Mac Gaming Became A Little Less Dead Today

People often ask if PC gaming is dead. This is not a very sensible question. But I, a Mac owner, wonder daily if Mac gaming is alive. Look, I can play Adventure World on my Mac. And Solitaire. But, my goodness, Mac gaming sucks.

And so it was with shock and glee that I, owner of a wonderfully-light MacBook Air, saw today that The Elder Scrolls Online will be coming to PC and Mac next year.


Let me add that to my list of games I expect I'll be able to play on my Mac....

  • Diablo III
  • Counter-Strike: GO
  • Ummmm...that next StarCraft expansion?

I am not foolish enough to depend on my Mac for gaming. I'm a survivor of the great Nintendo 64 gaming famine. I don't need that kind of stress again. But I also don't have a great Windows gaming machine these days and am not convinced I could do any modern gaming with a partition on my newish Air.

I am simply happy that the list of big-budget Mac games I could get excited about grew by about 50 per cent today, 33 per cent if we're counting StarCraft II's expansion. The fact is that I prefer smaller, more indie computer games and that the computer games I'm most excited to play are things like The Witness and Antichamber (the latter of which is -gasp- coming to the Mac!).

For all the popularity of gaming on the iPhone and iPad, gaming on Macs is still about as vibrant a scene as gaming on the microwave I have at home. It's too bad. But I get it. Windows machines are way better for gaming and people actually buy Windows computers to play games. Why should I expect EA to actually make Star Wars The Old Republic on the Mac? Last time I asked, they still wouldn't say if they're doing it.

Hey, the "new" Deus Ex just came out for the Mac! It only took them eight months. 2010's BioShock 2 just hit the Mac last month! What was I saying before? Mac gaming is in a renaissance!

Someone, please send me a message on iChat when Mac gaming isn't dead. If I don't reply immediately, there's a slight chance that that's because I'll be busy playing a video game on my Mac. Yeah, right.

Top image is not a real logo. We just doctored the cover of Game Informer.)


    Macs aren't for gaming dood. It's like trying to cook a chicken in a toaster, they're completely different machines. Sure, you can do it if you slice up the chicken beforehand, but it's not worth the effort. Just buy an oven.

      Mac's arent for gaming because developers/publishers dont support the OS as much.

      Gaming on a mac is no different to a PC. All they have to do is develop it to suit the OS. No different to them developing a game for PC/XBOX/PS3, slight variations in code to work on the system. And with the latest OS versions, they can actually dual release PC/Mac on same discs (Diablo3/Starcraft 2) the horror!

      Have you seen the specs on latest imacs? they rival most standard to buy PC's from any retailer. Downside is you pay a fortune for them.

        Dual release for PC and Mac on the same disc has been happening since mid 90s ( Starcraft 1 and War2 Xpack were the first to it). and yeah the cost of macs are bloody high, but i still wish i was using mac when i ever id recieve a bluescreen of death or have to reinstall the system

          My missus uses the current entry level imac for sims3, and it plays it better then our old desktop which had twice the ram and better graphics card. Macs tend to run less shit in the background making them quite handy to use for heavy processing software (a reason they are favourites amongst audio & visual engineers)

        Don't forget that an iMac uses mobile graphics, the 6770M in the iMac is not nearly as good as the 6770 desktop version.

    According to recent reports, PC (mac included) gaming is dead AND console gaming is dead. ..oh and iOS games are killing gaming. So I guess Kotaku will need to become a dedicated cosplay site.

      Wait, what, it's not a cosplay site?!

    Except macs can boot into windows. so best of both worlds. sucks to be you Lach. ignorant f#ck

    Your Air ain't gonna run that stuff very well, sorry.

    Reminds me of the staples I lived on growing up with Macs - Blizzard and id games (but replace id with Valve now). It worked alright at the time but I definitely missed out on some classics growing up because of it.

      Valve took 12 years to support the MAC after the rest of the big publishers did it in the actual 90s. And it took valve 2 attempts to do it. When ID software had released quake 1, 2 and Arena on mac, Valve was still trying to port over HL 1 and they had the full singleplayer up and running, but because they couldnt get MAC and PC to work together in multiplayer ( an actual issue with the quake 2 engine) they scrapped the intire thing. The never even bothered the release the singleplayer ( the part that everyone actually enjoyed).

