So this morning, Apple released OS X v10.6.6 and with it came the Mac App Store. Does it have what it takes to give Steam a run for its money?
Disclaimer: I'm not at my home computer, so I'm not going to buy anything now, just look around, and see what's available.
The Mac App store has more than just games, as does the iOS store: iWork, iLife, Evernote and other productive programs are there. But I'm just going to go over the games at this point.
If you own an iOS device, the Mac App store is a familiar place: Featured items, Top Charts, etc. There are some familiar games, like Flight Control and (of course) Angry Birds. Something that did catch my eye: LEGO Harry Potter, which has been a "Games for Windows" title, which usually means it's exclusive to that platform. Steam has the Windows version, but not the Mac version.
Looking for familiar Steam games, I find Bejeweled 3, Peggle and Peggle Nights, Osmos and And Yet It Moves. Notably absent: Electronic Arts, which has been a long time seller of games on iOS devices.
While there isn't a ton to find on the store at the moment, it was just released, and I'm sure thousands of games and other apps will find their way to the Mac App Store soon.
Does Valve have anything to worry about? Possibly, but not just yet. For one thing: I haven't found any evidence of cloud support yet, which is what I love about Steam (with games like Torchlight, and PvZ).
Shameless plug: I hope to have a more in depth review of the Mac App store on my website: www.blackrabbitsociety.net.
Could my eyes be deceiving me?
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City: NO 3RD PARTY DRM?!?!???!!
But checking Games For Windows Live site:
software installations required including Sony DADC SecuROM
Anyone here who may take note of comments I make on posts about any DRM know I *hate with passion* SecuROM. While it's true some games on Steam might lack SecuROM of their DVD counterparts that do, GTA4 wasn't one of them. Could this be true? Might I actualy get to play a new GTA game on my PC?
Let me start off by saying it's not all what you think. Sure, I've been a loud mouth when it comes to PC DRM, and the idiocy of companies. But it's more than that.
Gaming for me all started as a kid. I grew up playing the Atari 2600. I was born the year it came out, and played it when I was old enough to. I then moved on to the NES and SNES as they came out.
As for PC gaming, I've been a PC gamer since the early 90s, when I first got a computer. Even before then, late 80s when my brother was in college, and got a Macintosh. I can remember him playing Flight Simulator (and having to swap floppy disks all the time.)
My computer wasn't too bad: A 486 50MHz processor (yes kids...MEGAhertz.) But hey, with that turbo button, I got 66MHz! Whoa. I can't remember the hard drive size, and I think I had 8MB of RAM.
Similar, but not exactly like mine:
Any way, I can remember playing games like Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Curse of the Azure Bonds, NHL 93, X-Wing, etc. Games were awesome then. I even used a serial joystick (ah, how USB has pampered us so.) The only worry we had about gaming was if the floppy disks went bad, or we lost the code wheel. Times were simpler for PC gamers.
Later, I moved on to laptops (for space reasons.) I had a PS and a laptop, and would play games on both. GTA on the laptop, Mortal Kombat Trilogy on the PS. Gaming was still awesome. I can even remember renting PC games. My local West Coast Video had PC games to rent, and I remember specifically renting Rainbow Six from them.
For years now, I've been playing both PC games and console games in tandem. So what's changed?
I became a dad, and everything changed.
I used to always play games with my friends on XBL. Rainbow Six 3, Midtown Madness, etc. We would be on for hours on end.
But as my kid got older, the want to watch TV got more and more. What does my mighty Xbox 360 do now? Stream Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Word World. So now, I've been semi quarantined to the laptop for gaming. But my fetal attempts to court my friends over to PC gaming haven't worked. Sure sometimes they play games on the PC. But here I sit playing FO3 on my laptop, while friends are on their 360s playing Rock Band, Borderlands, Final Fantasy XIII, etc.
Over all, why is PC gaming (as I see it) dying? It used to be the premier system games would be released on. Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Starcraft. I can remember wondering if a PC game would port over to a console. Now it's the reverse. PC gets shitty ports (GTA4,) horrible DRM (..where to start?), etc. Consoles are easy, that's why PC gaming is dying.
So, where does this leave me?
I've sold the Alienware (I didn't buy the Alienware, I had bought a Dell, and the Alienware was a replacement when the Dell kicked the bucket.) I'm going to be moving to a Macbook soon (at least Steam will run on OSX finally.) I have a 13" Macbook that with bootcamp, can run Fallout 3, so I know I can run FO3 on a 17" Macbook pro.
Hell, as of late, all I've been doing on my Alienware is surf the interwebz and do my finances in Quicken. That's it. I haven't (seriously) played a PC game in a while. What's the point of having the Alienware if I'm not going to use it as it should be used? At least with a Macbook, I can work in both OSX and Windows worlds. This way, since I do side work on people's home computers, I can say I know both Mac and PC (which will help me with my side business.)
So where am I going to game now?
Because of where my friends are, I'll just be gaming on my Xbox when I can find the time (between the kid watching Netflix, and my wife watching Netflix...when?!?!)