Valve opens up to Macs

Half-Life studio announces full support of Apple's OS for Steam, catalog hits this April; Portal 2 compatibility confirmed; all future games getting simultaneous PC, Mac, 360 release.

Apple's OS X operating system for Macs has largely been regarded by game designers as the unimportant step-cousin to Microsoft's ubiquitous Windows interface for PCs. Today, Valve announced plans that may go a long way toward changing that phenomenon, announcing that its digital distribution hub Steam as well as its proprietary Source game engine will now be compatible with Mac computers.

Valve will be opening a portal to Macs.

Valve plans to launch Mac support with Steam and its personal library of games--which includes the Half-Life and Left 4 Dead series, as well as Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, and Portal--in April. Valve also said that it has updated its Steamworks development toolkit to allow a game built using the software to be interchangeable between the two desktop platforms.

"Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge," explained Valve's director of business development, Jason Holtman. "For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac."

Valve's first new game to support the Mac platform will be Portal 2 when it launches this holiday. The sequel to Valve's highly acclaimed The Orange Box pack-in, Portal 2 was officially announced for the Xbox 360 and PC last week, after a prolonged teaser campaign. The full-length, stand-alone title will include both single- and multiplayer modes in addition to other new features. Valve went on to note that the PC and Mac versions of the game are being developed in tandem.

"Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lockstep," said Portal 2 project lead Josh Weier. "We're always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac."

The Bellevue, Washington-based developer went on to note that it now considers the Mac a "tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360." Further, Valve also intends to release game updates for Windows and Mac editions simultaneously. In fact, Mac and Windows users will intermingle in online matches, playing and communicating on the same servers and in the same game lobbies.

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231 comments
ositopastelero
ositopastelero

@Herenr agreed. Macs are personal computers, not supercomputers nor embedded systems, etc. It's clear that Macs are PCs (Personal Computers) too. The "Mac is not PC" thing is a common misconception. Check "PC" at wikipedia for some more info. Anyways, it's a nice thing that Valve's great stuff can now reach Mac users. Way to go!

ASG_
ASG_

Now I'd be completely fine with buying a Macbook, if they also put in a cpu in it that's actually good.

Astraos
Astraos

I can change the battery on my mac... Don't know what you're whining about. Unless you are referring to their MP3 player, the iPod, which has absolutely nothing to do with this news post. And on topic, this is great news. OSX has been ignored as a gaming platform. Hopefully the the Valve giant behind it it will finally flourish.

ultramalakian
ultramalakian

"This is why Microsoft has always had to give Apple money to keep the competition." Dude, are you serious?? And Disney sends money to Warner Bros?? Perhaps McDonalds sends Big Macs to Burger King... "...the Pirate's Bay was closed down months ago." NO.

ultramalakian
ultramalakian

"This is why Microsoft has always had to give Apple money to keep the competition." Dude, are you serious?? And Disney sends money to Warner Bros?? Perhaps McDonalds sends Big Macs to Burger King... "...the Pirate's Bay was closed down months ago." NO.

delta9042002
delta9042002

P.s. Pirate's bay was never closed down.

delta9042002
delta9042002

I didn't become a Mac user for games, but i can say that i am extremely happy about this. Steam is taking a big step here, and that's why they rock!

solidniko
solidniko

well now macs can play good games

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

@Lazy_Ike Unfortunately, I cannot locate your post in the comments. You are right that purchasing a Mac does not mean you are a cheapskate, but that the money was not spent wisely. With that kind of money you could purchase the greatest computers ever made which are Alienware. Yes the majority of PC's are cheaper and you can get a basic one for basic things unlike with Mac, which is one of the many reasons PC's are more widespread and Mac's are only about 4% of the population. This is why Microsoft has always had to give Apple money to keep the competition. The biggest seller for Apple is the Ipod brand and that is overpriced as well as lacking features many other brands have and are better priced. Just as an fyi most PC's users do not steal software, as you can tell by PC software sales alone would tell you that. In case you have not heard the Pirate's Bay was closed down months ago. Also on another note although I have used both Mac and PC well enough to know that Mac needs to become more user friendly with its operating system as well as gamer friendly.

l33tek
l33tek

congrats to all Mac users!

codezer0
codezer0

All I can say is... it's about time. If VALVe can do it, everyone else can basically shut the F up as every excuse they can throw out is officially invalid. Considering how superior the Mac build of UT2k3/2k4 was back then, I feel I can readily look forward to seeing what the minds at VALVe do with the Apple.

Redsyrup
Redsyrup

Good luck Jobs! Even if you integrated Steam into iTunes I'd still never own a Mac. If I can't replace the battery in one of your products I'm forced to pay you to do it for me or throw the poorly designed hardware away.. This is called planed obsolescence. Forcing users to upgrade every 1 to 2 years. Apple has effectively removed the right of ownership from all consumers and I will not support their greed.

xblane
xblane

wow, Steam Play is a definite win for those with a Mac & PC :D

ultramalakian
ultramalakian

" acsam12304: how are you going to zoom in your scopes with out a right mouse button?" (FACEPALM) Would you use a Laptop's touchpad to play TF2?

ultramalakian
ultramalakian

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ultramalakian
ultramalakian

What I don't get, is all this HATE against the Mac's. Have they done anything bad to you? Did a Mac sales representative abused of you during your childhood? (...Actually, don't answer that one) Still, you should just smile and be happy for the fact that there will be lots of n00bs to raise your TF2 Score, and of course, the more people is playing, that means Valve will continue making great products for a long time. Hell, even the fact that they are using OpenGL and Webkit now means excellent news by itself...

