Want To Play Windows Games On Mac Or Linux?

Want To Play Windows Games On Mac Or Linux?
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That’s the aim of Codeweavers’ CrossOver Games software. It’s a special version of the developer’s CrossOver Windows emulator for Mac and Linux designed with gaming in mind. It launches today, at the low, low price of $US 39.95.

Emulation of basic hardware and operating system calls has come a long way in recent years, but graphics has always proved troublesome. While I don’t have experience with the latest iteration of virtualisation and emulation packages, I do know that previous attempts to support gaming have been flaky as all hell.The press release accompanying the launch states that CrossOver Games will be more “bleeding edge” than the company’s other products. I’m guessing this means it’ll see improvements and updates sooner, even if they’re rough around the edges.

According to Codeweavers’ site, CrossOver Games supports Half-Life, World of Warcraft (which runs on Mac natively anyway), Civilization IV, Call of Duty 2 and a load more ancient titles.

To be fair, emulation is a tricky beast, so you can’t pay the developer out for trying. At $US 40, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a PC with a copy of Windows. Keep in mind that if you want to play the latest PC games on a non-Windows system, this isn’t the answer.



  • Crossover is not “emulation” – it works in exactly the same manner as Wine in that it is a re-implementation of the Windows API.

    Crossover in fact IS Wine, just with a flashier front end.

    $40US is fairly reasonable though, and I believe that they also have pre-configured settings that should take out a lot of the headache of tweaking individual applications.

    Codeweavers developers are also active Wine developers – unlike Transgaming’s Cedega.

  • In other words, it emulates the Windows API for non-Windows systems? 😉

    I’d consider any application that uses software to run on non-native hardware as a form of virtualisation or emulation. Technically CrossOver is a compatibility layer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compatibility_layer), which is a form of emulation. I’ve been wrong before, but this is how it makes sense in my head.

  • I refer you good sir to the name of WINE – “Wine Is Not an Emulator” 😛

    A compatibility layer is subtly different to real emulation…

  • No, WINE is an implementation of Windows API for non-Windows systems.

    Technically is an API and a compatibility layer. And that means it`s not an emulator, because it translate without having complexity and time wasting of an emulator. In any part of the wikipedia article you cite is saying that compatibility layer is emulation (it requires more than a compatibility layer to emulate, but “full” implementation of other system plus a compatibility layer to translate from one system to other, an that why emulation is so slow and complex).

    Anyway, good choice prior to Cedega.

  • I’d prefer to pay Codeweavers for this than Transgaming for Cedega, as Cedega is based off an old version of Wine, and updates to Cedega rarely get contributed back to the main version of Wine.

    Codeweavers actively supports the Wine community, which has been progressing in leaps and bounds in the last year or two thanks in part also to Google staffers using their 20% time to work on Wine, and Google’s Summer of Code supporting Wine projects.

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