Steam Coming to Mac in April, Portal 2 This Fall

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After some heavy-handed hints, Valve today confirmed that it will be bringing its previously Windows-only digital distribution platform Steam to the Mac in April 2010.

Said the company: "Steam and Valve's library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available in April."

Future Valve games will hit PC and Mac simultaneously, beginning with Portal 2.

Both PC and Mac versions will be bundled together, meaning that buyers get both editions of the game for the price of one--a feature that Valve calls Steam Play. Furthermore, games with support for Steam Cloud server-side save storage can be started on one platform (say, PC) and continued on the other (in this example, Mac).

"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," said Valve's John Cook, explaining:

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.

"Checking in code produces a PC build and Mac build at the same time, automatically, so the two platforms are perfectly in lock-step," added Portal 2 lead Josh Weier. "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."

Update: Valve has provided us with a few more details on Steam Play:

[Steam Play] will allow Mac gamers to play against PC gamers and -- for our games and any of our partners who are interested in using the feature -- be able to obtain any game they purchase on either system without the need to purchase two copies. So, for example, if you already own Left 4 Dead 2 on the PC you won't need to purchase it again for the Mac.

Update 2: Unsurprisingly, Valve's official blog offers word that the original Left 4 Dead will be joining Left 4 Dead 2 and everything else that the company is bringing to Mac.

From The Chatty

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    March 8, 2010 10:25 AM

    Steam, Source and the entire Half-Life series? Got to be biggest Mac gaming announcement ever.

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      March 8, 2010 10:33 AM

      Seriously, I've been waiting for this for over a decade.

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        March 8, 2010 11:04 AM

        Oh man. About a decade ago, I bought a PC and it's served me well. Perhaps this might have been wise instead of waiting for 10 years?

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          March 8, 2010 11:55 AM

          Snark snark.

          I remember playing HL on my friend's computer a decade ago... I was ecstatic when I read that they were porting HL to the Mac and that it would be network compatible with the PC version (we were a Mac-only household until I built my first Windows computer in 2002). Likewise, I was devastated when I read that the Mac port had been canceled.

          This feels like a childhood promise made good. Ask anyone who used a Mac and gamed back in the day and they will probably agree.

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            March 8, 2010 3:44 PM

            Believe it or not, I was in the same situation as you. Mac only household, my dad is very anti-PC. He's got 3 of the new Imacs even though most of my family uses Windows PCs now. I played Marathon on those old macs and looked forward to Halo on the mac when it was shown at Macworld.

            I was just giving you shit :P

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      March 8, 2010 10:38 AM

      Yes, now the mac gaming library has at least doubled with just the HL series. :D

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      March 8, 2010 10:40 AM

      Bravo to Valve, they've just made PC and Mac households really excited :)
      Oh and I love the fact that they aren't half-assing it either with simultaneous releases and the shared online universe both platforms will be a part of.

      ◉⏝◉

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      March 8, 2010 12:47 PM

      Indeed. They just singlehandedly made the Mac a viable gaming platform.

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      March 8, 2010 1:32 PM

      It's the biggest Mac gaming announcement since they cancelled Half-Life 1 for the Mac. What a bummer that was.

      I guess this makes up for it, but it's like 10 years late. I don't really use a Mac at home anymore, because of the lack of games.