Valve’s Big Fat Hint: Steam For Macs?


Oh, Valve: they’re playing us like a harp this week, and frankly we don’t mind a jot when it’s this much fun. While everyone’s busy nattering about the Portal 2 (OR IS IT?) ARG, they slip a little something extra into the RPS inbox. That’ll be the charmingly retro-sociopathic words and pictures above, then. Which you’ll want to click on right away, in order to admire it in its full bigness. The instant response from all of us, aside from excited and grateful cooing noises, was “guh? But what does it mean?” We’re not very clever sometimes.

Then we worked out exactly what it means: Steam is, as has been recently rumoured (and supported by the recent move from hoary old IE to sprightly young, cross-platform webkit as a foundation for Steam), finally coming to the Apple Macintosh personal computer system. At least… so it implies. OR DOES IT?

We won’t find out for sure until the “upcoming announcement from Valve” mentioned in this crypto-mail, but certainly the cheeky image closely apes olden Apple ads in both form and tone. Compare this pic to something like this, or better yet, one of you industrious web-heroes could go and browse this vast archive of classic Mac ads and no doubt you’ll find one they’ve closely cribbed from to make this.

So: the obvious take-home message, given the Mac OS in the photo and the mention of “different types of computers… We’ll figure that out later. And, years later, they did” is Steam is coming to Macs. (Sorry, penguin people – no hint of Linux, unless you want to run with ‘different types of computers’).

Hang on: Steam is coming to Macs. Christ.

Alright, we’re a PC blog, but whether or not you think OSX falls within our generally Windows-centric remit, that’s huge. Enormous. Surprisingly for such a tightly-controlled platform, gaming on the Mac is still all over the bloody place – many of the biggest games make it over eventually, but often months after the event, while many never arrive at all. No-one in their right mind buys a Mac for gaming, even though even the lowest-end currently-available desktops and laptops are more than capable of running most modern stuff. It’s ripe for a takeover, frankly. Someone with Valve’s status and clout coming up with a centralised distribution system for Mac games means they could theoretically corner this spotty market in the blink of a hummingbird’s eye. As in, this could be a games-only App Store for OSX.

The crucial question is exactly what they’ve got up their sleeve, however. Is it it just their own games (Source titles have lacked official Mac version), is it the same tardy, mixed bag of games already available for OSX, or have they been quietly galvanising developers and publishers to port stuff in a more timely fashion? Given Macs’ growing share of the computer market, it’s way past time that the games industry took it more seriously, regardless of the fact that the more affordable Macs aren’t graphically toe-to-toe with equivalently-priced PCs.

Or, and I admit this is so unlikely that even writing it makes me sound like an insane fantasist, is Mac Steam going to include a wrapper/virtualisation tech that enables most Windows games to be played on OSX, a la Crossover or Parallels Desktop? Doubtful, but God only knows what this actually entails. Whichever, my immediate concern, because I’m a selfish little snot, is whether Win-Steam and Mac-Steam accounts will be twinned – I own a Mac as well as PC. I want access to my stuff on both.

However, this might have nothing to do with OSX, at least not in its standard form. Take a look at the bottom of this image – notice those dots. They’re awfully similar to the dots at the bottom of an iPhone (and possibly iPad – I really need to take a closer shufti at one of those curious bastards), used to navigate between the world-eating portable device’s screens full of icons. Is that an implication the neo-Steam is related to the App Store instead? Given Apple’s monstrously tight restrictions, it seems unlikely they’d hand store rights over to a third party. Perhaps the dots are simply intended to offset the vintage nature of the pseudo-ad with something more modern. Or…

…or it’s nothing whatsoever to do with Steam on Macs after all, and it’s another bewildering part of the ongoing Portal ARG. The choice of an ancient Mac OS in this ad seems a little obtuse in a way – it’s possible they’re just being playful, or it’s possible it’s along the lines of the GLADOS 3.11 mentions in the Portal ASCII art pulled off the Aperture Science BBS. Those dots might mean this is part one of six, and we’ll see related images cropping up on other sites, which require bonding together and somehow decoding. I’m bracing myself for the possibility I’m going to look more ridiculous than a businessman on a skateboard once whatever this ad really means is revealed. Valve are notorious teases, after all. I won’t be at all surprised if I’ve just been tricked into writing 700 words about something that isn’t happening. Allow me to leave a prophetic “you utter bastards” here, just in case.

