Valve confirms adding Apple to Steam


Half-Life's Gordon Freeman

Surprise! Valve have today confirmed our suspicions, bringing both Steam and Source (their gaming engine) to the Mac.

Starting in April, Steam and Valve‘s library of games (including the Half-Life series, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal and Left 4 Dead 2 will all be available for you to play on your Apple-branded computer.

Gabe Newell, President of Valve, explains the decision:

“As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients,

The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.”

Jason Holtman is Director of Business Development at Valve, and he has a few thoughts, too:

“Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac.


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 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. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play.”

John Cook, Director of Steam Development, has some more good news:



“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.

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 company’s first simultaneous release will – of course – be the upcoming Portal 2, which was announced over the weekend. The game’s Project Lead, Josh Weier, explains the design process:

“Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step.

We’re always playing a native version on the Mac right alongside the PC. This makes it very easy for us and for anyone using Source to do game development for the Mac.”


You know what this means.

…and I nearly forgot the best part: if you already own the PC version of a Valve game, you’ll get the Mac version for no extra charge, through a feature they call Steam Play. This kinda suggests that not only will the release be simultaneous, but it will be the same pricepoint across the board, too.

Gamers everywhere, I can hear your final excuse for hanging onto Windows dissolving – now’s the time to switch operating systems completely!

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