In recent years, gaming on the Mac OS has skyrocketed. I remember a time when all I could find for my poor Power Mac 7200 were endless copies of Myst and The 7th Guest flowing from the isles of my local CompUSA. However, that is not the case anymore. Since Steve Jobs' triumphant return to Apple, the Macintosh platform has never been stronger. Thanks to innovative products like the G4-equipped flat panel iMac and Mac OS X combined with Apple's commitment to game developers, owning a Mac is more fun than Minnie Driver's English accent.
Steve Jobs' dynamic leadership has brought about a new golden era for us as Mac users. Thus, since becoming a Mac games journalist, it has been my goal to chat with our favorite CEO in order to discover his exact thoughts toward gaming and Apple. Well, folks, my lofty dream has finally come to fruition. During a press event at the recent Macworld San Francisco, I was able to hand Mr. Jobs my card and request a brief interview. A request he ever so graciously accepted. Yes, I had to run over an old lady and a dozen camera men to get close enough to Steve, but it was quite worth it!
Mike Phillips: Since your return to Apple, gaming seems to have become important to the Mac platform. Why do you feel that games are necessary to the success and expansion of the Mac OS?
Steve Jobs: Simply put, games are fun and lots of people want to have fun with their Macs. When I returned to Apple a few years ago, games were viewed as something which would paint the Mac as a less-than-serious business tool, so game development was discouraged. We feel quite differently, and actively try to nurture our game developers.
Mike Phillips: The new iMac is stunningly beautiful and exceedingly powerful, featuring a G4 processor and an NVidia GeForce2 MX graphics accelerator. Was this done with gaming in mind?
Steve Jobs: The G4 processor is quite useful for many things. For example, iPhoto can scale your photos bigger or smaller much more smoothly with a G4. iMovie can compute transitions like cross-dissolves much faster with a G4. iTunes can rip and burn CDs faster with a G4. And iDVD isn't even possible without a G4.
The G4 is ideal for gaming too. And so is the GeForce2 MX. Having this fast graphics chip, with its 32 megabytes of DDR SDRAM built into every new iMac sets the lowest common denominator pretty high for game developers.
Mike Phillips: Aspyr Media has been featured in your past two Macworld keynotes. What is so appealing about having Aspyr in your keynote lineup?
Steve Jobs: Aspyr has shipped more games on the Mac than anyone else. We are always looking for the coolest games to demo at Macworld (except for those that are too bloody for this audience), and often they are from Aspyr.
Mike Phillips: How do you see online multiplayer games fitting into our Digital Lifestyle?
Steve Jobs: Online multiplayer games are clearly growing in importance. Mac OS X has a lot of nice stuff built-in that can be leveraged for online gaming.
Mike Phillips: Is there any Mac game in particular that you fancy?
Steve Jobs: It's easy to point to the games that are visually stunning because they use the hottest graphics chip. But I also love games like Nanosaur that offer great play on any Mac model. You can't imagine how many kids get introduced to gaming on the Mac through Nanosaur and games like this. I love them.
I'd like to extend my special thanks to Steve Jobs for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to do this interview.