Steam Mac Beta Signups


It seems that Mac users can now register their Steam account to apply for the beta when it goes live. You’ll need to put your machine specs in there to sign up. Jolly good news for everyone who wants to use their Mac for actual proper games stuff.

93 Comments

  1. Vinraith says:

    Meanwhile, in other digital distribution news, GOG has announced that they’re getting Master of Magic, Master of Orion, and Outcast. The hope is that this is the beginning of all of Atari’s classic properties eventually appearing on their service. Good stuff.

    • bill says:

      I’m a little surprised the recent GOG news conference wasn’t covered here. There were some interesting things that came out of it (even if it was all in polish(?))

      the sales figures and comparisons with other digital distributors were surprising. I thought.

      PS/ But basically i’m just hanging out waiting for the Sunday Papers… sundays are always so slow. :-(

    • durr says:

      Any links to this? I’d be interested in how GoG is doing?

    • Vinraith says:

      @bill

      Like durr, I’d like to see anything you could link to on that, as I’d not heard about it.

    • TeeJay says:

      Here’s the conference website, but it’s mostly in Polish: link to cdprojekt.pl

  2. leeder_krenon says:

    mac owners who want to play games, get over it. buy a PC. if you’re immature enough to indulge in a bit of computer generated tomfoolery, you should ditch your over-priced status symbol and join the unwashed masses. time to end the pretense, mac games fans! ONE.OF.US.

    • Zerotime says:

      Your compelling argument has utterly convinced me.

    • TheApologist says:

      @leeder_krenon

      Clearly this makes no sense and Valve are doing a good thing here, biggening up the family of PC gaming. Of course it’s great.

      And yet, deep down inside this is exactly how I feel…

      I’m off to correct my emotions towards Mac users.

    • Phoshi says:

      Other people having videogames is a bad thing!
      I do hope PC gaming won’t be afflicted by “xbox vs PS3” style “console” wars. That would be silly, let’s not do that.

    • subedii says:

      In fairness, Apple has always been very intent to foster precisely that “us v them” attitude, especially with their whole “I’m a Mac, and I’m a PC” ad campaign. Leaving aside how disingenuous they typically are, a Mac is a PC at the end of the day, but it’s not a view that Apple wants people to have, so they need to set up an equivocation. I mean, a Mac can boot into windows, and if I wanted to I could probably run OSX on my PC.

    • Beanbee says:

      You could Rich, but Apple sued and shut down the company that developed software to do it.

      Obviously the software is available via torrent sites still but it will never be updated now.

    • bookwormat says:

      mac owners who want to play games, get over it. buy a PC.

      mac owners already have a PC. What’s your point?

    • bookwormat says:

      but Apple sued and shut down the company that developed software to do it.

      You don’t need to buy any commercial software to run OSX on a PC not made by Apple. you just need to swap the boot loader and that’s it. I know several people who use OSX on their Dell Desktops and Netbooks just fine.

      The OSX EULA does not permit this of course.

    • MToTheThird says:

      This Mac owner has both – a Mac for my “serious work” and a PC for games and fooling about with electronics (need that parallel port and serial DB9).

      I’m quite chuffed at the prospect of being able to play a bit of Portal 2 from my hotel room when travelling on business, and find the whole Mac vs PC thing to be bizarre and stupid. A bit like “BALL PEEN HAMMERZ 4-EVA! YR FRAMING HAMMER SUX LOL!”

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      The “I’m a PC” line isn’t to with the Mac not being a PC. It’s to do with it not being a Windows PC, and Apple (unsurprisingly) not wanting to mention Microsoft’s brand in their ads. And of course, it’s been so successful that Microsoft don’t know how to counter it, and are now branding their own products as “PC”. Leo McGarry would not have been impressed.

      The software that allows you to run OS X on a generic PC is open source. Apple only sued a company that were selling PCs with it pre-installed. But, as has been said, using it is against the OS X EULA.

      God. What am I doing? I need to stop before I get drawn into a Mac vs. PC flamewar.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Really those ads are stupid. You have hipster douchebag for Macs, and John Hodgman for PCs.

      Anyone that knows who Hodgman is gonna vote for king of the hoboes. And then for John Hodgman’s platform.

