notebook even though the game itself has no issues with that. (Go on, ignore the point of this argument and complain that I’m running a ten-year-old OS. I know you guys can’t stand to imagine Valve as anything but a shining white knight, saviour of all that is PC gaming.)

  10. Premium User Badge

    Nathan says:

    Hoping for a PC engine update and Steam achievements to come with this too…

    • internisus says:

      I would be thrilled to get that long-awaited engine update and achievements for HL2 and Ep1 on Windows when this goes live. I doubt it, but I still haven’t given up hope for that.

    • Ricc says:

      @Nathan:

      It’s a little weird. The Xbox 360 port of the Orange Box already added graphical updates and achievements to HL2 and HL2:EP1, so it shouldn’t take them that long… :/

    • Rohit says:

      Could it have taken this long because Valve had been rewriting the engine for Mac ever since releasing the Orange Box?

    • Qazi says:

      Back when the Steam User Interface beta was released, you could have taken a gander at Half-Life 2 in the fancy details viewer. If you were fast enough, you may have noticed a mysterious panel between [Friends] and [Recent News]… displaying the status of 33 locked achievements.

      http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/Qazicle/mysterious.png

      This panel swiftly disappeared in the next BetaUI update.

  11. thinsoldier says:

    Can’t get peggle, portal, torchlight, world of goo, zuma, or altitude to run on my macbook.

    Disappointment is an understatement.

  12. Jimbo says:

    Except you jerks that own PS3s. You can stay in game prison for now.

  13. Futurecast says:

    So this is very good news.
    However, does this mean Half Life 2 mods (like Dystopia and Garry’s Mod) will carry over onto Mac ?

  14. Wednesday says:

    A lot of over sensitive response already.

    And they say PC gamers can be precious.

    • Rich says:

      Yup, that’s exactly what we need.

      “PC gamers can be precious”
      “Oh yeah? Well Mac users are elitist idiots”
      “Oh yeah?”
      “Yeah!”
      “OH YEAH???”
      “YEAH”
      Console gamer walks in:
      “ROFL pc and MAC sux, 360 roxors ur mum LOL!!!!!1111″
      …and so forth.

  15. redrain85 says:

    I admire the effort and attempt at an homage to Apple’s 1984 ad, but it does seem to fall a little flat compared to all of Valve’s past efforts at marketing.

    Tangentially related, does anyone think that Microsoft’s recent Fable 3 on PC announcement is perhaps a response to a perceived threat from Valve? Considering this is the first Windows game they’ve released in years?

    Because, in the long term, Valve could very well dominate all computer gaming when Steam arrives on all the major OSes (Windows, OSX, Linux), if Microsoft doesn’t wake up.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I don’t think Microoft has any desire to publish for the Mac or Linux. It’s clearly a PC/XBox company and it want its share increased, not further diluted by its own hand.

    • redrain85 says:

      Sure, I realize Microsoft would have little interest in publishing for the Mac and none at all for Linux.

      I was thinking more that, should MS continue to ignore the PC as they have these last few years: Valve could eventually use their potential dominance, to leverage the gaming market on computers away from Microsoft completely.

      Hence the sudden renewed interest in the Game for Windows brand at Microsoft.

      Then again, it could just be a one-off in an attempt to boost sales of Natal. It’s hard to fathom just what the hell the people responsible for the Games for Windows division at MS are thinking. Other than ways to continually fail miserably at their jobs. *shrugs*

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Ah gotcha.

      Actually, if you want to know, It’s Microsoft stance that has been me the most worried(?) concerning PC gaming and this overall trend of gaming publishers/studios moving away from PC development.

      There will be dragons when the most successful PC software company seems to not gather an interest in this platform concerning the gaming area, despite having the actual technology, infrastructure and know-how to mount a credible alternative to Steam.

    • ManaTree says:

      Yeah, seriously, I don’t understand what these companies DON’T understand. I’ve used a couple services, but I guess the one that comes closest for mainstream stuff is Impulse, which is a good client, but it’s so barren, if you understand what I mean. I wish Steam was more like Stardock’s policy, though.

      Better yet, everyone just follow GOG’s policy.

  16. Mario Figueiredo says:

    I can understand the grief about Valve’s choice of words for this announcemnet. I really can folks. And you have my sympathy.

