More Proof that Steam is Coming to Mac OS X

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Rob Williams, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Late last week, we talked about some hints that Valve was dropping about a potential Apple-based Steam client, and over the course of this week, there's been even more hints, and also an out-right confirmation to Apple site MacNN about the client, from Valve's own marketing VP Doug Lombardi. Sure enough, Steam is en route, and Apple gamers have a lot to be excited for.

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    You can read the rest of our post here.
     
  2. b1lk1

    b1lk1 Tech Monkey

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    Man this is something else. If Steam can get this done AND get games properly ported to OSX then we can only hope they will make the final push to Linux. I, for one, would instantly jump to Linux is Steam and it's games would run natively on Linux.

    Just makes you wonder how much Microsoft is offering Steam behind the scenes to scrap this plan.
     
  3. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    The real problems is that of DirectX, most big label games are written with DX and very few use OpenGL, and since DX is a Microsoft tech, support outside Windows is purely 3rd party. Unless OpenGL and/or OpenCL picks up significantly or MS has a change of heart, the best you'll see are casual games. Steam has a lot of casual games, so it makes sense to port them to Linux and MacOS, but i doubt we'll see many big budget games. Not saying casual games are bad or anything, just the titles that'll be made available will probably leave many people disappointed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  4. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    The DirectX issue has me most interested, because as far as I can tell, the only way Source-based games could run would be through OpenGL. There's nothing much wrong with that, but take a look at the number of game developers today that actually develop games in OpenGL... there are few.

    If there's anything the European Union should be whining over, it's the monopoly that Microsoft has on PC gaming, not some foolish browser war. DirectX to me is the sole reason gaming has never saw success on either Linux or Mac OS X. The vast majority of developers are locked into it, so that's where they will remain... with Microsoft. There are few exceptions, Valve being the most recent.
     
  5. crowTrobot

    crowTrobot E.M.I.

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    Yup. They probably think that the browser issue affects a larger number of people but I would argue to them that the gaming industry a larger number of PROFIT involved, thus affecting the economy much more significantly than web browsers.
     
  6. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    And what would the EU do, fine MS again for it because they offered an all around better coding platform for 3D games? OpenGL was around first and is used for professional 3D applications, but it was never built for nor developed with gaming in mind. DirectX was built specifically for gaming, and the improvements in that area are why game devs began migrating over to DX and still prefer it today.
     
  7. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    It has nothing to do with that, it has to do with the fact that it's tied into the Windows operating system, and cannot run on alternate OSes, like Linux and Mac OS X. I'd be willing to bet that Apple would never even ponder implementing DirectX support into the OS, but I could see it being a possibility on Linux, or at least an option so the FOSS die-hards can remain happy.

    You're right about OpenGL sucking for gaming, but that's the problem. There's one real option, and it's tied into Windows. That sounds like a monopoly to me.
     
  8. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Why should DirectX be developed for other OS's? From my understanding this is the equivalent of taking the transmission out of one model truck and expecting it to work in a competing model. DirectX is a coding API designed to integrate the OS with the hardware and to set standards to make code (IE game) development easier as they can expect the feature set and OS support to be there. It's an integral component of the OS, Windows wouldn't work without it and DirectX won't work without the Windows OS. At least without some serious modifications due to interdependencies, one of them being Microsoft's COM.

    With the advent of PC gaming the majority of 3D games were written for OpenGL, because it was the only actual standardization for hardware calls between the hardware and the OS that came about at the time. Microsoft saw that OpenGL was not being developed for 3D gaming, instead the standard was oriented to develop for processional 3D rendering programs. Microsoft filled the gap by writing DirectX specifically for gaming, and eventually through better optimizations and more gaming oriented featuresets they finally began getting it right and it was adopted by more game devs. Even John Carmack, the guy behind id Software and is the last major game engine holdout for OpenGL praised Directx9 and said it was as good as for better than OpenGL by that stage.

    I'm talking about the choice game developers have... they can code their games in OpenGL today for Windows 7 should they wish, but only Id Software and small Indie game developers seem to bother doing so anymore.

    Apple is Apple, they don't tend to follow cutting edge hardware/software that closely. For example, here's Ars Technica's article on OpenGL 4 released five days ago. Apple doesn't even support OpenGL 3 yet, so it's no wonder they don't have any apparent rush to adopt high-end GPUs in their products. It would be pointless without the OpenGL support to take advantage of new featuresets in the hardware. ;)

    It's an optional monopoly by default, is my point here. Nothing is stopping anyone from coding their games in OpenGL 3 for Windows 7 64bit. The only problem is they lose features and can't do the same tricks in hardware that they can with DirectX, because OpenGL doesn't push new featuresets. For the past . As one writer put it, the problem with open standards is that it takes significantly longer for them to be developed, changed, and added upon... and that is exactly why OpenGL has been playing catch up by belatedly copying various calls and standards developed in each release of DirectX since DX9.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010

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