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I think that with VALVe embracing the MAC as a 'Tier 1' platform, other devs will surely follow suit, i guess it mainly depends on the number of sales the MAC edition generates, although i bet the entire gaming industry will be interested to see how this pans out.

oneligas
oneligas

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

acsam12304
acsam12304

how are you going to zoom in your scopes with out a right mouse button?

acsam12304
acsam12304

@p00zer me too well i went with Steam when i got Half-Life 2. and i got a lot of games from Steam, but only when the games are on sale like i got Bioshock for $4.99 2 years ago and Assassins Creed for $9.99 2 years back too. and a lot more that i havent played yet that i owned for over a year lol but yeah. Steam is good to buy PC games when theres a sale on.

CHECKTHISTA
CHECKTHISTA

FIIIINALY!! well it was about time that one Company stands out odf croud of gamedevelopers that WOULD EVEN TRY to bring games to a MAC pc! i am not using MAC, but i can think of many users that will love to get steam and all the games that come with it in their hands! ^^

cowmaster2k3
cowmaster2k3

This is all a process everyone. Think about it. By extending their audience to the entire Mac community, Valve will be able to announce Half Life 3 to both PC and Mac users. They are probably making sure the sales on that game will be as huge as it can possibly be. I'll still be playing on my awesome PC, but I look forward to blasting a few mac users in CS:S now :)

p00zer
p00zer

I jumped on the Steam train a year ago, and since then they haven't done a single thing wrong. I've spent probably $80 all of 2009 on video games using Steam, and that was for over 20 games (i only buy on sales days..). Amazing service, and finally some love for Macs :).

lizzardman666
lizzardman666

Macs? Is this why Valve have been delaying ep3 all this time? Who cares about mac users? They're going to be able to play only Source games anyway, so whats the point?

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

this is excellent news. I can finally get the premium products of Apple and enjoy the best games without issue. lack of games and support is the only reason my current laptop is a PC and not a Mac...

The_Commitments
The_Commitments

does this mean that they will be making a Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 for Mac? Someone please tell me, really looking forward to playing that.

Beetroot502
Beetroot502

They didn't say they weren't making ps3 versions, but they didn't say they were either. I only say this because the Orange Box is available for the ps3. They'll probably just give ps3 crappy port versions...

F3l1P3
F3l1P3

lalala (8) fantastic news :P

Sambo115
Sambo115

This is the best news I've heard in a while. Can't wait for this to come out, will probably be playing a lot more Counter Strike after this.

XanderKage
XanderKage

Well, this is nice, but could Valve please stop @#$%ing around and make HL2Ep3/HL3 already????

RABicle
RABicle

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

fanirama
fanirama

Valve = Value. And Valve = Quality. So you get value and quality from Valve. Never have I been so impressed with a game company. Steam = DRM done right. Its non-invasive, I can play online or offline. I'm buying all new PC games on Steam these days ( some on Impulse as well btw to keep them alive ). With the new steam-servers saving your game saves, I love that I can play between PC's. Also, with the cross-platform Mac/Windows, we can truly have symphony... Kudos to Valve.

willauqs
willauqs

this is excellent news. So if we already bought half life on PC will that game that i bought becommme cross platform in april. or while i need to buy a new pc/mac copy of the game in april??

vetookie
vetookie

Fantastic, as a Mac user myself, it is nice to finally see some great games coming out for it.

Weddum
Weddum

This is good news for PC gaming as a whole. Mac users are getting the same games, playing the same games online with PC users, and can play and in future create the same mods. More people playing can only be a good thing.

shanzor
shanzor

@jmaccini Haha are you serious? There are macs that can run Crysis on full settings. It's not the operating system. It's the fact that Macbooks and Macbook Pro's have integrated graphics chips. But iMac's will be able to play these no problem.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

I hope so.. when Microsoft now fully support to the 360... I hope Mac could be a solution for PC gamers... I will install two OS side by side :) :D :) :D PC (Windows) & MAC Baby!! Linux pretty decent even interface like crap..

Geek12
Geek12

Lol dropped the Ps3, added the Mac. Who woulda thunk it.

StephenBassford
StephenBassford

The question is: Why didn't Valve do this earlier? They knew Mac owners had a shorter list of games - the should have capitalized on this a long time ago (during the Source HL2 days)

jmaccini
jmaccini

This is an absolutely AWFUL idea! This just means they are going to be downgrading the requirements yet again! As an owner of a moderately new gaming PC I'm upset that so many new games are coming out that don't live up to the experience my PC can handle. Even including Xbox has lowered the quality of graphics and memory usage. Including this pitiful operating system that has no use for gaming is just going to make them lose money.

Lazy_Ike
Lazy_Ike

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Darth_DuMas
Darth_DuMas

Fantastic news, I can't be bothered to keep going through boot camp. But it'll only be a selct few games, hopefully allowing the mac versions of games to be sold as well.

EL-Spiffy
EL-Spiffy

No PS3? well, that sucks monkey beads!

Herenr
Herenr

One thing perplexes me. Why do people keep saying Mac vs. PC? The Mac is a PC! It just uses a different OS. BTW, I don't see Valve's decision really changing much, unless developers start to cooperate more.

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

Macs are overpriced and not as secure as one would think. Hackers, virus makers, and spyware makers do not waste time with Macs due to the smaller population of Mac users compared to PC users. Macs are not as user friendly in comparison to a PC. Its good that Valve wants to branch out to a newer platform, but PC is still the better gaming machine and is more effectively priced whether you build it or walk into a store and purchase one. If Valve was money hungry that would not implement Steam Play or be branching out to the Mac population. Linux and PS3 would make them a lot more money in the long run.