Valve Will Bring Steam and Source To the Mac

Steam and Source Engine on MACValve announced that it will be bringing its gaming service and gaming engine, Steam and Source, to the Mac platform.

Valve's catalog of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life franchise plus Steam will be available in April.

President of Valve, Gabe Newell, explained that customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients, as they transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service. He also said that the Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.

Director of Business Development at Valve, Jason Holtman, said that their Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac. He also explained that Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and that they 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 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, said Holtman. He also explained that they expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam play.

Director of Steam Development, John Cook, said that they have looked at a variety of methods to get their games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation. He also said that the inclusion of WebKit into Steam and of OpenGL into Source gives them a lot of flexibility in how they move these technologies forward, and are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform, so that all of their 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, said John Cook. He also explained that they fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients, and that the first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows.

The first simultaneous release for Mac and Windows on Steam will be Portal 2. Portal 2 Project Leader, Josh Weier, said that checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step. He also explained that they are always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC, and that this makes it very easy for them and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac.

Interested developers should contact Jason Holtman at jasonh@valvesoftware.com. Support for the Mac in Source and Steamworks is available to third parties immediately.

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