We’ll find out, I don’t doubt, at GDC, or close to it. Perhaps it’s going to be an omni-announcement, Portal 2 and Mac Steam, and an OSX-rejiggered the Source engine collection as the vanguard for it. Either way, the veins on the internet’s sweaty forehead are going to be pulsing even more than usual for the next week or so.

A note on the image, by the way. We were sent a much larger version than the fullish-size one we’ve got here, but our weeny servers couldn’t possibly handle the strain of serving that to a squillion people. It’s possible, however, that there’s some secret information hidden in the big’un. There’s nothing hidden in the EXIF data as far as I can tell, but if you see a hint that there might be something of note squirreled away in the original file, drop us a line (with a brief explanation of what you think it might be) and we’ll see if we can share it with you.

Theorists: go theorise.

Update: the sign of six is now explained, at least. Witness further Macified Valve imagery at Eurogamer, MacRumors, MacNN, ShackNews and MacWorld. Each carry their own page dot. So that’s that for now – and pretty much proof positive that this is indeed Steam for OSX.

Additional update: our own Baron of Bargains LewieP has cunningly drawn up a list of which Steam games already have Mac ports, which potentially gives us a good picture of what iSteam (ouch, let’s never call it that again) may launch with. Excellent work, sir P.

Additional additional update: Portal just updated itself again, with the update notes listing simply “added valuable asset retrieval.” Mystery hunters, go!


  1. Vinraith says:

    Several of the non-client digital distributors have been selling Mac games for some time now, I’m surprised it took Steam this long to move into the market.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      As Gabe Newell hovers in the ionosphere in his impossible gold plated dirigible, he must be laughing, watching games journalists dance like muppets in confusion over what these new ads mean.

  2. Pat says:

    link to

    Steam does exist on linux, but whether they will release it is another matter. We can only hope.

  3. pkt-zer0 says:

    The dots on the bottom just indicate that this is one image of six. Shacknews got TF2’s Heavy done in an iPod ad style, MacRumours got Gordon Freeman with an Apple logo on his chest, and a TF2 and Portal sentry gun with an “…and I’m a PC” text above.

    So basically, Steam and Orange Box coming to Mac.

    • Psychopomp says:

      D’aw, RPS got 1 of 6

    • Howl says:

      Well that suggests the whole Source engine, which means L4D, L4D2 and Counterstrike.

      That’s pretty fantastic and about time.

      EDIT: Yep I spotted a L4D one with Francis, over at MacRumors.

    • ugg sale says:

      oh,It’s really one of three, given that it was split half and half gaming sites and Mac sites.

  4. Mr_Day says:

    This set me wondering as to exactly how many of the games that can be bought through Steam will support running on Mac OS.

    I did no research, and came up with the answer “Tuesday”.

    EDIT: I should probably specify “games available through Steam that were not made by Valve”.

    • Velvet Fist, Iron Glove says:

      @MR_Day: SavyGamer has the answer for you: 89 games (that are on Steam) with native mac ports that he can find: link to

    • Mr_Day says:

      That is a surprisingly good, but more importantly long, list of titles. If the article prediction is true, and Steam becomes the Mac app for games, Valve could put themselves in a fairly powerful position, gaming wise, for the Mac OS.

  5. Bret says:

    Well, good for Mac users, I imagine.

    And I can’t see Valve launching Steam without at least a couple of their games. Maybe a simultanious launch of whatever it is they have up their sleeves on both OSes?

  6. litrock says:

    I suppose this is great for Mac gamers, though I wonder why you’d be a gamer and not have a PC. I mean, that’s essentially just cutting yourself off from most everything out there without a ton of work. And yes, I know plenty of people run boot camp and all, but (insert usual comment about how building a PC provides a better product at a cheaper price here).

    That said, yay for market expansion. I do love Steam, even if outside of Portal I can’t get into any of Valve’s games.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ litrock

      At work we still use XP, and I get unwanted updates grinding everything to a halt then demanding reboots when I just need to print something off. It’s very annoying.

      A nice dual boot Mac and an Xbox 360 solves all my PC gaming needs and minimises Windows use. The money isn’t a problem and dual booting a Mac is a lot easier than you’d expect.

