Steam Announced For the Mac

Finally, a serious reason for Mac gamers to celebrate. Valve announced today that their Steam distribution service will be coming to Mac OS X this April, and with it will come Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Portal, Portal 2 and the Half-Life series for Mac. In addition, Valve announced that all of their future games will be coming to the Mac as well, running natively on the popular computer operating system that has been neglected for so long by the gaming industry.

The Mac version of Steam will be arriving in April and will also feature Steam Play, which will allow gamers to purchase one game for use on two platforms so that if you purchase a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 for your Macbook but then want to play the same game on your desktop PC at home, you can and you only have to pay for one, rather than two, separate copies.

“Our Steam partners who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac” said Jason Holman, Director of Business Development at Valve. “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. For example, Steam Play, in combination with 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. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play.”

In addition, the Mac version of Steam and the games that will play on the Mac will run natively.

“We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation,” said John Cook, Director of Steam Development. “The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.”

The recently announced Portal 2 will be the first simultaneous Mac and Windows release from Valve when it comes out later this year.

This Mac owner is seriously satisfied. It’s been too long that I’ve had to wait to play Half-Life 2 on my Macbook and now, that opportunity is almost here. Score!