Destineer/MacSoft will ship Halo: Combat Evolved for the Mac December 3 in the US, the company has confirmed.

The game – production of which was originally begun by legendary Mac games developer Bungie in 1999 – has been a massive success on Microsoft's Xbox games console. It emerged as Microsoft's flagship title for its product, and helped the Xbox compete with Sony's PlayStation, and was widely regarded as the defining first-person shooter on a console. It sold three million copies on the platform.

Bungie was acquired by Microsoft, and Halo was then developed for Xbox. Many Mac gamers saw Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie – then regarded as one of the premier Mac developers – as an attempt to suppress innovation in the Mac gaming industry.

This was not the case, sources said: "Microsoft does not see the Mac games industry as a threat. Further, when the company announced the acquisition of Bungie, it promised to ensure Halo would be released for Macs, and also announced a deal with Destineer Studios that meant a flood of previously PC-only Microsoft games would be released for Macs.

"Microsoft viewed that innovation at Bungie as a critical opportunity for the company in creating a brand-new console platform that could compete with Sony. So it was a lot more about competing with Sony than it was to competing with Apple."

A few dwarves Halo for Macintosh was developed by Westlake Interactive in conjunction with Gearbox Software and Bungie Studios.

The Mac version offers many enhancements over the critically acclaimed Xbox title: These include online multiplayer support, new maps, vehicles and weapons. The title also introduces support for the newest games rendering technologies, such as pixel and vertex shaders. The latter features will only be visible on the latest high-spec Macs incorporating graphics cards that support these technologies.

The Mac version supports mouse and keyboard commands; and offers graphics resolutions up to 1,600-x-1,200 are supported.

Destineer president Peter Tamte said: "I haven’t had this much fun on a computer since I visited Madrigal with a few dwarves and a handful of Berserks. Nothing compares to playing Halo with the precision of a mouse and keyboard on a Mac."

The online multiplayer feature means Mac gamers can compete against up to 15 Halo on PC or Halo on Mac players, both online and over a local area network.

Halo: Combat Evolved is a science-fiction action game that puts players through an exhausting high-tech guerilla war against a computer-controlled enemy (with built-in sophisticated intelligence) using a range of weapons and vehicles and in a variety of different terrain types, including air combat.