  7. RobF says:

    See also this on Mac Rumours:

    link to

  8. jsutcliffe says:

    Those wee dots just look like image carousel progress indicators. I doubt they’re anything iPhone/iPad-related.
    Releasing Valve’s flagship games for Mac to launch Mac Steam (iSteam!) would be an excellent way to do get it noticed and installed on many Macs.

  9. br3ntbr0 says:

    I’d bet the farm this is about to happen.

    Part of the new Steam beta (you can read this in the release notes) is that they converted the web browser to use webkit instead of IE for Steam’s in game browser overlay.

    No IE = no dependency on Microsoft, and its one of many steps you’d have to take to port Steam to a non MS system!

    • noilly says:

      hmmm… I also noticed the switch to webkit (which is also used in safari)… intriguing

    • Frools says:

      There are also OS X buttons in the graphics folder and OS X menu definitions in the Steam UI Beta.
      Pretty clear Steam is coming to OS X, whats more interesting is if Source is coming to OS X.
      Especially given that Valve are pretty heavily invested in DirectX.

  10. Flimgoblin says:

    Really like how they’ve done pastiches of a whole load of different Apple ads… the “I hate different” L4D take on “Think different”

  11. Lilliput King says:

    For some reason the writerly stuff Valve comes up with just has me rolling around.

    link to

    EDIT: This is also pretty good news I think. Seeing as Microsoft are apparently hellbent on killing us for reasons I can’t fathom, the further we can get from them the better.

    • James G says:

      I’d be buggered if I ditched Microsoft just to crawl into bed with Apple. It’ll be like trading in a somewhat neglectful but authoritarian government for an overbearing parent. At least in the PC sphere of things my hardware isn’t locked down, and judging by Apple’s closed-garden approach to the iPhone/Pod/Pad trinity they’d quite like to get a lockdown on the software market as well.

      Of course, cross platform support, particularly for OSX means lowered barriers to getting stuff working on Linux. I’m not sure that the market there would grow sufficiently for me to make the shift of main OS but shifting eggs into a few more baskets can only be a good thing.

      However, I think this announcement is a long way off from that. I think we can assume that we’ll see Mac ports of both Steam and Source, and a few other non-valve titles joining the market. But I don’t think there will be any significant market shift here.

    • Vinraith says:

      @James G

      At least in the PC sphere of things my hardware isn’t locked down, and judging by Apple’s closed-garden approach to the iPhone/Pod/Pad trinity they’d quite like to get a lockdown on the software market as well.

      Indeed, we should really start referring to Apple as “iProprietary.” None of MS’s attempts to close their open platform have been half as successful as Apple’s pushes in the same direction. It’s a little frightening how quickly people will hand over freedom and control as long as the package is pretty.

    • Lilliput King says:

      @James G

      Yes indeed, Apple is not someone I really want looking out for us, or even someone I can picture taking up the role. But the point is, if Valve port their catalogue over, we won’t be ‘swapping.’

      We’ll just be expanding.

      Though I think you’re probably right. It’s unlikely there’ll be a major market push to make games for both platforms just because Valve (could be) doing it. That said, Valve have been trendsetters before. Steam is testament to that.

    • James G says:


      Some people just don’t seem to care, they don’t even see the trade off. I suppose if you are only going to be using a system for a few confined uses, then it is easy to miss. Meanwhile I am a person who will immediately try and stretch and subvert something just because I can.

      I suppose one of the reasons I’m happy enough with the trade-off on using Windows of Linux is because I can’t code. (At least outside simple scripting languages) As a result, the fact I can’t dip into the source isn’t a barrier. I have made a freedom shinyness trade off in this case just at a different level. (Although in some ways, the shinyness I have favoured is freedom of a different kind, freedom of choice. I don’t know what OS I’d be using if I wasn’t a gamer.*)

      * I still prefer Paint Shop Pro to the GIMP for instance. Office also has a minor edge over, if only for reasons of compatibility.