    It’s just a shame I don’t see the same manifestation when more pressing matters to your own interests are at hand and you keep buying games with DRM.

    Now, go ahead and gang up on me. I can take it.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s just a shame I don’t see the same manifestation when more pressing matters to your own interests are at hand and you keep buying games with DRM.

      What a strange comment, I see exactly the same kind of concern about other forms of invasive DRM, many of which even Steam critics will tell you are far worse than Steam. If the complaint is about people not living up to the way they talk, I fear that’s a general human failing.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yes, Vinraith. It’s a comment to DRM in general. Not just Steam’s. (Although I do find Steam DRM as troublesome as Ubisoft’s. But I exhausted my will to pursue that argument any further).

      In any case, just my way to try and keep everyone on their toes. Add actions to your words, or keep accepting insulting to injury.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Mario

      Add actions to your words, or keep accepting insulting to injury.

      Absolutely no argument there, talking about DRM does nothing if people don’t back up their words with their wallets.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Yeah. I take my notes. :) I know that’s your opinion on that matter too.

      In essence, what I’m trying to say (and in retrospect, I just should have flat out said it) is that before we can even dream of arguing for ownership of our games, we first need to take back our first sale rights.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      SteamRM is rubbish, yes, but the games are so ridonkulously cheap in the sales (the only time I buy stuff on Steam) that I’ll put up with annoying DRM, the reality I’m only renting, and an resource hogging client.

  17. skinlo says:

    I quite enjoyed the trailer!

  18. Kid A says:

    I love the way a lot of Mac “gamers” are expecting these games to work out of the box with any old Mac, then complaining when they don’t. I have had to deal with this from 5 different people, and my answer to all of them has been “Install a better graphics card/more RAM/better CPU/all of the above then… OH WAIT…”

    • Thants says:

      So you gave the same smug, jerky response to 5 different people? You charmer, you.

    • Mr_Day says:

      I don’t have a problem with Apple computers, they are fine.

      But I have to admit, I did chuckle a bit when I realised that, in this picture:

      http://rpad.tv/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Steam-on-Mac-2.png

      The one saying “I’m a PC” could be upgraded.

    • ManaTree says:

      @Mr_Day

      It’s a very apt analogy, isn’t it? Someone talked about how the sentries and uhh, other sentries (don’t remember their name, sorry) are pretty analogous to PCs and Macs. It’s pretty hilarious to think about.

      IT’S META!

    • jeremypeel says:

      @ Mr_Day: That’s pretty great. Not the first time I’ve noted parallels between Aperture and Apple either.

    • Muzman says:

      Kid A has a point though. Most Mac users I’ve known would react that way. Upgrading is a foreign concept. The box’s mysterious innards are none of their concern and make them slightly queezy in thinking about it. PC users, and gamers particularly, are crazed Dr Moreau-esque transplant surgeons by contrast.

      This is changing, in both directions, of course. It has been for a while, as Macs become more like PCs in platform flexibility and PCs became more prepackaged. I’m interested to watch how Valve’s bridge building goes.

    • RedFred says:

      I struggle to understand the desire to own a Mac especially given that they use normal PC components now. It’s a completely superficial thing it seems.

      It’s smooth, shiny and white. But it’s basically a normal PC handicapped by Apple’s atrocious software.

    • Rich says:

      I think OSX is definitely a selling point. If you don’t actually like OSX, you’re unlikely to see why.
      Me, I tolerate Windows, as Macs are too expensive for me right now. I actually like using OSX however.

  19. Kristinn says:

    Ok, now I’m ready for Ep 3. Any time now Valve. Whenever you’re ready. Go ahead.

  20. Brendan says:

    What’s there to hate about Steam? It’s the best game distribution system on the net to date. News, updates, massive library, constant specials and deals, stat tracking, cloud data, offline play, etc. Only problem I have with it is Australia’s strangely increased prices.

    If you are worried about not actually owning the games tied to your account because they aren’t physical copies, then you better go and get all of your money out of your bank and hide it in your sock draw, buddy, because according to your logic that money isn’t actually yours.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      You are sort right there.

      But then imagine you (didn’t take the money out and) one day went to pay for something important and your bank says “No, sorry, we’ve revoked your bank account. You don’t own that money any more.”