  3. Sam says:

    .I’m excited about this, not because I have a Mac (although, I do, from work), but because Source engine games working in OSX implies that they have a proper OpenGL renderer now (and hence might also work better in Wine…).

    So, positive signs.

  4. Smokingkipper says:

    I guess the Mac owners could throw Steam some cash and make sure any future games released on Steam have built in Mac compatibility.

  5. nhex says:

    Anonymous Coward said:
    I guess the Mac owners could throw Steam some cash and make sure any future games released on Steam have built in Mac compatibility.

    This will already be true with Portal 2’s release, it will get a simultaneous Mac/Windows launch. Orange Box and the original L4D will probably be available when the Mac client arrives (and likely L4D2). Hopefully some third parties like Popcap and other indies will get in on Steam Play and sell their titles in both versions on Steam.

    • Drexer says:

      Apparently from what I hear, all source engine games work already. That is, they’re included in the beta.

    • somnolentsurfer says:

      *All* Source engine games? Where did you get that information? ‘Cause I’ve been meaning to play VTM:BL for years, but am holding off buying it for just a little longer, in case I decide to delete my Windows partition next month.

  6. Navagon says:

    Mac games are usually overpriced. Steam games are usually overpriced. This could be expensive…

    • bob_d says:

      Mac games never seem to go down in price though. In the past, I’ve noticed that the game may be a couple years old, but the Mac version is still at its full release price, whereas the Windows version will be significantly cheaper at that point. As for Steam – I’ve never bought a game for full price on Steam; I’ve bought so many games during sales, for a few dollars each, that I don’t actually have time to play them all… If Steam will be selling Mac and Windows versions of games at the same price (as they have said they will), Mac game are going to be a whole lot cheaper as a result.

  7. phort99 says:

    There won’t be any need for Wine; they’re releasing all of their existing Source games as native Mac versions and all of their new games simultaneously on Windows and Mac.

    • billyboob says:

      @phort99: Mayhaps Sam meant for use with linux?

    • Sam says:

      @phort99: I meant Wine in Linux :D Everyone I know who uses Wine-derived stuff in OSX uses Crossover, which isn’t quite the same thing.

  8. subedii says:

    I find it hugely ironic that Gabe Newell is now a darling of the Mac community, where just a few years ago they were raging and spitting caustic vitriol against him. Largely because he dared to suggest that Valve wanted to be on Mac but Apple at the time simply wasn’t interested.

    Heck, even MacWorld did what I have to say was a surprisingly disingenuous editorial about how Gabe Newell’s a greedy git who only cares about money. I’d advise avoiding the comments section. Seriously.

    Of course, now that Valve is on Mac, they’re awesome people who always “got” the Mac ethos, and they recognise Mac is clearly the superior platform today.

    I know, I’m being unnecessarily harsh, but the complete 180 that the Mac community has taken is truly bizarre in some ways.

    • subedii says:

      Bah, hyperlink fail. The first link ought to be to here:

      link to insidemacgames.com

    • Bob says:

      Mac uses remind me of music snobs, who make out their cool because they like music that ain’t in the charts

    • Taillefer says:

      Bob,

      PC owners, of course, would never boast about all their over-priced brand name components.

    • bookwormat says:

      I find it hugely ironic that Gabe Newell is now a darling of the Mac community, where just a few years ago they were raging and spitting caustic vitriol against him.

      Of course we could all learn from this and stop personifying large companies. Large companies do not have good or bad intentions, just like a storm does not have good or bad intentions. What Owners/Employees say in public is usually not an individual opinion.

    • Nick says:

      I think we can agree that rather than all owners of a specific type of hardware, some people are just twats.

    • Joe Duck says:

      That article is hilarious, as well as the comments.
      The article writer’s ignorance about gaming/PC/Valve/Newell could easily reach an 8 in the Jack Thompson scale.
      The commenters, probably a little more.

    • frymaster says:

      “Of course we could all learn from this and stop personifying large companies. Large companies do not have good or bad intentions, just like a storm does not have good or bad intentions. What Owners/Employees say in public is usually not an individual opinion”

      mostly agree, but remember that Valve is a privately-owned company that essentially only has one office. Thus Gabe speaks for Valve in a way that the CEO of McDonalds, for instance, doesn’t.