    • solipsistnation says:

      So, the whole closed-Apple-vs.-open-Windows thing is kind of silly. The main thing you lose the ability to swap out at will is video cards. Since Macs tend to ship with decent video hardware from the start, I don’t see this as a major loss. Also, it means you don’t run into stupid driver incompatibility…

      And from my own experience, I’ve found Mac ownership to be MUCH less of a pain than using Windows. Things tend to just work, whereas with Windows, let me see… I’ve had to upgrade video drivers to get games to work, and heck, I had to upgrade the BIOS on my PC to get a hard drive to show up correctly! I have NEVER had to do anything like that on any of the Macs I’ve owned, going back to 1990. (Well, okay, I did use 3dfx’s beta firmware to run a Voodoo 3000 card in my PowerMac 8600/300, but I knew what I was getting into there and that it wasn’t an everyday kind of thing.) In the meantime, my MacBook Pro has third-party RAM in it, and a third-party hard drive that I installed myself. Heck, there are instructions on how to do that in the manual. It didn’t even require a torx screwdriver, like G4 PowerBooks did.

      In addition, it’s much easier to install and remove software on the Mac than on PCs– no registry, no directories full of junk stuck in weird places, no DLLs in the same directory as the OS for no obvious reason… And if you want to do unixy things, you can, easily.

      Overall, the “But it’s a closed platform!” argument has become less and less true since the switch to OS X, and these days it sounds a little desperate.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ Vinraith
      @ James G

      Russians vote for Putin, they know he curtails freedom, but he’s made everything work. There’s less corruption (outlying states were run like fiefdoms with taxes going straight into magistrates pockets), crime is down, investment is up… compare Russia now to the 1990s when the gangsters ran everything… few Russians would want to go back to that.

      The popularity of Macs works along the same lines, sure you have less freedom, but at least you don’t have to worry about viruses or system crashes, you can get on with your life. A lot of people are happy with that situation.

    • Urthman says:

      For some reason the writerly stuff Valve comes up with just has me rolling around.

      Yeah, that’s what you get when Valve hires Old Man Murray.

      I love when they let Erik and Chet go crazy with stuff like this.

  12. somnolentsurfer says:

    Frack yeah!

    I really hope Valve are applying there traditional “stuff you buy on one machine can be played anywhere” ethos here. Partly because I really, really want to delete my Windows partition. But mainly because the implications would be *massive*. This could effectively make Steam an OS independent platform in it’s own right. And as a bare minimum that’d have to at least demonstrate to publishers that GfWL is now utterly pointless. Right?

  13. Trezoristo says:

    Judging from the promo-images you do get the idea Valve might have ported Source and some of it’s games to Mac, that would be big news.

    I like how Valve’s writer team doubles as PR-team. They’re do an excellent job at both :).

    • Blackberries says:

      Yeah, there’s been images from Half-Life, TF2, Portal and Left 4 Dead. It’d be sort of incongruous to tease with snaps from those games yet not release them.

    • The Dark One says:

      I wouldn’t say that. Valve has at least three people who wrote for a living before being hired there, on top of who loved making crazy ARG content. Plus the actual PR guy.

  14. The Archetype says:

    They only had six images to send out to sites and you got one! Someone at Valve marketing is an RPS fan apparently.

  15. vecima says:

    I seriously hope this isn’t what valve has been wasting their time on (referring to orangebox on mac). Source only supports Direct X, so to bring it to mac would require writing another renderer or at least some sore to wrapper / layer for Open GL. I don’t know the task myself but I tend to think it would be lots of work.

    steam on mac, ok. source on mac, why bother?

    • vecima says:

      ^^ was supposed to be a reply… not sure what happened^^

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      Gaming independent from DirectX means gaming independent from Microsoft. Now consider the Alan Wake scenario.

      This isn’t necessarily a waste of time. Quite the contrary.

    • Vinraith says:


      source on mac, why bother?

      Because it’s a largely untapped market with more money than sense?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Source independent of DirectX = Source on Linux.

      Yeah, that’s anything but a waste of time.

    • Phil says:

      Source only supports Direct X, so to bring it to mac would require writing another renderer or at least some sore to wrapper / layer for Open GL

      Once you’re writing code at the shader level (rather than using the fixed function old-style interfaces) there’s really not that much difference I believe. It’s the same underlying hardware being exposed after all.

