Steam Link Mac Drivers Valve Corporation Or Ambrosia Software

Press Release by btarunrDiscuss (92 Comments)
Valve announced today it will bring Steam, Valve's gaming service, and Source, Valve's gaming engine, to the Mac. 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. 'As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients,' said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. 'The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services.'
'Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac,' said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. 'Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play.'
'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 John Cook, Director of Steam Development. '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.'
Portal 2 will be Valve's first simultaneous release for Mac and 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,' said Josh Weier, Portal 2 Project Lead. '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.'
Support for the Mac in Source and Steamworks is available to third parties immediately.
Source: Steam

The Steam Link from Valve will no longer be in production, and the company confirmed that the device is nearly sold out in the United States. By Chris Compendio November 20, 2018.

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92 Commentson Valve to Deliver Steam and Source on Mac

I guess I'd better go and buy a mac now!

For SuperData's Carter Rogers, this development is unsurprising.

In 2017, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Valve’s chief of engineering Craig Federighi announced SteamVR for MacOS-based platforms. Now, just three years later, Valve is ending its support for SteamVR on Apple’s operating system. The news comes via a brief blog post on Steam, where Valve notes that it’s dropping MacOS updates in favor of the Windows and Linux operating systems.

For Carter Rogers, principal analyst at SuperData, this development is unsurprising, and the impact on the wider VR market should be minimal.

“It’s not too surprising this feature never caught on or that it’s being dropped,” Rogers told GameDaily. “Overall this will have a negligible impact on the VR ecosystem. Mac VR users were always a niche of a niche, and it didn’t make sense for developers to put in the effort to reach this audience.”

A recent Steam survey illustrates the truth in Rogers’ statement. According to the results, more than 85% of respondents use the Windows operating system while only 4% use MacOS. Curiously, less than 1% of users said they run Linux, which makes Steam’s continued support of that OS odd. However, Valve is currently developing Proton, an open-source software that lets Windows programs run on Linux systems.

It’s not just gamers that don’t utilize MacOS; according to Rogers, many developers have chosen to eschew Apple as well.

“Very few Steam games support both VR and Mac, and none of the major VR exclusives like Beat Saber, Superhot VR or Arizona Sunshine have Mac versions,” Rogers explained. “It’s telling that Valve didn’t launch Half-Life: Alyx on Mac even though the company has a very good track record of bringing their titles to the platform.”

By VR standards, the newest entry in Valve’s revered Half-Life series has performed fairly well, even if it may not move the needle in substantial ways, according to some analysts. In the lead-up to Alyx’s launch, some predicted that it could become the flagship VR title, that evergreen system seller that could finally propel the tech into mainstream popularity.

“We expect Half-Life: Alyx will become one of the two top-selling VR games of all time shortly after launch (when copies of the game bundled with the Index headset and controllers are counted),” Rogers told GameDaily in February.

With Valve discontinuing MacOS SteamVR support, it seems that the company is narrowing their focus a bit. Rogers said that there are several reasons that the Mac may not be an attractive platform for potential VR consumers, but Apple’s limiting gaming hardware is chief among them.

Steam Link Mac Drivers Valve Corporation Or Ambrosia Software

“The same issues that have long prevented Mac OSX from becoming a major game platform also limited its VR reach,” Rogers explained. “Macs rarely have the high-end GPUs needed for games that are graphically demanding, which VR games tend to be. It’s why the most popular games that do end up on Mac tend to be titles with relatively low system requirements like Fortnite, League of Legends and World of Warcraft.”

In all, VR has struggled to garner a substantial mainstream consumer base. Prohibitively expensive hardware and a lack of killer apps have made the tech largely unapproachable from an everyday gamer viewpoint. Valve dropping SteamVR support for Mac may not be the most exciting news, but it does illustrate that the tech still has a ways to go if it is ever going to break into the wider consumer consciousness.

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