One of the biggest advantages of owning a PC over a Mac is the vast array of games available for Windows. There are different ways of distribution of such games, and one that is becoming increasingly popular is the digital download. Valve are one of the companies which really lead the way in the digital distribution of games with Steam, their online game platform. In the past it’s only been available on Windows but now, much to the delight of Apple fans, Steam is now available on Mac too.
To mark the release of the new OS X release, Valve is offering Steam users a free copy of Portal, a single-player first person action game with a twist. The game consists primarily of a series of puzzles in which the user is required to teleport themselves in addition to a variety of objects in an almost entirely active environment. OK, Portal may not have topped any charts, but it’s hardly a likely freebie. It’s widely acclaimed as one of the most original games ever released and is held in high regard by gamers and critics alike for it’s gameplay and unique storyline.
Therefore if you haven’t already got Portal, be sure to head over to Steam and get your free copy of Portal now, whether you’re already a Steam user or not.
A great feature that is included with at least several of the titles that are available cross-platform, is that you only need to buy the game once for each Steam account. That means that if you own a PC as well as a Mac, you can enjoy the game on both without having to fork out twice. Plus, titles, which are without said offer, are generally priced the same for both platforms, which can’t be said for the retail distribution for most titles.
So this release is something, which is no doubt going to spark the old debate of Mac vs. PC yet again, with a great argument on the side of PC seemingly on the slide. OK so at this point Mac has a long way to go with PC in terms of gaming capabilities, but with the majority of Mac’s these days being fitted with high quality GPUs and the latest processor’s there’s hardly a shortage of potential.
So having been using the Steam for Mac application for a few days I have found there to be a few issues here and there, but nothing that will prevent me from using it. I’m holding out for a few new titles to be released and distributed on the service and with promises of just that, the next few months probably up until Christmas will be surely be great for any Mac and Gaming enthusiasts.
Overall I have found Portal to be a nice touch and have enjoyed playing the beginning of the game anyway. Not sure how it would have affected my interest in using Steam, but it was a nice addition and good of Valve to offer it for free. It will be interesting to see how Steam performs in future if we see the release of OnLive cloud gaming.
What do you think to Steam on the Mac? Will it be a big move forward for Mac gaming?