Ask ten PC fans why they don’t want a Mac and I predict that more than one of them will say, “Because they don’t run games”.
With last week’s announcement at WWDC that games maker Electronic Arts is about to increase its support for the Mac, it looks like this is set to change.
EA’s new philosophy means that Mac users won’t have to wait a whole year for a Mac version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Command and Conquer 3. Mac versions of all of these games will be released simultaneously with their PC and console counterparts.
Good news for Mac users. But not so good for companies like Aspyr, who up until now had been converting these games to run on the Mac platform.
Ever since Apple announced Boot Camp we’d been hearing the bell toll for these companies. Why wait a year for the game you want to be converted to run on the Mac when you can boot up in Windows and play it there?
EA can’t have been thinking like that though. Because now they are going to use a clever piece of virtualisation software called Cider to make it possible for their games to run on the Mac. No need to boot up in Boot Camp. No need to use Parallels. And best of all for EA, no need to rewrite loads of complicated code.
So does this mean that the ‘no games’ argument will no longer hold? Maybe, maybe not. There is another reason why games on a Mac is still an argument against the Mac. Currently some of the consumer Mac models - namely the MacBook and the Mac mini – don’t have graphics cards capable of running some 3D games.
Apple needs to ensure that all its Macs are up to playing games if EA is going to get on side and offer games for the platform.