      Wine manages pretty well doing emulation of DX9 in OpenGL directly, so a source port that takes account of the differences shouldn’t be *that* bad. There’s always going to be some irritating corner case of course. (The big issue with running L4D and other source games under wine is that you can’t dynamically alter the colour space of a texture on the fly in OpenGL: you have to re-upload the texture mapped to the new colour space. This effectively haves the video ram of source games running under wine that do a lot of jumping between sRGB and some other colour space. A direct port shouldn’t have that issue, since they’ll be able to achieve the same effect some other way {with a shader of some sort probably}).

    • RedFred says:

      @Viniraith: That basically sums up Apple fans. More money than sense.

    • solipsistnation says:

      Yes, well, PC users are uncouth, uncultured hooligans.

      *wipes monocle on silk handkerchief, replaces in eye socket, and takes a hefty swig of fine brandy*

    • Tom Camfield says:

      @ Alexander Norris

      “Source independent of DirectX = Source on Linux. Yeah, that’s anything but a waste of time.”

      How about the Wii and PS3?

      Being able to deliver developer tools on those platforms is a license to print money, and not just that, imagine making a game via Source that you could then port effortlessly to the Wii, PS3 and Xbox. Cross platform development tools: bank.

  16. Blackberries says:

    Ah, Valve. You bring a smile to my lips.

    Any sign of the sixth image?

  17. Devan says:

    Given that steam and the source games can be run well on Linux through wine, and that Mac OS X is also a POSIX system, I really hope they took the extra step and are releasing a Linux version too.

    I’m getting a new laptop this week and will dual-boot as soon as I get it. I plan to spend most of my time in Linux and it’d be great to have a native version of steam there with me.

    • Psychopomp says:

      By all rights, if they runs on macs, that means OpenGL. There may not be native support, but running them through wine or someshit will work wondrously.

  18. Anthony says:

    As a Mac owner who uses Boot Camp to play games via Steam, I’m a happy camper.

  19. jsutcliffe says:


    Making things work cross-platform is not a waste of time.

  20. gryffinp says:

    Oh Valve. You so silly.

  21. skinlo says:

    Doesn’t bother me at all. If anything, this is bad as they are diverting resources away from the PC version.

    • Howl says:

      I don’t see how it will make much of a difference at all. They will have employed people specifically to sort out the Mac version of Source. It’s not going to eat into their game development staff.

  22. Interstella says:

    Wow, my first RPS comment :-)

    I’ve been reading this site for a very long time now, having been a PC man of old. However, in the last 2 years, I’ve converted to Macs purely because as a sound engineer, they’re better for my job (and being poor, I can’t afford to have a Mac and a PC) – so for my gaming needs, I went out and bought an Xbox.

    But this news brings restored hope. If it’s true, I can finally go back to some semblance of my first love – no more fiddling with controllers, proper aiming and a decent selection of games!

    If it comes off, I will be a happy man. And depending on how much is implemented, hopefully no longer prone to bouts of rage every time I see something awesome that I can’t play written about on this site!

  23. Azhrarn says:

    Well in theory they could add a complete CEDEGA layer to Steam to run most simpler PC games on Mac without to much issues.
    It’s the games that require full DirectX support that’ll have severe issues with running on Macs, since there’s simply no direct equivalent to the DirectX API around for OS X, OpenGL can handle the graphics side for the most part, but not the unified calls the rest of the API handles.

  24. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    Great, we’ll never hear the end of it from those snobby Mactard assholes.

    • James G says:

      Now now, be nice. I know they might talk funny, and have nicely ironed clothes, but there is no reason why we can’t all sit together and be friends. Although I do give you permission to throw your appple-core ant any who respond with ‘get a Mac’ to a question which isn’t, “Oh I do love OSX and shiny white proprietary hardware, how may I experience this joy in my life?”

    • solipsistnation says:

      And we’ll never hear the end of it from over-defensive PC apologists.

    • Fumarole says:

      Says the person who above posted a novella saying nothing we haven’t all read a thousand times over.

    • James G says:


      Was that reply at me or @solipsistnation? There is a difference between not wanting to use a Mac because you don’t like them yourself, and mocking those who do decide to use them. If my post came across as mocking those who do decide to use them, then I apologise. (I don’t even have an issue with Apple per se, they are very good at what they do, its just not for me.)

