“It’s hard for Mac users to be into computer games,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek. “Whenever there’s been a popular title that runs on Microsoft’s Windows operating system, Mac users have always had to wait—and wait and wait— until someone decided there might be enough demand, given the smaller market, to make a profit on an adapted version for Apple’s Macintosh platform.”
At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, “EA and Id Software, the company behind the Quake gaming franchise, both made new, but vastly different commitments to the Mac market this week,” Hesseldahl reports.
“Id said it is developing a new gaming engine called Id Tech 5 that works on the Mac. Think of a game engine as the engine of a car. The better it is under the hood, the more fun the car can be to drive. Id’s engine looked pretty impressive based on the video presented at the developer’s conference. In the Windows world, Id can be used to build extremely detailed virtual worlds with stunning graphical features, and now those developers writing for that platform can do so for the Mac, too. From there, it follows that more games developed on that engine—which Id plans to license—could support the Mac natively. This is very good news for Mac games,” Hesseldahl reports.
Hesseldahl reports, “EA announced it would release a handful of its more popular games on the Mac… not building Mac-native versions of these games. Instead, it’s working with a Canadian software company called Transgaming, which makes a product called Cider. What Cider does is interesting. Basically it takes advantage of the fact that a Mac and a PC are essentially the same inside. They have the same type of processor, use the same graphics chips, and so on. Cider allows games developed first for Windows to run on a Mac by in essence acting as an interpreter between them. Instead of forcing developers to spend months rebuilding a PC game, Cider simplifies the process of Mac-ifying a Windows game.”
Hesseldahl covers other aspects of Mac gaming, including Apple’s Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, Aspyr Media, and more in the full article here.