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Boot Camp: Installation and Implications
June 29, 2006 | Michael Kottler

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iMac G5 October 2005
Given how easy using Boot Camp is, there is little doubt that some hardcore gamers will install Windows XP in order to play PC-only titles. But many Apple users will continue to wait for the Mac release of a given game. Some out of brand loyalty, some because Windows sucks, some because of the lack of support for software running in Windows on Macs, and others because games simply work better and have a higher 'coolness' factor under OS X.

And it stands to reason. With OS X, Apple has developed a robust, easy-to-use, and aesthetically pleasing Unix-based user environment which will take the Pepsi Challenge with other operating systems any day of the week. Free-thinking individuals on the PC side will consider switching to OS X for the same reason that many current Mac users continue to wait for the OS X version of a game: so that they can enjoy the seamless, reliable, and cool-as-frack Mac environment. Only the most hardcore will be twitching to transform their Intel-based Mac into a dual-boot Windows/OS X system in order to abandon the Mac game market. And this should leave enough average and causal gamers to sustain and even grow the Mac gaming industry.

Only time will tell. But considering the superiority of the Mac experience, it seems likely that enough users will stay with the Mac version of games to avert major damage to the Mac gaming industry.

In addition, the advent of Intel-based Macs could actually cause the game industry to grow. As Glenda Adams of Aspyr says, "if OS X Intel gives Apple a huge boost to 20% market share (especially if you can buy OS X and install it on your Dell), there are many more potential sales for Mac native games...So that could actually be a boon for Mac games" (IMG, June 6, 2005).

So don't worry. If you are eager to try out Star Wars Republic Commando or finally create a custom Neverwinter Nights module using the PC-only toolset, then fire up Boot Camp, install Windows, and enjoy, safe in the knowledge that far from being a knife in the back of the Mac-gaming community, Windows on your Intel based Mac could well be a harbinger for a new era of more flexible computer configurations and unprecedented growth for Apple.

Related Links
Boot Camp Public Beta
Game Developers React To Intel Switch
Macworld: Signing Up For Apple Boot Camp



Archives  Features  Boot Camp: Installation and Implications