      I think that’s the bit upsetting people, not the digital delivery thing.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      I don’t think anyone in here hates steam… Anyone?

      Personally, I use them for my back catalogue often. But…

      This is a business. I owe it nothing. They never invited me over for dinner and I don’t have a share of their profits. So I don’t see why I should be any loyal to them. Less cynically though, what this means is that just because I like something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t talk about what I consider its flaws. My wife loves me and she’s always complaining.

    • jalf says:

      What’s there to hate about Steam? Lousy support, known security holes, grossly overpriced games, and frequently more restrictive DRM than their competitors…. Just to name a few things.

      But like Mario said, they’re a business. I don’t hate them or love them, or owe them anything. I buy from them on the two or three occasions every year when they actually have a product I want at a competitive price.

      But sheesh, anyone pretending that there is nothing to dislike about the Steam service really need to wake up.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Brendan

      This bank analogy keeps coming back up and I find it very strange. In the UK, can a bank just up and decide to keep all your money? Are there no legal ramifications for this for them? Does the government simply stand by? Is there no oversight whatsoever?

      Because here in the US, if my bank fails, the FDIC covers my losses. If my bank arbitrarily decides to deny me access to my money, I have legal recourse. Steam’s user agreement, if you actually read it, very clearly lays out that Steam owes you nothing, and you own nothing. They can revoke your access at any time, for any reason. There will be no one to cover your losses, there is no legal action to be taken, you’re just screwed.

      If that’s equivalent to the way banking works in the UK, you guys need some serious legal reform.

    • Collic says:

      It isn’t how it works in the UK. It’s just the slashdot car analogy all over again.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      A good analogy resists a few hours of intense debate. But a bad analogy lives forever.

    • Paul B says:

      @Vinraith – Simple answer – same thing in the UK – you are covered for up to £50,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). But I feel this bank comparison perhaps isn’t the best analogy too?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Collic and Paul B

      I figured as much, but it’s good to have confirmation.

    • Alex says:

      Hate? Perhaps a bit too strong. Greatly Dislike will do though. It’s not even the (probably slim) possibility of losing access, it’s the requirement to run the Steam client first that really annoys me. I want to play my game, right now. I don’t want to launch steam, connect to my account, prepare to launch my game, then finally launch it, every time.

      The most frustrating thing of all is if the steam server is inaccessible (say they’ve just released a very popular game, and everyone is downloading it), then I can’t play the single-player off-line games I already own and have installed! “Offline Mode” does not work under these circumstances, it just isn’t offered.

      Apart from their sales, Steam are also more expensive than buying a physical copy from an online retailer and having it posted to you.

    • Grunt says:

      I’m with Alex. Hate is too strong an emotion for a games client/shopping system but Greatly Dislike describes my feelings for Steam nicely, and for the same reasons. Never mind the issue of ownership vs rental – having the client interrupt every time I want to do anything with the game I’ve bought feels a lot like the game is no longer truly mine apart from to actually play. While the mouth-breathers of the computing world may feel reassured that Steam is there to spoon-feed them I am perfectly capable of installing patches and launching game all by myself, and resent the inrusion.

      Hence, my Steam catalogue is small and not liable to grow very much except in rare instances where they offer something I cannot get elsewhere.

    • Collic says:

      @Grunt.
      I’m sorry but what utter nonsense. Implying anyone who doesn’t have a problem with Steam is one of the “mouth-breathers of the computing world” doesn’t exactly make you appear like an intelligent commentator. In fact, throwing out comments like that pretty paints you in exactly that light.

    • Grunt says:

      Dear Collic, don’t be sorry – stand up for what you think. No need to apologise for it.

      The implication wasn’t that anyone who used and liked Steam was a mouth-breather, it was that the only people likely to welcome Steam’s dick-holding intrusion into their gaming life were people unable to handle such simple chores as applying patches and launching a game themselves, both so laughably simple in the modern era that ‘mouth-breather’ was the first term that sprang to mind to describe such a being. I repeat ‘first. Not ‘best’. Upon a fresh read-over hours later I freely admit I didn’t make myself entirely clear and the resulting ambiguity left me open to misinterpretation and being pretty painted.

