Talking tech since 2003

Yesterday, a number of gaming blogs were sent teaser images from Valve which seem to hint that they are planning an OS X version of Steam (or will be releasing one shortly).  While there is no official confirmation whether this is true or not from Valve themselves, it seems like a pretty strong indication from these pictures that it very well may be true.  Not to mention with the Game Developers Conference next week, it would make for a perfect forum to announce Steam for OS X.  Valve also recently changed Steam’s UI engine from requiring Internet Explorer to being Webkit based (which would work on OS X – it’s Safari).

The pictures are essentially a play on the Apple 1984 commercial and the ever popular “I’m a Mac” ads that Apple runs currently.  If this is true and Steam is coming to Mac OS X, it could revitalize gaming on the Mac without a doubt.  However, we have seen Apple pushing towards mobile devices and they really do dominate the mobile gaming market with the iPhone and iPod Touch and soon the iPad.  Which leads to the question of will it matter?  I believe it does matter.

There are quite a few reasons gaming on OS X could explode if Steam had a Mac version.  A major reason for many non-Apple converters is if they are gamers, this would eliminate that obstacle.  But even more importantly, it would benefit game developers immensely.  Currently, game developers have to make sure their games work on all different types of hardware.  They face a very similar problem that Microsoft faces with Windows – you can build a PC with a variety of different components, brands, etc.

However, on the Mac, Apple regulates all of the hardware that goes into their machines.  What does that mean for game developers?  Well, it means it is less work for the developer.  Developing for the Mac would be more like developing for a gaming console such as XBOX 360, PS3, etc due to the limited number of configurations.  Additionally, I don’t have the statistics to back me on this one but it seems to be a general consensus that Mac users are more wiling to pay for software than PC users and what digital content industry isn’t trying to fight piracy?

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