    • solipsistnation says:

      Oh, probably me. I’m pretty excited about this, and I’ve been cringing as even RPS, which is usually a beacon of intelligent (or at least not-as-stupid) conversation compared to most gaming sites, gives in to preemptive “MAC USERS ARE SNOBS” whining, before anyone even posted any “HA HA NOW I CAN PLAY GAMES ON MY SHINY COMPUTER WHICH IS INCIDENTALLY NOT ONLY MORE EXPENSIVE THAN YOUR UNCOUTH WINDOWS MACHINE BUT ALSO MORE ELEGANT AND REFINED” stuff.

      The hostile PC user has become more of a cliche than the smug Mac user. (Although, yes, there’s truth to that too.)

  25. bitkari says:

    When the new UI went beta, some folk found a bunch of OSX icons floating around inside.

    Seems to be on its way, let’s hope they work out a nice way of getting windows games running on OSX!

  26. LeonardHatred says:

    You know, i recently got given a spiffy iMac for work and only today i was saying how the only thing keeping me a PC Gaym0r was the mac’s apparent inability to not be shit at games.

    Who’ll join me making a giant PC bonfire?

    Yes, i realise now i will be branded the worst kind of mac fanboy, i’m really not. i too felt those pangs of inadequacy when people flaunted their sexy metal hashkey-less keyboards at me, but get over it. They’re all Intel Inside these days, dont’cha know.

    So. Apple: another facet of PC gaming, wot?

    • Blackberries says:

      I’m afraid that just this morning I was heavily cursing Apple’s name and bemoaning my possession of an ipod. The restrictions on how/what of your own data you put on their mp3 players are simply astounding. There’s no way I would ever choose a mac over a PC.

      But that’s risking sounding territorial/fanboyish. I’m honestly very pleased at this announcement – spread the gaming love!

    • Flimgoblin says:

      *twitch* don’t mention the hash key… *twitch*

  27. Shadowmancer says:

    iSteam coming 2010.

  28. Mike says:

    Shit. As you say, if they can get some nice Mac Exclusives, this might be a huge money spinner.

  29. Ravenger says:

    I’ve been getting fed up with the way that Microsoft have been treating the PC gaming platform recently, bur not enough to get into bed with control freak Apple. It’s good news for all those Mac fans out there that are starved of games though.

    It’s one step towards Steam becoming the standard computer gaming platform, which in many ways is a good thing, but could be bad from a monopoly point of view (and I’m a big fan of Steam).

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      It could be bad from a monopoly point of view. Or, if Valve are playing the paragon line, it could finally put someone with a credible product in a position to challenge the consoles with an OS independent PC platform…

    • Ravenger says:

      I think Steam is well on the way to becoming a platform in its own right to challenge the console manufacturers. If they’d only publish some sales figures to prove how well the PC platform is doing.

      I’d love it if there was a Steam gaming OS that had nothing to do with Microsoft or Apple. I’d ditch Windows in an instant if I could run Steam and all its games on something like Linux. The only reason I’m tied to Windows is for gaming.

  30. Heliosicle says:

    6 years ago or so I had to be a Mac gamer, paid a ridiculous premium on most games, good thing Blizzard cared, D2 and W3 kept me occupied for a few years…

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Cared about your money.

      Valve wants your money too. With the exception of when they do it, it’s not just them getting all of your money.

  31. Mathieu says:

    Oh come on! With that much teasing it CAN’T just be Steam ported to OS X, it must be Source too! link to

  32. Wulf says:

    The one with the two turrets is an absolutely beautiful bit of parody that made me chuckle, suffice it to say, I’m glad we’re not glaDOS. I’d be a little put out if my computer frequently desired to kill me with neurotoxins, as opposed to actually being the thing of functional beauty that it is. >.>


    This is incredibly selfish, but there’s one great thing to come out of all this and it’s of benefit to all of us: The in-game web browser won’t be shit any more! We don’t have to put up with worrying about all the little Internasties that IE loves letting in, no matter how locked down it is. And if you’re naive enough to believe that MS has a handle on that, then you don’t read Secunia, and if you use a computer then you should be following a security advisory for the apps you use, otherwise it’s only your own bloody fault when the poor thing comes down with a billion pieces of horrendous malware.

    WebKit isn’t as favoured by me as the engines behind Gecko and Chrome, as both of which are greatly superior to WebKit, but WebKit is still a huge step up from IE, and one of the most recommended features for Steam to have.

