Steam platform and Valve games coming to the Mac?

By on March 4, 2010, 9:59 AM
Valve has all but confirmed rumors that it plans to bring its Steam gaming platform to Mac OS X systems. In a clever teaser campaign yesterday, the company began sending gamer blogs a series of images featuring characters from its video game titles, presented in the style of current and past ad campaigns run by Apple, and accompanied only by this explanation: "In anticipation of an upcoming announcement from Valve."

One of the images showed Half-Life character Gordon Freeman wearing iMac colors and a partially obscured Apple logo on his chest, while another starred Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2 reenacting Apple's iconic 1984 super bowl commercial by throwing a crowbar at a screen portraying the series' villain Dr. Breen. There's also Francis from Left 4 Dead talking about "hating" different, Heavy from Team Fortress 2 appearing in the classic iPod ad silhouette, and a Portal sentry next to a TF2 turret parodying the "I'm a Mac... and I'm a PC" adverts.

It seems likely that all of these titles will make their way to Mac systems along with the Steam client. What's more, this might be an indication that Valve has ported their Source game engine over to OS X, which would allow any future games based on this engine to be easily launched for the Mac. A formal announcement is expected during the 2010 Game Developers Conference, scheduled for next week, from March 9th to the 13th.

User Comments: 45

Got something to say? Post a comment
DaMak420 said:

Its about time. I am not a mac fan honestly... but Steam has grown so much, why should they not reach out to an entire user group that currently DOESNT have access. Good move for them IMO.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Have a better selection of games for Mac's I think would help them sell their computers. Right now if you want to game you pretty much have to have a windows PC, but if steam brings a good selection of games to the Mac they will have a whole new market to sell their computers to.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@TorturedChaos - I'm not so sure that logic would work. Upgrading a Mac to leading edge graphics and processing powers that are needed for gaming seems like a bit of a dead end - and even if you could, based on Apple's pricing, you probably couldn't afford it. Don't get me wrong, Macs will run lighter mainstream games just fine, but as the hardware specs ramp up, few will be able to afford the steep upgrade / new build cycles that PC gaming follows.

We already get consolized and often simplified PC game ports, I'd hate to see the games get ratcheted down even more so they could limp along on a Mac too.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Well, seeing as how the Source engine is pretty easy on systems, it makes sense for Valve. However, when it comes to gaming, Macs are just a prohibitively expensive and closed platform.

Guest said:

"Macs are just a prohibitively expensive and closed platform."

OpenGL which OSX uses to render 3d is hardly a closed platform. Much less so than the proprietary DirectX.

osuebucks said:

Hallelujah! Steam is making progress where others have failed. I will definitely get more use out of my Mac once Steam is available. This is great to hear.

Guest said:

As a mac user who has to use Windows in Bootcamp to play steam games, i can safely say the mac hardware works just fine. Looking forward to this though, without the update drivers I can't get sound to play in windows. makes playing TF2 a little difficult.

pyari said:

take it positively.....its a great news for mac lover......thumps up for all mac step ahead for hand shaking with new platform.....I'm with valve.....there is no force M$ installation for gaming purpose on mac....

gobbybobby said:

Yer great for Mac users, But I have strong Anti-mac Views which I shall not share (this time). Now Y not have a Client Fully Compat. with Linux, Ubuntu and the like!

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good point, gobbybobby... If you take the above OpenGL argument about Macs not being closed systems, and apply that to Linux, there's no reason why Linux shouldn't be able to get good gaming ports.

Xyvis said:

As Mac gains market share, this move makes sense. Only thing I wonder about is why they didn't do this sooner.

ryan29121 said:

I am not a big fan of mac, but the Steam network is great. I love how you can buy games and it stores them. The friends network is great as well. I love the TF2 and Portal reference in the picture.

Docnoq said:

My friend will be happy to hear this. I had to put Windows on his Mac through bootcamp so we could play together. This removes a lot of the hassle.

I will agree that trying to keep a Mac updated hardware-wise to run games will not be the easiest thing to do, however. Thus, PCs will remain dominant for gamers for some time to come.

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

This is huge news. The Mac has needed something like this for far too long. Hopefully it'll be a success and other developers will follow in their wake.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Great ads from Valve . While I personally don't have a Mac and don't plan on getting one anytime soon as I have no need, it's good for them. And as some are pointing out hardware I don't think it'll be to big of an issue given that Valve games are rather hardware friendly similar to Blizzard games. Just curious to see if they'll look at Linux too since they are going with OpenGL.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Excellent news, hope this means a lot more available mac games at a decent price.

DaMak420 said:

Vrmithrax said:

@TorturedChaos - I'm not so sure that logic would work. Upgrading a Mac to leading edge graphics and processing powers that are needed for gaming seems like a bit of a dead end - and even if you could, based on Apple's pricing, you probably couldn't afford it. Don't get me wrong, Macs will run lighter mainstream games just fine, but as the hardware specs ramp up, few will be able to afford the steep upgrade / new build cycles that PC gaming follows.

We already get consolized and often simplified PC game ports, I'd hate to see the games get ratcheted down even more so they could limp along on a Mac too.

Subsequently, Maybe it will cause Apple to reduce some of their ridiculous pricing and make it more affordable to own a decent Mac. Probably not, but one can dream.

Tizzlejack Tizzlejack said:

Good news for Mac users. Just having Steam alone opens up a door for small developers. I don't see it turning Mac into a viable platform for big name titles in the future though.