      Though one of the, to my mind endearing, things about valve is the lack of hive-mind. While the fact that their left hand doesn’t know what their right hand is doing can be annoying, it shows they’re still developer-focussed, not beaurocracy-focused

  9. Hmm says:

    Master of Magic and Outcast are among my all-time favourites, especially Outcast – that game was completely ignored by so many people when it came out, despite its quality. The music and atmosphere are amazing.

    On topic – don’t know why people here consider Mac support a bad thing, they’re PCs after all, only the OS is different. Besides, maybe Microsoft will finally come to their senses when Windows drops in popularity and people begin to switch to Mac for gaming – they’ll then realize that by promoting their money-hemorrhaging xbox while ignoring Windows as a gaming platform they’re only hurting themeselves in the long run.

    • Hmm says:

      That was in response to Vinraith’s post.

    • frymaster says:

      Hmm: mac support is bad because macs traditionally have lower specs than the highest-end PCs, so that might make Valve STOP targetting the very highest-end PCs, like they already did with their innovative game Crysis and… hmm, I may have got the wrong company here…

      more noobs to pwn in TF2? sounds like a winner to me :)

    • ascagnel says:

      @Frymaster:

      Apple systems typically have the same specs as PCs, although their pricing puts the “sweet spot” higher up the performance/price ratio (that is, you’ll pay more for better components, while commodity PCs typically push specs down faster than price).

      As far as the whole thing goes with Valve coming to Mac after Gabe Newell dissed Apple: Has anyone thought, “hey, maybe Apple listened to him, and have made it easier on Valve?” Sony was well known in the PS2 days (especially early on) to have a team called the PlayStation Optimizers who pretty much would drop into an existing team and make their code run better. This was a direct response to developer complaints that it was too difficult to get good performance out of the PS1. If a hardware vendor responds to developer complaints, then they’re a good hardware vendor.

      As much as PC gamers hate GfWL, its a drop-in solution that makes networking a hell of a lot easier than coding it yourself, and is probably a primary reason behind its adoption; essentially, the hardware vendor (here, OS, but just as important, as they control the API) providing developer-requested functionality. Additionally, since its not tied into a specific distribution platform, like Steamworks is, its less likely to cause a fuss on release (much like how MW2 was shunned by everyone but Steam).

  10. bill says:

    Remember that by “mac community” what you actually mean is “the whiny mac owners who bother posting on the web”.

    If you judge any community (except this one, natch) by the quality and consistency of it’s latest online rants then you’re gonna be very disappointed. Lucky crazy ranters and online crusades don’t usually represent the majority.
    (except 360 owners :-p )

    • subedii says:

      Whilst I’d ordinarily agree, an editorial by Macworld ranting about Gabe Newell being stupid isn’t something I’d class as being an insignificant indicator of community views.

      That said, I’m not actually opposed to this move by Valve, it’s a good move to make, no doubt about it. I just found it funny how things changed so suddenly with this announcement, and Mac blogs are now talking about how bringing Steam to the Mac may well be the first step in truly bringing gaming to the Mac proper. I agree with that assessment to a large degree, doesn’t change how much they hated Valve and Gabe Newell before.

      From a more personal perspective, the big irony for me is that Mac zealot friends have been calling me stupid for years for giving in to the cult of Microsoft instead of purchasing a clearly superior OSX machine. Whenever gaming was brought up, the argument was always along the lines of “Macs are for things more important than kids games. Go buy a console if you want to game.”

      Come to think of it, I ought to bring this up with them some time and see whether their views have changed now. :P

    • subedii says:

      Still, in fairness the Mac Zealots I know aren’t as vehement as they used to be. Might be because Windows 7 doesn’t have as many glaring faults to pick apart (I couldn’t say, don’t have it yet).

    • Psychopomp says:

      “From a more personal perspective, the big irony for me is that Mac zealot friends have been calling me stupid for years for giving in to the cult of Microsoft instead of purchasing a clearly superior OSX machine. Whenever gaming was brought up, the argument was always along the lines of “Macs are for things more important than kids games. Go buy a console if you want to game.””

      Get better friends.

    • subedii says:

      My friends are fine. The occasional Mac zealotry can be a scary thing though.