      As a mac gamer in the late 90s i HAd every single major release i could smuggle past my old man ( he is almost technophobic) ID, Blizzard, Lucas Arts, Epic, any game they made then i had them on Mac, even had Tonyhawk Pro Skater too which was freaking sweet and better than my PS1 version

        I don't think it's that they couldn't be bothered. I think they just wanted to skip the whining and bitching about not having multiplayer altogether, sensible move IMO.

    You know, funnily enough, ever since I bought my iMac in 2010, I've been doing more and more gaming on my home computer than ever before.

    If you're really worried about having a lack of games to play, just find some emulators or find some wineskin or cider ports of games that the real devs are too lazy to port themselves.

    Unless he buys a Mac Pro for several thousand dollars I cant see him playing The Old Republic on it.

    Also you can just install windows on your Mac, they will be just as playable as they would be running in OSX.

    I too was surprised and pleased to see a Mac release for Elder Scrolls Online announced. For me it might be an incentive to update my iMac to a new model next year.

    While I don't think Mac gaming is dead but it is not very vibrant. However I think there is hope of an improvement.

    The success of the OS App Store and good sales of Mac laptops and desktops may encourage more developers. If Apple decide to enter the gaming space in a big way they could develop the App Store into a "steam like" ecology for Mac gaming as part of such an approach.

    Most pundits who talk up the death of gaming on any given platform do so out of self-interest. In the 80's gaming was a mainstream and vibrant industry until its collapse late in the decade.

    What we are seeing now is a resurgence of gaming as a mainstream leisure activity thru the growth of games on mobile devices, consoles, the smart tv, streaming and your web browser.

    I've been playing pretty much every major 'PC' release to date on my 2011 macbook pro via all the great porting done at -
    Seriously , absolutely no reason Dev's couldn't put a two man team onto porting over any game prior to release. It may not run 100% identical performance wise to it's intended platform, but pretty damn close

    I play bf3 on my 2010 MacBook pro, just needs bootcamp and a bit of overclocking

    Over anything apple.

    To say PC is dead and your flogging a dead horse...

    Apple will then go, this is the new living optional horse, its better because you don't have to worry about whether the legs move, you can just sit it there and it will do what it will do without having to tell it to do anything,.

    *sigh* got sick of their shit 15 years ago

    Just to set the record straight, the only part that is unique in a Mac nowadays is the OS itself since they switched to the Intel Interface. PC's are more flexible and much more powerful than Mac's (Due to flexibility) and will beat Mac's anytime since Mac's are limited to what they can do, think about it, can a Mac play popular games without hassle? (Bootcamping, etc.) Can I upgrade it cheaply? (*laughs* No) Will it protect itself from viruses, no (There are more than 440,000 viruses known for the Mac now, I would put an anti-virus on it if I were you). Now, I know what your thinking, "I'm a PC fanboy", well no, I'm not, I'm just don't want to use a system that is limited to what it can do. Now, the only drawbacks of having a PC is, you! Don't know how to use it. Mac thrives for simplicity, and it achieved that, it did well, but know it'll have new challenges such as, software not superior to PC's, prone to more viruses than PC's and firepower. Let's face it, Mac's aren't as good as they used to be. FUN FACT: Getting a Bluescreen is your fault, your the one using it, the user. It can't get a bluescreen if it isn't being used now can it?

    the problem with Mac gaming isn't the availability of games on the platform. It is that OpenGL is not kept up-to-date, the rate of refresh on graphics cards is rather poor as are the drivers AND there is no desktop available that uses non-server parts and has a non-mobile GPU.

    Just like we see with iOS, OS X and the Macintosh platform has the unique opportunity to optimise for the hardware. We just need what I mentioned above and there will be some pretty interesting results. This has always been the design of Macs, it is just that since the Intel switch things have gone downhill in this regard.

      go back to the 90's where this kind of attitude belongs. Ease of use is one of the most important factors in software and hardwire design. This elitist posturing towards computers is ridiculous, they're for everyone. These benefits you're espousing just aren't relevant anymore.

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