    I think I might try that beta, now.

    • Wulf says:

      Also, there are Mac theme files in the beta.


      The things one finds out when editing theme files to increase the font size of a UI.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Webkit is Chrome’s rendering engine, by the way.

    • Wulf says:


      This I recall.

      But I also seem to recall Google manhandling it, doing unspeakable things to it, and involving it in satanic rituals to speed evolve it into some kind of WebKit++.

      Though I might be wrong about that.

    • jsutcliffe says:

      So long as it’s not Webkit# we should be safe.

    • Wulf says:


      That would be terrifying and I don’t even want to consider it.

      *threatens the Microsoft coder drones with a Big Daddy drill.* Back, BACK demons of stupidity!

    • Velvet Fist, Iron Glove says:

      @Wulf Chrome uses Webkit for its HTML parsing and rendering, but uses Google’s own V8 javascript engine (whereas in Apple’s Safari, and I think likely the default in Webkit, is Nitro, which is pretty much a match for speed). The most significant difference of Chrome compared to other Webkit browsers is that it isolates each tab in a separate process, which massively reduces memory leaks and means a crash in one tab won’t affect the others.

  33. Harley Turan says:

    If it’s a Cocoa app, I’ll be happy. Judging from the fact that they are including the close, minimise and maximise buttons as images, I won’t be.

  34. DaveyJJ says:

    Hardly “diverts resources away.” There’s this tiny little game developer named Blizzard who have repeatedly stated that doing simultaneous OSX/Widows releases actually makes their code better, games smoother, and provides far more QA than if doing them separately.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      To be fair though, Blizzard is just as lazy as everyone else, they just want your money more than they are lazy.

      I mean they’re owned by Vivendi, which is #2 in terms of evil. EA has dropped to third while Ubisoft has taken gold this year (so far).

      Still, EA is not out of the running. There’s plenty of room for dickish behaivor in terms of their new internet gizmotronical stuff.

    • RedFred says:

      @DJ Phantoon: You pretty much summed up my thoughts. :D

  35. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Man, shit would hit the fan if Valve released Ep.3 as a Mac exclusive, haha!

    • Wulf says:

      Nahhh, naww… that wouldn’t be so bad.

      Now a Mac-exclusive Portal 2? That would be grounds for a tarred and feathered Newell.

  36. terry says:

    Great, now all the Mac needs is some games ;-)

    • jsutcliffe says:

      The Mac game space is not as barren as you might think — a big hurdle for Mac gamers is actually finding places that stock Mac games, which is why it’s smart for digital distribution platforms to get involved.

  37. Doctor Doc says:

    This is awesome news for Mac owners, but I hope it won’t change anything on the PC. While they’re at it and porting their stuff to a UNIX OS they might as well add Linux support.

    • Wulf says:

      Indeed, Source for Linux would be a big boost for the OS. Considering that the Unreal devkit can pretty easily compile for Linux, I suspect we’ll see indie games (by previous Unreal modders) with Windows, Mac, and Linux ports, and I’m hoping the same will soon be true of Source. It’s funny, but Source is actually lagging behind a bit in that regard.

    • jackflash says:

      I have talked with mac and linux developers on this. At this point, there is very little similar between the libraries of the two OS’s (if you can even call linux a single OS) and it is not a trivial matter porting something to linux just because you have already done so for mac.

    • Mike Arthur says:

      As someone who ports does cross-application development and porting for a living, that isn’t true at all. If you’ve ported a game to Mac it’s pretty easy to port it to Linux too. It’s only native GUI programs that are harder to port (unless you use a toolkit like Qt or something like Java).

  38. Ziv says:

    about 980-970… there are over a thousand games, and by valve games I mean also mods that they re-released so that’s about 30. 1000-30=970

  39. nhex says:

    Another Boot Camper here, super happy about this news! Even if they weren’t porting over Source I would’ve been happy, just for the third party indie games that have Mac and PC versions. But the fact that they’re bringing over their own games shows they’re really going to be dedicated to this, and future games will probably get native Mac releases too.

  40. Durandal says:

    What a waste. They could have been working on something important like Episode 3.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      You know there are writers that have spare time?

      The proto hive mind of Valve does not tolerate idleness. And not just in Team Fortress.