    • ascagnel says:

      I have a Mac and I hate it. There, I said it. Why? Because its terrible for games (even Flash games, thanks to Adobe’s absolutely awful support for Macs).

      Valve bringing Steam to Macs is a great idea. The gaming market there is dead for a few reasons: the games are overpriced ($60 for Civ IV!?); the games arrive late (MW1 was released shortly before MW2); the games may be incompatible for multiplayer with the PC version (MW1 wasn’t compatible); not many get released. Lower the price, ensure platform interoperability, release on-time, and release everything (essentially, fix the issues) and you’ll create a market. If you’re the one who’s creating the market, then chances are you’ll also be in line for some huge profits.

      Considering how small the Steam team is, and how much they’ve done with comparatively little, even a flop will have some degree of profitability. Kinda like how Sony Online still has a whole bunch of MMOs running that nobody ever thinks about (Everquest, Everquest 2, PlanetSide, etc.).

    • Thants says:

      The Mac version of MW1 was delayed, but it came out 14 months before MW2, and it definitely was compatible with the Windows version.

  11. Dan says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how many hackintoshes appear in valve’s survey with non-standard apple hardware.

  12. Rich says:

    It’s the fact that Source games are going to be available on Mac, to anyone who already owns them for Windows, at no addition cost. It’ll certainly please me when I can finally afford a new one.

  13. Ravenger says:

    I’ve never been a fan of Macs, but I think this is a really good move for the entire PC platform. The things I like most about PC gaming – mouse and keyboard control, superior graphics, flexibility and mods are also true of Mac gaming. Steam on the mac unifies the two systems, and at a stroke creates a bigger single market for PC type games.

    Hopefully we’ll see other publishers on Steam give you both Mac and PC versions of games.

  14. Shadowmancer says:

    The beta is only open to members of the press, this was discussed on the Steam commmunity forums in the week (btw this is old news lol beta forms were out 4 days ago).

  15. Bowlby says:

    I honestly didn’t really see the big deal about this, but then I spoke to my dad who recently got rid of his PC and now only owns a Mac. For someone who doesn’t really play games that often, he was surprisingly enthused about the prospect.

  16. Forscythe says:

    I don’t feel strongly about it either way (I do use a mac for some non-gaming purposes and I am certainly looking forward to trying out steam on it), but porting to the mac does have some negatives for PC gamers.

    Firstly, there is a significant resource cost to Valve (and any other companies who also port) to convert their games and steam to Mac. Even if the cost/time per game now is small, the initial investment was large. If valve had spent the resources making games instead, we would have had more games or better games to play.

    Secondly, if Mac gaming takes off it will leave the PC game platform more splintered. I feel like PC games are having enough trouble even with all the developer’s efforts focused on one platform. Lots of smaller studios are not going to have the resources or time to develop and polish their games for both PC and Mac which, (again, IF gaming takes off on the Mac) will cut them off from a large part of their audience. And if you are trying to decide whether to target PC or 360, PC is a less tempting platform if it actually becomes TWO platforms.

    I would prefer a solution where developers could focus on making one awesome build of their game, which could then be played on mac by some beefed up emulation or something.

    • Forscythe says:

      That was supposed to be a response to Hmm

    • WALTER says:

      Aren’t Macusers like 10% of the market at best, gaming macusers even less. I’d say smaller devs will be fine. That said I’m against this move simply because TF2 and other games where the only place online to escape the whole mac vs pc crap.

    • Alex McLarty says:

      @ Forscythe

      What you say makes sense, but I don’t think it’s the case from a software development point of view. If the tools are in place to make cross-development easier, that means more money and market share for Valve. That means more games.

      “If valve had spent the resources making games instead, we would have had more games or better games to play.”

      But they aren’t doing that. They’re doing this. So the point is irrelevant.