      If it helps, I spent enough time on Digg to grow utterly weary of the polarised camps of opinion that believed their own viewpoint the epitome of rational thinking and casting anyone who disagreed as mad/deluded or, crucially, less intelligent than they are. I don’t play those games, just PC games. But it does irk me a little seeing the gratuitous tongue-bathing Steam gets here contrasted with the sheer vitriol poured on upon every other DRM solution out there. People just accept what Steam does like it hasn’t harmed our gaming experience in any way and then get huffy and puffy when people raise legitimate grievances against it or suggest better alternatives. It’s a bit like Democracy in that way…better alternatives exist but we’re too busy celebrating what we’ve got and belittling those alterniatives that don’t work so well and those who dare criticise.

  21. DaveyJones says:

    Let’s take this another step: What if a “Steam OS” arrives, based on Linux, and supports the Source engine, as well as many other games available on Steam/Linux distros… Aha! ;)

  22. Polysynchronicity says:

    The best part of that screenshot is the fact that Gordon Frohman is in the front of the line.

  23. DMJ says:

    Does Gordon Freeman get a beret to fit in with the artsy Mac crowd?

  24. Joinn says:

    Screw the Mac, I want HL2 Episode 3 already!

  25. Flatfingers says:

    I thought the Mac/1984 ad reference was reasonably clever.

    It was the use of the late Robert Culp’s voice as Doctor Breen that took me aback for a moment. Not in a bad way; I’m just wondering if this was also a little bit of a farewell to him.

  26. ManaTree says:

    1. To all the people asking for HL2ep3. No. Just shut up. Yes, you and I want it, but it’ll be done when it’s done.

    2. Steam DRM! My favorite topic to get angry about. I wish people didn’t seem so standoff-ish about it. Clearly if it’s a succeeding platform, there’s at least some reason to use it. As a person with about 110 games or so…I think, definitely over a 100…clearly it has been enough value for me to buy in (and it really has, I rarely ever have problems with using all features of Steam, and yes, that does include offline mode). But that’s not to say it does come with disadvantages, like, ahem, DRM, of course.

    For one thing, people, if you’re going to agree to disagree, at least get your fucking facts right. And please, please, please, see the other side’s argument? It’s absolutely useless to say “No, I’m not going to ever use it and I’m still going to blab my mouth about it ANYWAYS.” This isn’t targeted at anyone here in this thread, but it certainly happens sometimes, here and in other game communities. It just strikes me as really silly.

    Yeah, that’s a general rant.

    And I wouldn’t get so uppity about their choice of words their, to a LOT of gamers, platform (used in that context) is Mac and PC, plain and simple. Plus, it’s an ad for Steam users, I’m not surprised. So you shouldn’t either.

  27. Tei says:

    I can see some ways to make the video better.
    The distance from the girl and the soldiers should be bigger.
    The impact of the metal thing should feel more solid, and be in bullet time.
    It needs a split second extra, showing the effects of the collision, the screen breaking.
    It could have ben executed much, much better.

  28. 1stGear says:

    I truly love RPS commentators’ ability to fly into a DRM-induced rage over literally anything.

    • Kadayi says:

      Every village has it’s idiots

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Also greengrocers apostrophe’s, apparently

    • Collic says:

      It would be nice if every valve or steam thread didn’t turn into the same posters complaining about DRM, but this is the internet, and everyone has their soap box.

    • Clovis says:

      @Dawngreeter: Where are the greengrocers apostrophe’s? I’m pretty sure that 1stGear used the apostrophe correctly as a possessive. He was referring to the ability of the commentators. Kadayi shouldn’t have used an apostrophe, but that wasn’t a greengrocer’s apostrophe. I didn’t see anyone using the apostrophe to make a word plural. There are none in the actually article above, so what are you talkin’ ’bout?

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Possessive of it is its, not it’s. It’s is a contraction of it is.

      Which is really of little importance, I just thought it was worth replying to trite derogatory remarks with a trite derogatory remark.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      Blargh, quick posting and I managed to miss typing out the main point I wanted to make. I was refering to possesive of it, yes. And as far as I know, it falls within the realm of greengrocers apostrophe’s, which are not necessarily restricted to wrongly spelled plurals. Now, I might be wrong here. Am I?

