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Valve Releases Some Early Mac Statistics from Steam

With Steam now available for the Mac, Valve is in the process of adding Mac data to its hardware survey. While we wait for the full data set, which should give a breakdown of specific processors, video cards, RAM configurations and more, Valve has released a few nuggets of preliminary information.

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  • Roughly two thirds of all Steam Mac users are running on a laptop.
  • Portal (with the same code base across platforms) is one fifth as likely to crash on a Mac than on Windows.
  • And one week after launch, already more than eleven percent of all Steam purchases are for the Mac.
The first point is obvious as Mac laptops are popular, even among gamers. I personally have a desktop gaming PC and a MacBook.

To the second, less crashes on a Mac is believable as Mac laptops have far fewer hardware configurations and most video card drivers can be updated through Apple's built-in Software Update tool. It's nice to hear that Valve's code base is the same across both platforms, which should mean more high quality ports of Valve's own Mac games, which include the upcoming Portal 2 and its back catalogue of Source engine titles.

Eleven percent of all purchases occurring on the Mac during the first week of availability could easily be due to Mac gamers, long shut out from Steam, rushing to purchase the initial offering of games. I expect this number to skew back toward PC as the flow of new Mac games slows.