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Steam, Source and a slew of titles on Mac this April

March 8, 2010

Although it’s no secret at this point that Mac is getting Steam or several of Valve’s titles, they just wanted to let everyone know that all of this wholesome gaming goodness will be arriving on Mac systems this April — next month!

Joining Portal on launch will be zany first person shooter Team Fortress 2 and zombie survival Left 4 Dead 2, not to mention, Source, the engine that powers the Half-Life, which also will be part of the launch, and Counter-Strike.

So how will Steam work now?

While we’ve known Steam was coming to Mac due to curious users poking around within the program after some updates and Valve’s less-than-subtle teasing with pictures, Steam on Mac will match its Windows brother point-for-point feature wise, including a new feature to be introduced to the server called Steam Play. Essentially, this lets users transfer their titles between PCs and Macs at no additional charge.

John Cook, Director of Steam Development in a release by Valve offered some details on how Steam will work now that PCs and Macs are under the same roof, including having both of them interact in the same multiplayer lobbies and games.

“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,” Cook said. “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.”

While Valve is fully behind developing titles for Mac systems, it’s unknown how other developers will feel about jumping on the Mac train with them. For now though, Mac users, mark down April as a month to look forward to.

Portal 2 will be the first of Valve’s titles to simultaneously launch later this year.

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