    • Wulf says:


      Marathon, Durandal, Mac…

      You’re just trolling, aren’t you, Durandal? Get out of our computers, and back into your own Universe!

  41. aiusepsi says:

    Got to love Valve.

    Your lesser developer would just put out a press release, not create 6 wonderful visual jokes like these and email a different one to each news site. Fantastic.

  42. Trousers says:

    Well then, wow. Congratulations RPS, is this not a sign that you guys have made it?

    RPS! 1 of 6 !

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      It’s really one of three, given that it was split half and half gaming sites and Mac sites.

    • Fumarole says:

      And here I thought it was the influx of webtards followed by spambots. My little RPS is all growed up now. *sniff*

  43. solipsistnation says:

    Can I get me a “FUCK YEAH?”

  44. Monchberter says:

    Yes, but will yer PC and yer Mac’s be able to play nice TOGETHER?

    Mac and PC gamers TF2ing together in harmony!

    • solipsistnation says:

      I’m guessing they will be, since it’s Valve announcing the ports and so on.

      Half-Life was ported to the Mac, way back when, but the completed and playable Mac version was shelved because the network code didn’t work with the PC (something to do with using Microsoft’s DirectPlay library, or DirectNet? Something like that). This was frustrating to people who wanted the single-player game, but understandable. Valve has high standards, and didn’t want to ship a half-assed port…

      If they’re announcing it like this, I be there’ll be perfect interconnectability.

      I’m curious, though, if they’ll set up cross-licensing– that is, since I own HL2 and Portal and so on for the PC, will I automagically be able to download the Mac version? That would pretty much make my day, and seems like a Valvey thing to do, but I’m not holding my breath. I wouldn’t be surprised if they discount the Mac version for owners of the PC version.

      I am curious, too, if they’re actually porting the engine, or if they’ve just come up with a different and actually totally workable wrapper solution for existing PC code. I kind of doubt it, but you never know…

    • Jimmy says:

      So team deathmatches with Mac owners vs. PC owners (two+ button mice)? This could be wonderful.

    • solipsistnation says:

      Yeah, it’ll be like an 80’s movie– the scrappy PC kids against the snobby Mac users, with the future of the summer camp at stake!

  45. Bored says:

    Source-based games have been around for quite a while on Mac in hacked Cider-based versions. They don’t use Wine, but it may be similar (though I suspect it’s something much more 1337 at a binary level). According to the TransGaming website (they make Cider), DA:O is ready for Mac.

    link to

  46. Huw says:

    “You guys should really invent something that lets you buy games without leaving the house”

    Something like Amazon, Play, Shopto, Impulse etc? Typical Valve arrogance.

  47. SynapseAttack says:

    Because Macs can dual boot. I don’t own a PC. Got a nice macbook with a nice size drive and I installed Windows 7 via bootcamp. I want to play a game I reboot. I have no need for windows other than gaming. I use my laptop both at the office and at home. Why should I buy something just for gaming?

    • solipsistnation says:

      I also have a MacBook for doing useful things, and a PC primarily for gaming. Basically, the video hardware in a 13″ MacBook Pro isn’t quite hefty enough to run really modern games, what with sharing video RAM and so on, and I am a big dork who likes to turn the settings up…

      We’ll see how it does, though.

  48. funnelbc says:

    I must say this is excellent news. I’d rather Valve do this than any other company. Y’see the thing about DRM is I don’t mind it so much when it’s applied well and works. Valve get it right with Steam, don’t treat their users like idiots and deserve the success they have.

    To see them stake out this territory is a logical move – yes macs make up a small percentage of the overall market. But also remember most of the machines are reasonably high spec, and should be capable of producing an enjoyable gaming experience.

    I work on my mac and have my PC which I now use solely for games. Maintaining 2 systems (+ a PS3 and a Wii) is a bit extravagant, and I’d be a happy camper if I could have Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead (which compromises most of my game time on PC anyway) without having to boot my pc, or waste hard drive space on a Windows Install on my mac.

    Somebody else commented Mac Gaming = PC Gaming? Which is an interesting thought too.

  49. funnelbc says:

    Also! Final image is one macworld link to

    (Nice work RPS on getting 1/6 that’s pretty damn cool btw)

    • Metalfish says:

      Twats on that site don’t appear to have a link to the bigger version of the image.