      I do distinctly recall learning about it from a reference where the term was explained as generally applicable to all sorts of wrongly placed apostrophes. This doesn’t necessarily make it so, of course.

    • Clovis says:

      Oh, ok. I have no idea. I had to look up greengrocers apostrophe’s to even know what it meant. I think applying it to “it’s/its” is a bit of a stretch since not using an apostrophe for that possessive is sort of an arbitrary rule. As opposed to writing something ridiculous like, “I’d like five onion’s.”

    • Kadayi says:

      @Dawngreeter

      Every village has its idiots

      Happy now?

    • Dawngreeter says:

      I was already happy, but if I wasn’t I don’t think that’d do it for me.

    • Clovis says:

      Whoah, check this out! I was reading some Achewood today and stumbled onto this:

      http://m.assetbar.com/achewood/uuaxGXC1r

  29. Magic H8 Ball says:

    @Vinraith: I would actually argue that Steam games are easier to crack because all you need to do is fool the game Steam is running – once you do that you should have the entire library open.
    [Edit] Curses!

  30. somedude says:

    I would like to add my wholehearted endorsement of the idea that Valve should consider porting the games of theirs that most people are still actively playing (i.e. TF2, L4D(2), etc.).

  31. Aninhumer says:

    Yup, no longer dictated by platform…
    …unless that platform is Linux, BSD, Solaris, or indeed anything that isn’t Windows or OSX.

    I appreciate what they’re doing, but it’s not really fair to claim to have completely freed gaming because you’ve added the second most popular OS.

  32. Sarlix says:

    Is it just me or has Breen had a haircut?

  33. Jacques says:

    Looks like Valve watched Metropolis and wanted to make their own short version.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Jacques: …how can you not be getting the reference?

      It’s even more ironic today than it was then, of course. That talking head is pure Steve Jobs, control freak extrodinaire.

  34. Guildenstern says:

    Considering that Apple is even more evil then Microsoft, I fail to see how increased support for mac is a good thing.

  35. Britpunk says:

    Oh what bastards. Making their games available on a cross-platform basis at no additional cost. Those utter gits.

    Arguing semantics over ownership is folly. Nobody has had their Steam switched off for any reason. Nobody will. Even the users who had shadily acquired MW2 registered only had that game unregistered, not their entire catalogue. The only reason Valve could legitimately have to permaban somebody from Steam would be persistant attempts at credit card fraud, in which case, frankly, fuck them.

    Offline Steam gaming has improved loads over the past year or so, but I’m not going to shed any tears over being unable to play some games offline from time to time.

    The new client is a bit more of a system hog than old steam, but it still quite happily chugs away on my crappy netbook without any issues.

    DRM-wise, I’ve never noticed any problems with Steam. Sure, Steam is DRM, but a particularly hassle-free incarnation when held up against the likes of Ubi. If developers see Steam as a viable DRM solution and therefore choose to develop a game for the PC that they wouldn’t have otherwise over piracy concerns, then this has to be a positive thing.

    Finally, it’s an advert. The advert would lessen its impact somewhat if it added a bunch of clauses about system requirements and IP licensing.

    This discussion disappoints me. I would have hoped for a frame by frame dissection of the video, trying to piece together clues that could point to Valves’s next steps. Instead it’s just become another trite list of “Reasons I don’t like Steam” that we’ve seen a billion times before.

    • Sobric says:

      @ Britpunk

      *Dons sandwich board*

      You’ll see! YOU’LL ALL SEE!

    • Dawngreeter says:

      DRM is just half of it. The other half is pronouncing “game ownership” in regards to games being released on the most unownable (yeah, new word) platform since… well… ever.

      I like the alt text of the title image, though.

  36. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    This discussion disappoints me. I would have hoped for a frame by frame dissection of the video, trying to piece together clues that could point to Valves’s next steps. Instead it’s just become another trite list of “Reasons I don’t like Steam” that we’ve seen a billion times before.

    Well at least you were above it.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      To be fair, there’s not a lot in the way of clues to discuss, since the video is basically a really old Apple Mac commercial made in HL2.

      Specifically, this advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R706isyDrqI

    • Britpunk says:

      Rofl.

      Person expresses different viewpoint to one’s own. How cowardly of them.