    • bob_d says:

      You have to understand: game development costs are crazy right now; I don’t just mean high – I mean the costs for AAA “current gen” games are high enough that the chances of actually making enough of a profit to fund the next project are questionable. There’s a reason you don’t see many PS3 exclusive games, and almost all the ones that exist are low-budget, GOW3 excepting (and we’ll see if they’re around for another sequel). The market is already fractured – developers have to release on as many platforms as they can just to survive; if you’re working on a large PC game project, you’re at least *thinking* about doing an Xbox version. If Mac sales bring in an extra 10% profit (or even 5%), that could be the difference between success and failure.
      Half-Life 2 cost what, $40 million? Obviously they didn’t spend that much on their porting-to-Mac infrastructure. It sounds like they’ve got their development pipeline set up such that they can branch Mac and Windows (and presumably Xbox) versions off pretty easily. They’re doing this to make a profit; whatever they will have spent on porting to Mac is going to be far less than the money they make from having done so. This means more (and bigger) games for Windows (and therefore for Mac and Xbox as well).

  17. WilPal says:

    Ew Mac

  18. Marshall says:

    I’m for this just because it means I don’t have to wait the two minutes for Bootcamp to switch over to Windows. Cheers to a minor convenience.

  19. Beagleboys says:

    err… 10% was the before intel figures… 2008 stats in USA the Mac users where 30% and the majority of US university students where mac users.

    • drewski says:

      Of course, none of the rest of the world counts.

      I’ve never seen any figures that put Mac usage that high, whther it be sales, surveys or the web tracking data. Most put worldwide Mac online usage at around 5%, and even by US sales I recall Macs peaking at 20% just before the big recession, and that’s dropped by half now.

  20. A Rather Well-Endowed, Angry, Woman says:

    Here we go again with the RPS, Steam love-fest.

    Here’s something to ponder Steam sheep, what happens when VALVe tanks (god willing) and you can no longer play any of your games?

    -or-

    What happens if VALVe says “Oh look this is so expensive you need to pay a subscription fee!” Then what?

    I doubt anyone will provide anything substantive to these questions, since most Steam Sheep are too stupid to even read. There are a few on this site who see reason and logic, they know who they are.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Sheep”

      Stopped reading there

    • drewski says:

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve factored the likelihood of service changes or removal into the price I’m prepared to pay for software on Steam.

      US$5 for a 5 year “rental” of GTA4? Why not.

    • Joe Duck says:

      Then, once Valve is engulfed in the flames of hell as the people “who see reason and logic” clearly want, you simply play in offline mode. For multiplayer games, you’ll probably have to find a dedicated server.
      Unless you bought MW2, of course.
      Or Silent Hunter 5.
      Oh, and I forgot,
      Baaaaaa
      *munches some grass*

    • Pantsman says:

      When and if they tank, I’ll just download the patch they’ll release to enable all Steam games to run without authentication. Or in the highly unlikely event that they don’t release such a patch, I’ll download the one made by some clever hackers in the community. That way I’ll always be able to play all the games that I backed up to disks using Steam’s lovely backup feature.

      Them charging a subscription fee at any time in the near future is too ludicrous an idea to really be taken seriously, given their excellent history of customer treatment, but in that case I’ll just do the same as above: use cracks on my backups. Problem solved!

    • subedii says:

      There are a few on this site who see reason and logic, they know who they are.

      And occasionally a few on this site don’t see reason and logic, and naturally presume they are the solely wise beacon of knowledge in a sea of mediocrity.

      Of course, when you start off talking about how you’re one of the few knowledgeable sages in a sea of sheep, I am only reminded of that old xkcd comic.

      link to xkcd.com

      Fail-troll is fail.

    • stahlwerk says:

      This might be a bit off topic, but why do trolls so often exhibit capitalization issues? While the ‘E’ in the logo might be smaller in size, it is still the capital letter. Besides, in all the texts on their site it is written as “Valve®”.

      Another frequent troll indicator is the usage of “MAC”, while ranting about the Apple (APPLE?) product, not the networking technology. Do they — maybe as a sign of chemically induced paranoia — suspect there might be abbreviations hidden behind every trademark?
      garr.

      rant off.

  21. B0b R0ss says:

    Great to know they’re not going with again, at least with the beta.

  22. Pantsman says:

    It’s pretty cool that Valve are porting all their games to Mac. Not many companies can say that they’ve single-handedly doubled the number of games available on a platform.

    *snerk snerk* Ok, I’m done now.

  23. Mr. ThreEye says:

    Can you people please stop saying PC/Mac and start using the proper terms Windows/OS X instead?

