Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Macs to be Steam-powered

via Wired, some interesting news for gaming on the Mac:
Bringing Steam to Mac will give gamers several cross-platform benefits, Newell said.
  • If players already own the PC versions of Valve games, they’ll get Mac versions at no extra charge through a feature called Steam Play.
  • By using the Steam Cloud feature that the company introduced in 2008, players can save in-progress games online, then call up those saved games no matter which version they’re playing. If you’re playing Half-Life 2 on your home PC but then head out on the road with your MacBook, you can continue your game-in-progress.
“We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation,” said John Cook, director of Steam development, in Monday’s press release.

“We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac and the Xbox 360,” Cook said. “Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.”

We are an interfaith PC vs. Mac household... and I buy all my PC games via Steam these days... so this possibly a quite cool development for us. I suspect that the ability to have games on multiple computers will work the same way it does on PCs: while we can have a copy of the game on both a PC and Mac, you'll only be able to be logged into your Steam account on one of them at a time... so no free multiplayer or ability to play games on my Steam account simultaneously. Still... can't really complain about the price of "free" can you?