    • Wilson says:

      @Britpunk – That’s just what the RPS comment/forum does if someone isn’t registered I believe. Magic H8 Ball wasn’t trying to make a point by it, in case you didn’t know.

    • Britpunk says:

      Ahh. Well egg and my face are in conjunction. Apologies Magic H8 Ball for my passive aggression.

      That’ll teach me not to bother signing in.

  37. Sobric says:

    Does the Mac version have an updated engine?

    • Rich says:

      I was wondering that. Didn’t CS:Source get updated for the cross-platform version?
      Hopefully this happens for HL2 and Ep1.

      Although, as I understand it, if they wanted to put full HDR lighting in HL2, they’d have to reprocess the map files.

  38. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Muzman said:
    I’m interested to watch how Valve’s bridge building goes.

    So that’s their goal! I knew it couldn’t be as simple as opening a new market for their games.

  39. adds says:

    Not sure if this is a clue really. BUT:
    Alyxs model is from Episode 2 (notice the Hunter stab wounds on her back)

    • Sarlix says:

      Yay, the first comment that’s actually relevant to the thread! ;)

      Good eye btw, I doubt I would have spotted the hunter wound on her back.

  40. Subhater says:

    IT HAS BEGUN.

  41. Hobbes says:

    @Dawngreeter: “Arguing semantics over ownership is folly.”

    I’d add, ownership of anything is necessarily a semantic, legal, political and social construction. The likelihood of Valve kicking everyone off Steam for no good reason is about as likely as a communist revolution (although, looking at Greece, perhaps less likely).

    We live in a commerical society where the best incentive seems to often be self-interest. Undependable in extremis, yes, but so are all human systems. If we want expensive shiny games, DRM is going to be a necessary evil, and Steam seems to be the most effective form of property management for both sides of the equation (at least, that I’ve used). I have faith that Valve are sufficiently nice enough to throw in some altruism as well. This is not an issue of the fundemental dignity of the human person, it’s not about distributive justice, it’s not about the poor starving amidst plenty, it’s about video games: I think we can cut property rights a bit of slack.

  42. FuzzDad says:

    lol…most of the Steam-DRM-Evil conversations here sound like the same junk I read years ago. This is so mid 2000′s. Clearly some people have been left behind.

    And clearly nobody is looking at the video itself for clues. Well…RIP Robert Culp, the shading on the characters looks better, and I don’t think there are any overt hidden messages. Someone will have to break down the video stream to see if there’s anything underneath.

    • Rich says:

      If it’s still relevant, why stop moaning about it.
      Also, if Mr Walker is right and the movie is pre-rendered, the improved lighting could be a red herring. Also, is it actually an improvement over Ep2, or just over HL2 and Ep1?

  43. Hobbes says:

    Oh great and mysterious Reply button, what doest thou require?!

    • Sarlix says:

      The Latin fish dance routine of course! You…you mean you don’t know about it?

      Oh wondrous Reply Button! we have another sinner! Balm for your affliction, child!

  44. Carra says:

    How useful…

    They’d better put their time into creating Half Life *Episode* (cough) 3.

    • Azazel says:

      They clearly failed to factor in that ’3′ is actually the magic number.

  45. Kazang says:

    I love valve sometimes.

  46. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    In related news, Portal on the Mac got a decent performance bump yesterday, though it’s still a bit behind the Windows version:

    Before: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adurdin/4602841181/

    After: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adurdin/4602841181/

    I’ll do a similar performance comparison for HL2 as soon as I can.

  47. TheApologist says:

    @Britpunk

    Absolutely. This comments thread, and indeed every comments thread that dares mention Valve’s name, is a total drag because of people endlessly banging on about the same thing.

    I really do respect the fact that people have their principles regarding IP licensing and DRM, but seriously, they have been clearly articulated again and again and most people just don’t agree.

    Please respect those people who are interested in Valve games by keeping your discussion to relevant threads.

  48. will says:

    Is it possible to do both? If so I would definitely go for that option.

    • will says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to drexer… way up at the top of those comments…

  49. sana says:

    HL2, EP1 and EP2 Mac port is live now. Additionally, they just went and updated HL2 and EP1 to EP2 engine standards just for the hell of it! Hell yes!