  24. sana says:

    Hooray! Now I can enjoy playing once more as a wave of players incapable of using secondary firemodes comes rushing into my games…

    • Rich says:

      Am I the only Mac user who had a multi-button mouse for gaming and used the single button pill mouse for regular stuff? I doubt it.

    • subedii says:

      Whenever I have to use a Mac, I try to use my own mouse with it. You can say what you want about the OS, the aesthetic design, and whatever else, but man that puck is freaking annoying to use and I can’t imagine who at Apple could have thought it was a good idea.

    • Marshall says:

      Why anybody would use the default bar-of-soap Apple mouse at all baffles me. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable (and don’t get me started on the new all-touch version which practically lacerates your palm every time you try to move it).

      Whether I’m gaming or just word processing, I want my perfectly ergonomic Logitech, and dammit I want my seven buttons!

  25. geldonyetich says:

    Like it or hate it, Valve has no reason not to want to capture a whole other platform on Steam.

    if Apple would let them, I bet they’d have released Steam for iPhone by now.

  26. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Great move from Valve. Despite my criticisms of Steam, this will never be one of them. Any company that tries to bridge platform idiosyncrasies, has me doing a standing ovation.

    Even if Steam will still be prisoner of publishers decisions concerning Mac support, the fact distribution to this platform becomes so simplified, will I hope get at least a few of them to reevaluate their current support for the Mac.

    Now, there’s only one thing left to do. For Apple to look into this as a clear message they can only benefit from opening their platform. That the ability to install OS X on any PC can only mean they are going to win in the home market. Apple is the only real barrier to the success of this move from Valve.

  27. Anthony says:

    What I’m hoping for is that the Mac client is a success, and it prompts Apple to put better video cards in their consumer desktops. The only thing that puts me off the iMac is that anaemic 4850 512MB they stuck in there for driving the mammoth 27″ display. There are better cards available that wouldn’t damage the form factor or cost much more.

    It’s not like they’d even need to be standard, just offer it as a BTO and I’d be happy.

    As to the difficulty of porting Valve’s own titles I read somewhere that the renderer API is more or less just a plug in for Source – the engine is not, by design, heavily invested in DirectX to the point that porting becomes a major pain in the ass. Mileage will vary for other developers, obviously.

  28. supersheep says:

    Where I work (a very large London University), Macs are about 27% of the machines on the network.

  29. nhex says:

    somnolentsurfer said:
    *All* Source engine games? Where did you get that information? ‘Cause I’ve been meaning to play VTM:BL for years, but am holding off buying it for just a little longer, in case I decide to delete my Windows partition next month.

    Just Valve’s own Source engine games – and I’m not sure they’ll go back to the original HL. No way Bloodlines is going to get ported. Not only is it based on a pre-HL2 version of the Source engine, the developer is long out of business and you need to rely on the community fan patches to fix the game (and even those can’t get everything, years after the fact and still at work!). If you’re interested in the game and like RPGs like Fallout and Deus Ex, might as well get it, it’s a great game as long as you know going in that it’s far from perfect technically and in design, due to the production rush towards the end, from what I understand.

  30. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Jolly good news for everyone who wants to use their Mac for actual proper games stuff.

    I actually find this and similar comments in the comments thread rather offensive. Sure it may have been intended as a joke but it didn’t appear to be such. I guess that’s PC elitism for you. Or me, rather.

  31. adam says:

    Because “PC” isn’t the generic term you think it is, it refers to a specific hardware/software grouping.
    Were you around for the “IBM Compatible” days?

    “PC” doesn’t JUST mean “Personal Computer” / any computer for use at home/office/whatever.

  32. adam says:

    Or…
    Winblows-based PCs are entirely inept at doing what I need them to do in my industry, and so I own a couple Macs and happen to enjoy gaming, and will rejoice in the fact that I can run a handful of games natively in OS X now on the machines I already own whilst chatting with friends over steam.

  33. Karl Entwistle says:

    I cant wait for this to be released, since I bought my first Macintosh I have really missed playing CS:S I just hope my Macbook has the GPU power to push those frames at a playable rate, finger crossed! Im also extremely pleased that Valve have decided not to charge me again for a Macintosh version (I already own access too tons of games via Steam that I bought for Windows ages ago).

  34. Venomousbeetle says:

    i guess im the only one who actually googled?

    @all

    link to store.steampowered.com

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