TuesdayExpress said:

This is great news for all of my Mac friends, but I'm really curious if this is going to open the door to Linux as well. If you read the copy on the first teaser, it ends with '"There's different types of computers though,' said one guy. 'We'll figure that out later,' said another guy."

'Different types' makes me hope, though I realize that I'm probably staring at the tea leaves a little too hard on this one.

manintech said:

just curiosity, how many pc games work on mac?

NeoFlux said:

Almost all Mac users whom I know have PC's and do not play any serious computer games at all ... I wonder, if its worth the trouble?

AmpFeare said:

Glad to see that the Mac is getting more games, the lack of games on Macs kinda makes linux+wine look good.

Serag said:

Neat move by steam, now they'll own this market segment of "mac gamers" if it succeeded..

Timonius Timonius said:

hmmm...maybe the increased access to steam and therefore a greater cashflow will help 'speed' the development of half life 2 episode 3. Episode 3 is really the only news I want to hear from Valve right now.

eafshar said:

i'll take a tf2 sentry over portal turrets.. tf2 sentry cant be knocked over!

Decimae said:

I think this announcement will be officially made with the announcement of portal 2, rumored to be on march 11(because gabe gets an award that day, and the GlaDOS version number in the images is 3.11). But these pictures are great; I like the portal turret one most.

princeton princeton said:

Episode 3 is the new duke nukem. Apparently valve hired the 3Drealms team.

buttus said:

This actually has me excited. See, I am also a photographer and I have been wanting a Mac for sometime to do my editing on. However, because my favourite games haven't been available for Mac (TF2 for example) I have held off. Valve games are not heavy on CPU or GPU resources so I'd imagine playing on a Mac would be pretty easy. It's just a shame that Apple has taken so damned long to try and get games onto their boxes.

DryIce said:

Valve software on Macs? That can only be a good thing!

thatguyandrew92 said:

Steam engine is really so easy on systems, the macs can probably handle them. Maybe Apple will buy Valve.

InsaneVr6 said:

Let's put it this way. Mac's and gaming do not go together, at all. Personally, I don't think Mac's and basic computing go together but that's for another day.

I am glad that Steam is "taking the plunge" to get the die hard mac users access to some really great games. I just want to say that if Steam can't do it, I think that Apple will have to stick to their iphone games / apps for entertainment.

pipopaz said:

That's some good news for me if it turns out to be true, going to purchase a macbook pro and a little bit of gaming wouldn't be bad.

skitzo_zac skitzo_zac, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As much of a good move by Valve this is it's kind of sad to see one of the arguements against Mac (lack of games) being slowly torn apart.

Also, Steam to Mac. Why not announce details on HL2: Eppisode 3 already?

Yoda8232 said:

Ah this is great news for Mac OS X users but I really don't care as I never plan on buying OS X, Steam is great and Steam should be the master universal gaming program.

jacob007 said:

I think itĀ's great that developers look at all platforms not just the dominant ones, even if they donĀ't make a huge investment i guess this is the kind of thing when something is better than nothing.

I congratulate Valve for doing this.

Great advertisements too.

zaidpirwani said:

In Pakistan MACs are a delicacy and those who own them are either TOO RICH to afford them or HIGH SALARIED GRAPHIC DESIGNERS who get MACS from their Company, as a normal MAC would cost a YEAR's SALARY.... I know what you guys from US or Europe must be thinking, also I don't have a MAC and I though that MACs did run all PC software now, or is that WRONG.....

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well done advertising. I am all for spreading the love to MAC as well for gaming. Maybe Linux will be next :-D

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

would be great, till then i kept off the valley of MAC, because there were no green grass of gaming for me, now that the valve has been removed & the steam will pour in, i shall MAC myself up some day, just hope Blizzard also will join the race soon.


fref said:

Microsoft won't like this... Macs have been gaining popularity lately, but gaming is a category that was lacking badly on that platform. I won't be buying a Mac despite this, though. I like my Windows 7 PC just fine and it's easier to upgrade for much less money.

thebluemeaner said:

Finally Macs will be able to use their nice hardware for something else than "video editing"

Wolfanoz Wolfanoz said:

With increasing popularity of gaming on the iPhone, it's only logical that Mac systems themselves move towards a gaming atmosphere (bad example would be the Pippin but everyone makes mistakes).

Happy to see Steam broaden out. Digital downloads will replace boxed games once broadband becomes a lot more mainstream.

jakeshjo1953 said:

I agree. Jakeshjo here.

Puiu Puiu said:

They first need to make mac's with actual gaming capable hardware. Being pretty isn't going to help and the ones that actually have a good CPU or VC are way too expensive. Buy a PC and for the rest of the money buy the games you want to play.

levar said:

Yeah I agree Pulu but from the latest news games like HL2, Portal those games don't need much hardware requirements. I think its a good move for both Valve and Mac they both are gonna make money, oh snap games are no longer able to play on PC and as in games I mean games like HL2, CS:S, Crysis... anyways I want to know what Apply plans to do whether its coming out with system that are more based on gaming which will be awesome!! I mean this is just gonna change everything and this is just me talking but PC users didn't really like the Mac because it lacked games and eh it was kinda expensive now it has games and is less vurnerable to virus and all that. Right now I'm thinking about getting a Mac.

Guest said:

Indeed. too have waited for this for such a long time. I hope they make some good titles available, like TF2, Half- life and stuff, and not just those small puzzle games:p

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.